Peery Drive has had problems for years

Published 12:55 pm Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mayor David Whitus responded to Deanna Bennett’s “You Asked” (“Council to discuss Crestview traffic,” Aug. 3) concerning the effects new Peery Drive-area construction will have on the adjacent resident neighborhood by saying he was not “aware of an issue.”

Actually there have been issues, plural, for more than a decade, and Mayor Whitus was a sitting council member when Crestview residents repeatedly begged for help.

Today, all the problems remain, albeit much worse than a decade ago.

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They include excessive traffic at all hours; speeding vehicles (except when there is a visible cop car or traffic monitor); many trucks (whose drivers apparently think two “no through trucks” signs actually mean “welcome to the neighborhood and full speed ahead”); an amazing amount of trash (including beer bottles passers-by love to toss out onto the road and sidewalk to see/hear them shatter); and noise, especially during the wee hours of the morning when some people would enjoy getting some sleep.

More than a decade ago, we begged to have the residential section of Peery Drive closed to through traffic or to make it one way or put in speed bumps or a myriad of other suggested protections.

We were told none of these things could be done.

We were also told there was virtually no speeding on Peery Drive and the traffic from Walmart had to have the street as an alternate road.

We were brushed off like annoying little flies for daring to petition basic quality of life in our neighborhood.

The only change made to Peery Drive (not requested by us) was to install sidewalks. Although it’s nice to have them, the irony is much of the foot traffic between Days Inn and Walmart is through residential yards rather than on the sidewalks.

Since Crestview existed before its commercial neighbors, and since Peery Drive wasn’t constructed or designed for commercial traffic, I wonder why the quality of life of full-time, year-round homeowners seems to be of zero importance to the government.

It seems no one has thought about, or more likely, no one cares about the adverse effects the new construction will have on a long-existing neighborhood.

Schewels, Hilton, new apartments with a possible entrance/exit on an already congested parking area, gas station and who knows what else all suggest more of the same “issues” our neighborhood has repeatedly brought to council’s attention.

It’s fine to attract visitors and renters to Farmville, but what about those of us who are permanently here?

Do we not deserve at least the same consideration?

Ruth Budd is a Peery Drive resident and a retired Longwood University Spanish professor. Her email address is