Petition seeks changes to 5th Street to prevent further crashes

A petition created to demand changes to the physical character of 5th Street in  Charlottesville now has over 1,300 signatures. Binta Rose’s son Rahmean Rose died following a motorcycle crash on August 30. Fifth street is a four-lane divided highway between Ridge Street and Interstate 64, but more residential streets have been added in recent years. 

“When exiting from Bailey Road, Brookwood, Cleveland Avenue or 5th Street Station, oncoming traffic is going entirely too fast,” reads the petition. “Too many families in the last year have lost loved ones to [crashes] on 5th Street.”

The petition calls for the speed limit to be lowered, mandatory high fines for speeding and traffic calming measures in the corridor. 

There are several ongoing and recent projects in the area, including a Smart Scale funded improvement for the intersection of 5th, Ridge Street, Cherry Avenue and Elliott Avenue. However, that $6.1 million project is not expected to begin design until January 2024, according to an email from Jeanette Janiczek with the city. 

In 2018, the city completed work on a corridor study for the 5th Street-Ridge-McIntire area. A task force that reviews the city’s Community Development Block Grant process is currently investigating potential projects that could be paid for through that funding. Planning Commissioner Taneia Dowell is on that task force. She said she is hopeful for coordination between all of these studies and more. 

“A couple of things that we want to take into place before we move forward is how the Elliot Avenue Streetscape Plan, the [Strategic Investment Area], the old Ridge Street plan and the Smart Scale 5th plan will be able to tied together with our recommendations of the task force so that we are not duplicating efforts,” Dowell said. 

The city completed a study of the 5th Street area in November 2018. You can download it here.

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the November 11, 2020 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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