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Spotsy turn signals fuel frustration
Readers raise a pair of Spotsylvania traffic signal concerns; a study offers another option to the gas tax.

Date published: 1/14/2013


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By Scott Shenk

THE GOVERNOR'S proposed transporta- tion funding plan caused a stir last week.

No matter what you think about it, the plan is a surprising twist in the search for a solution.

Another interesting approach to transportation funding--which would amount to a transportation transformation--came out late last year.

The study was conducted by the Rand Corp. It focuses on a mileage-based system, which taxes drivers for miles traveled.

The study argues that while such a system would be difficult to design and costly to administer, it would create a more stable source of funding than the fuel tax, which Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to scrap.

The study says a mileage fee-based system also would reduce traffic and road wear and tear and create data that would help with transportation planning.

The study adds another interesting twist to the difficult issue of how to pay for transportation infrastructure. You can find a link to the study at news.fredericksburg .com/transportation.

Dear Scott: The following comments refer to the traffic signal at the corner of Lake Anna Parkway, Courthouse Road (State Route 606) and Courthouse Road (State Route 208).

This traffic light is located about 200 yards from the traffic light at Blockhouse and Courthouse roads.

Along Lake Anna Parkway, once the last vehicle drives through a traffic light, the signal starts the next cycle in about five to 10 seconds. At this intersection, it is between 35 and 40 seconds after the last vehicle drives through the traffic light.

To compound this frustration, either the vehicles coming from Thornburg on Courthouse Road and turning right onto Lake Anna Parkway heading east are causing the traffic signal to cycle, or it is just randomly stopping the traffic heading east or west on Lake Anna Parkway. I have been stopped at this light many times and have not seen any vehicles turn either way coming from the Thornburg direction.

This is a first for me, but it just shows my level of frustration with this splendid new roadway.

--Mike Eastman, Spotsylvania

The Virginia Department of Transportation installed new vehicle detectors on the signal Dec. 27. That should have fixed the problem, said VDOT's Kelly Hannon.

If problems persist, VDOT can be contacted at 800/367-7623 or by email: fredericksburgin
Email: fo@VDOT.Virginia.gov.

Dear Scott: I am curious as to why there isn't a green turn arrow for travelers turning right onto State Route 3 while eastbound travelers have the green arrow to turn left onto Bragg Road.

--Heather Breeden, Spotsylvania

The busy Spotsylvania intersection used to work this way, allowing traffic to turn in each direction at the same time, said VDOT's Hannon.

But the highway department stopped allowing this because of concerns that turning Bragg Road traffic would fill up westbound Route 3, which would lead to backups.

She said VDOT has been keeping an eye on traffic flow in that area and they have not noticed any delays on Bragg Road.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com