By Tim Saunders
Every day thousands of cars enter Lynchburg by way of Campbell Avenue. It’s one of the city’s main entry points.
“I’ve lived on Campbell Avenue all my life and it’s become more hectic as time has gone by, because there’s more people,” said Angela Cox, who also works on Campbell Avenue.
Getting to her job can be dangerous.
“I walk to and from work and you have to run from the traffic,” Cox said.
City planners want to make the road safer for both pedestrians and drivers. They’ve come up with a master plan for the corridor.
“The plan was developed by community input and stockholder input that we’ve received from community and stockholder meetings,” said Lynchburg City Planner, Tom Martin.
The master plan would dramatically change the look of Campbell Avenue. Traffic circles would be built at two different intersections, more sidewalks and decorative lighting would be installed, and the road would shrink from four travel lanes to just two.
Some believe fewer lanes is a bad idea.
“I think it’s going to cause a whole bunch of accidents,” said Campbell Avenue resident, Thomas Jackson. “It’s going to make traffic even worse than what it is now.”
Nothing will change until another project is built nearby.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is putting a new interchange at Route 460 and Odd Fellows Road. Engineers believe that project will take traffic away from Campbell Avenue.
“In a 25-year window, there is not projected to be any more traffic growth on Campbell Avenue than what is there now,” Martin said.
Getting rid of two travel lanes will leave more room for trees and bicycles.
Cox believes it’ll be a big improvement.
“I think there will be more walking and it’s time for a change,” said Cox. “I think it’s a good thing.”
City officials are gathering comments about the master plan for Campbell Avenue. They’ll take that input and tweak it, if necessary.
From there the plan will go to the planning commission and city council for approval. The entire process could take several years.