Community input wanted to fix troubled Bedford intersection

Public meeting about Longwood Ave., Independence Blvd. intersection to be held on Tuesday

BEDFORD, Va. – Bedford town leaders are looking for community input over a troubled intersection.

Longwood Avenue is one of the major gateways into the Town of Bedford.

“There’s not really a whole, whole lot of wrecks, very seldom. There’s a wreck or so,” said Joallison Ruff, a waitress at Forks Country Restaurant.

She is used to hearing sirens pass through the corner of Longwood Avenue and Independence Boulevard.

“I don’t think there has to be too much of a change as far as traffic coming through,” said Ruff.

Now there’s an intersection study underway.

“There’s no urgency with it,” said Mary Zirkle, Bedford’s economic development coordinator.

Zirkle says it was perfect timing to ask the Central Virginia Planning District Commission, or CVPDC, for help. She says the study fits in with what the town is already doing on Longwood Avenue, like the Loop Project.

“I’m not sure if the project is a matter of making things look better as it is as improving safety and congestion and moving people through this intersection better,” Zirkle said.

CVPDC says since 2015 there have been at least 33 crashes at or near the intersection. Six of the accidents saw injuries.

“We did have some data." Zirkle said. "There were some pedestrian incidents there, and we certainly don’t want anyone to be injured at any place in town.”

Above all Ruff says there’s one thing she’d like for the safety of the children.

“We need to watch for school buses," Ruff said. "Watch as you’re coming down because you got a four-way intersection. You just have to watch and be careful.”

The meeting will be on Tuesday at the Bedford Central Library starting at 4:30 p.m. It is open to anyone who would like to attend.