Improvements sought at Griffin & Oak intersection

Published 12:37 pm Monday, September 7, 2015


The Town of Farmville is considering a project that would straighten Griffin Boulevard at the intersection of High Street or constructing a roundabout at the busy intersection.

The idea came after town officials met with Longwood University representatives regarding the institution’s master plan, said Town Manager Gerald Spates during a Wednesday town council work session.

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According to VDOT, thousands of vehicles travel through the intersection daily.

According to Spates, Longwood has purchased the small brick home at the intersection — also known as the Bloomfield house — and has offered to give property for the town to place Griffin more in line with Oak Street.

“They offered about a month ago to give us whatever right-of-way we needed to straighten out Griffin Boulevard so that Griffin Boulevard ties in straight, more in line with Oak Street,” Spates said.

He said the town could swap the right-of-way on the other side of the intersection near the Chichester Science building.

Spates said the idea of a roundabout came up in discussing the master plan with Longwood officials.

A roundabout is a type of circular intersection or junction in which road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island.

“I think it would be to our benefit to have them look at the two options,” Spates said, referring to the town’s engineers, McCormick Taylor, on presenting the council with possibilities.

Spates said the biggest problem with roundabouts is pedestrian safety, citing the large number of people that walk through the intersection.

Spates said he favored a public input session following the presentation from the engineering firm. “Thats what we talked about,” Mayor David Whitus said, adding that it would be nice to straighten out the intersection.

McCormick and Taylor would offer the pros and cons of the two options, Spates said, along with possibly discussing project costs.

“The cheapest is going to be to straighten the road out,” Spates said.

The town manager said there was no question that either project would improve safety.

“The university and the town have had positive and ongoing discussions about how to improve pedestrian safety and strengthen connections between town and campus,” Longwood spokesman Matthew McWilliams said. “The intersection at High and Griffin is key to both of those goals, and we look forward to working with the town to identify creative and effective ways to improve it. We are eager to be helpful, but it is premature to discuss what role this property might play in any design.”