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Echoing Pride’s concerns about Abilene Road

I would like to second the concerns expressed by Hampden District Supervisor Dr. Odessa Pride with regard to Abilene Road.

My GPS guides me to take Abilene Road when I journey to Randolph-Henry High School for sports coverage, and I will admit that, particularly after nightfall, the journey is one I dread. Now, I simply take another, probably longer, route home.

My dread stems from the narrowness of the road. Then add in the speed factor, especially in navigating the road’s many twists and turns.

I could really relate to some of the issues that Pride mentioned during the Oct. 8 Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors meeting when she shared her concerns with Virginia Department of Transportation Resident Engineer Scott Frederick.

“I still, as I said before, have major concerns for Abilene Road,” she said. “Riding on the edges of those roads is so dangerous. When you get to the Charlotte County line, they don’t have the white lines on the edge, but those roads are in excellent condition, and they have widened them by adding gravel or whatever. It’s not even regular gravel. I travel on that road quite a bit, and it is just excellent driving conditions. We need to do something very similar to Abilene Road. It looks like we’re not getting the white lines because you’re consistently saying that it’s not wide enough.”

“It’s not wide enough …,” Frederick affirmed.

She later noted that VDOT reduced the speed limit from 55 to 50 mph.

“That helps a little bit, but when somebody is speeding on the road, and they’re over that line, you have to literally take the ditch sometimes (to keep) from hitting people,” Pride said. “I had to do that last week, and if I were not going my correct speed, I would have been in that ditch hitting a tree — very dangerous condition.”

I can be an overcautious, nervous driver at times, I’ll admit. But the narrowness of Abilene Road and its lack of lines coupled with the brightness of the headlights of any quickly approaching vehicle is what has prompted me to find other routes to and from Charlotte County.”

Pride said one of the most dangerous parts of Abilene Road is where Irving Hay and Straw sells its hay. Irving Hay and Straw’s website says the company’s street address is 4937 Abilene Road.

“That edge is terrible, and everything beyond that needs to be addressed,” Pride said.

Lastly, she looked into the possibility of having Abilene Road widened and lines added as a result.

“I would like for it to be considered,” Pride said.

I would too, and I’m sure other people in the community agree.

It was indicated during the board meeting that this could be addressed in VDOT’s next Six-Year Plan in spring 2020.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Frederick said, “And it’s been brought to my attention that there’s some spots where the edge is kind of breaking up a little bit, so we’re going to take a look at that.”

I add my “thank you” to the one Pride extended, and I also add my hope that the more extensive changes she’s encouraging can be made soon to remove danger and add safety to what is an otherwise beautiful route through the country connecting Prince Edward and Charlotte counties.

TITUS MOHLER is the sports editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@FarmvilleHerald.com.