Regional leaders gather to discuss Graves Mill Road Study in Lynchburg

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Region 2000 leaders are calling the Graves Mill Road Corridor a “congested corridor”.

Gristmill Drive in Bedford County to McConville Road in Lynchburg is a popular commuter road in the region and, with that congestion in mind, Region 2000 is looking to make a plan for the future.

The Graves Mill Study was launched three months ago. Region 2000 and the Central Virginia Metropolitan Planning Organization as well as Bedford County, the City of Lynchburg and the Virginia Department of Transportation have teamed up to conduct the study. EPR, a firm out of Charlottesville, has been brought in and paid about $65,000 to conduct the study.

The study has revealed that while the corridor is congested now, the area surrounding it is expecting to grow more than 50 percent in the next 20 years. Current projects like the Rosedale development and a new apartment complex on Old Graves Mill Road will bring more traffic to the area.

“We really need to stay in front of that demand,” said Drew Draper, Principal Planner with EPR. “To create a safer…more multimodal environment.”

Tuesday night the public came out to learn more about the results of the study so far and to voice their opinions.

“In the morning and night there’s so much traffic you have to slow down,” said Albert Turner, who lives on Graves Mill Road.

“I try to avoid it sometimes of the day, but it’s not always possible,” said Laura Dooley, who travels the corridor daily.

The study not only showed how congested the corridor is, but also revealed higher than average crash rates. Leaders say high crash rates are typic of a congested corridor.

The study will be looking at short term and long term solutions. Ranging from signal lights and bike paths, to bigger projects like a roundabout or diverging diamond intersection.

This is the grassroots level of the study, they are working on things to consider moving forward with the future growth in mind.

“It seems as though they really understand that there’s these issues because they are addressed in a lot of the pictures here so I’m kind of hopeful that something really good will come of this,” said Dooley.

The leaders of the study will now take the public comments from Tuesday’s meeting and evaluate them further. They will hold another meeting sometime in February for public input and are hoping to have the study finished by early springtime. The goal of the study is to help plan things out so the project can be prioritized and implemented sooner.

To learn more about the project, go to their website: