Offer solutions

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A $7.51 million roundabout is in the works for the intersection of U.S. Routes 15 and 360 in Charlotte County.

The proposed project has made it through the second round of scoring under the new SMART SCALE prioritization process used by the state’s Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).

Though it has a ways to go before remotely becoming a reality, we have concerns about the project that stem from the community’s initial response.

There’s no doubt the intersection — one important to the county’s industrial park and the Heartland Authority Business Park — needs work. In their application for funding, county leaders cite “safety concerns” and “traffic issues.” We trust there are inefficiencies with the existing intersection.

Though funding for the roundabout may come from the state — which highly favors roundabouts — county leaders need to be responsive to what’s best for their residents as well. That may mean abandoning the project and working with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the CTB for a more efficient fix, one that the community supports and favors.

So, far the project has not been well-received from those we’ve heard from. They’ve questioned the effectiveness of a roundabout.

At the same time, some residents call existing traffic pattern “awful,” citing almost daily accidents.

It’s clear the intersection needs a change. It also clear to us that, if residents see a problem and reject the solution the county and state officials have in mind, they need to suggest an alternative solution, rather than simply dismissing it.

County leaders and state transportation officials should be all ears to what residents have to say, including their solutions.