Prince Edward supervisors ask VDOT for speed study in Rice

RICE – Traffic conditions aren’t the best right now in the Village of Rice. That’s what resident G.W. Lewis told Prince Edward supervisors during their meeting on Tuesday, March 14. 

“Since the Rails to Trails have been incorporated, we have had an influx of traffic, people walking, children playing in the streets,” Lewis told the board. 

While that’s a positive thing, he’s concerned about their safety, as people speed through the area on a regular basis. Specifically, he wants them to look at Depot Road and Pisgah Church Road. 

“People come down through that street running 50 and 60 mph,” Lewis said. “We have an influx of children on that street now. People park at the church and walk and ride their bicycles.” 

He asked for a speed limit of 25 to be put up, dropped down from the current limit of 35. But that’s not something Prince Edward supervisors can do on their own. First, they have to request a speed study be done by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) . Now this does more than just monitor vehicle speeds. For a certain period of time, VDOT officials will keep track of daily and hourly speeds and traffic volume. They will also look at road design elements, making a note of anything that if adjusted, could help slow traffic down. In the end, the study comes back with recommendations for the speed limit and any other adjustments for the area. 

There was no argument from supervisors, who voted unanimously to asked VDOT for the speed study. As speed studies are done over the span of weeks or a given month, expect it to be closer to summer before that’s completed. 

That doesn’t mean Rice residents have to wait for a solution. Supervisors said they would reach out to Prince Edward County Sheriff Tony Epps and see if he could send a deputy over to monitor speeding and perform traffic stops as needed.

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