Blacksburg drivers irritated after intersection renovation plan is changed

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) The Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Virginia Department of Transportation is backing away from a new traffic pattern at the intersection of North Main Street and route 460 in Blacksburg. Now drivers are asking why.

"It's very discouraging to know we need a safety solution at that intersection," said Joel Herbein.

The flashing lights and reduced speed limit signs aren't going to keep this intersection safe, Herbein says.

He's part of a group of people who travel through this intersection nearly every day and sees the problems.

It's known by neighbors as a deadly intersection.

The town first came up with the RCut plan that eliminated left turns. It was quickly criticized by drivers and the town decided to draw up new ideas.

A new proposal with on and off ramps was approved by town leaders and drivers.

It seemed likely to happen until VDOT recently told the town it will no longer continue the process because there is a plan already in place that it likes.

That plan is the the RCut that the town voted against.

"Virginia Tech is growing, the New River Valley is growing, we need a true solution at that intersection. The R-cut is not a solution at all. It presents more dangers than it fixes and we really need something and we need something soon," Herbein said.

Herbein and other people in town are now writing state lawmakers and the Commonwealth Transportation Board to persuade their decision.

Virginia's Transportation Secretary, Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. addressed the issue Wednesday saying in part, the well-liked second proposed traffic change would be too costly.