Two-lane road change proposed for Westover

Brian Dunevant listens to citizens' comments about the proposed Westover Drive project.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the City of Danville held a community meeting at Park Avenue Elementary School to hear from citizens in the city about proposed plans to reconfigure Westover Drive from four lanes to two, with the addition of bike lanes.

Following a study by EPR Consulting firm, it was decided that reducing the number of lanes from four to two from Capri Court/Wade Street to the US 58 and US 311 interchange, as well as the bike lanes, would reach to the goal of the project, which is to increase safety for all modes of transportation.

The study determined that this stretch of Westover experiences excessive speeding and high accidents, with a low safety for bikers.

Brian Dunevant, assistant director of Danville Public Works, said the lanes on the four-mile section of the four-lane road are less than nine feet per lane, and the standard for a road like Westover are 11 feet.

Making this a two-lane road may be the answer to making the road safer, according to Dunevant.

The proposed reconfiguration with a speed limit decreased from 40 to 35 could help to reduce accidents.

“If people look at this background information, they could come to the same conclusion that something needs to be done,” Dunevant said.

Westover resident Jim Thurman has lived in the area his whole life and went to the meeting to learn exactly what they were planning to do and why.

While he doesn’t see the use for bike lanes, he doesn’t have any qualms with changing the road to two lanes.

“The road is so bumpy and disturbed, so if they fix it right, I don’t have a problem,” Thurman said.

After hearing comments from citizens, Dunevant said the next steps were to weigh their options on how the roads would be fixed as far as resurfacing.

The comment period is open until Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. Citizens can submit comments by calling the City of Danville Public Works Engineering office at (434) 799-5019. Comments can also be submitted by email at pwengineering@danvilleva.gov or by mail at P.O. Box 3300, Danville, VA 24543.

For more information, visit www.danvilleva.gov/WestoverStudy.

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