“Slow the traffic down.” 25MPH speed limit extending in Vinton

Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 9:48 PM EDT
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - As the town of Vinton continues to grow, town officials want to keep everyone safe. In less than a month, drivers will have to follow a new speed limit.

As you drive through Vinton next month – be aware of the new traffic pattern. Beginning October 2nd, the town is extending the 25MPH zone on Gus Nicks Blvd.

“It currently ends at Garthright (Memorial) Bridge as you’re leaving the town,” explained Vinton’s Town Manager Richard “Pete” Peters. “We’re extending that all the way to the town limits just past the Gish Mill.”

As businesses and apartments choose the town as their new home, officials are making safety a priority.

“We’re planning a crosswalk across Gus Nicks to connect the greenway to the Gish Mill Project. The Billy Byrd apartments have been fully occupied. We just got a lot of activities and sports,” added Peters. “And so, we want to just slow the traffic down in that area because there is going to be a lot more activity.”

The current speed limit is 35MPH, but Vinton’s Police Department says some people currently drive 45MPH or even faster in the area. They say that’s unacceptable.

“If we can change people’s behavior then obviously it’ll keep everybody else safe,” said Vinton Police Department Deputy Chief Tim Lawless. “So, hopefully changing the limit down to 25 (MPH) will accomplish that goal.”

For the next couple weeks, drivers can expect to see more police officers enforcing the speed limit.

“We’re not necessarily out there trying to write a bunch of tickets,” explained Lawless. “We want to make the public aware that the speed limit is changing and hopefully we can just change their behavior and just slow people down.”

The new measure is a precaution to keep pedestrians and commuters safe.

“We haven’t had incidents but we don’t want incidents,” said Peters. “And with all the new activity there with the crosswalk and the new businesses – we really just want folks to be aware, pay attention, and make it safe for everyone.”