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After ten pedestrians were killed in the past eight years, and numerous car-bicycle accidents that led to serious injuries, Virginia Beach officials lowered the speed limit on a stretch of Shore Drive from 45 mph to 35 mph.

This was in response to an outcry from Va. Beach residents who view Shore Drive as an extremely dangerous road pitting speeding cars and pedestrians who cross the road to get to various local businesses and the beach.

My colleague Jim Lewis wrote about these safety concerns revolving around speeding drivers and traffic on Shore Drive a couple months ago after a school teacher was hit and killed by a car while crossing Shore Drive.

The new speed limit will affect the four-mile stretch of Shore Drive between Pleasure House Road and North Great Neck Road, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Here’s a news report detailing the Shore Drive speed limit reduction…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8npxVKQnXI

This is not the first time the speed limit has been reduced on Shore Drive. In 2009, the speed limit was reduced between North Great Neck Road and First Landing State Park in an effort to decrease car accidents.

Will the speed limit reduction actually cut down on the number of serious car wrecks and crosswalk accidents? No one can say for sure, but it’s a good idea considering the increased volume of traffic and pedestrians making their way to Va. Beach during the summer.

The response to the news from the public has been positive. Virginia Beach Vice Mayor Louis Jones told the Pilot, "People are telling me they can finally take their kids across Shore Drive without fear of being run over."

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

PA

3 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Jameson Dungan

    Reducing the speed limit is not the answer. It seems that the root of the problem stems from pedestrians and cyclists getting hit and killed. This might be a sign of poor planning on the city's part. If there are so many pedestrians, then why not focus on engineering Shore Drive to be more friendly to people NOT in cars. Not only in the day do people cross the street to go to the bay, but there are many local bars with poor parking. Many people go out drinking and must walk distances, cross streets without cross walks, and other various challenges.

    There is little to no sidewalk or even a bike lane for cyclists. This is a major stretch of land that has nice bike paths on both ends, connecting First Landing and Bayville Farms (that has a nice bike lane down parts of Shore Drive)

    If the city was serious about addressing the problem, they would evaluate the piss poor planning and not just put a band-aid by printing up new speed limits signs for 35 mph, but re-engineer the entire 5 mile stretch to better serve the community in an active and positive way.

    This is one of the few places in Virginia Beach that retains its local culture. Why not use this opportunity to make it more of a public community than making it a corridor for cars?

    Again, lowering the speed limit is only a band-aid solution and will cause drivers to become more complacent under this illusion of safety.

  2. Gravatar for Emily Mapp Brannon
    Emily Mapp Brannon

    Jameson:

    Thank you for your comments. I agree that the speed limit will not solve the entire problem but it is a start.

    Thanks,

    Emily

  3. Gravatar for Roy

    The problem I see if people not using the crosswalks on shore drive. I drive this section of shore drive very often. Lowering the speed limit will not increase saftey, if people are stepping out in front of traffic and crossing where there is no crosswalk. I see many people throught the day, jaywalking all up and down shore drive.

    I guess I feel that the problem is with people who think it is the governments job to protect them when they themselves are the ones causing the problem. People stepping out in front of moving vehicals and expecting them to stop will have short life spans. I guess though they cannot be bothered to use the crosswalks though as that would be to far to walk.

    Lowering the speed limit will not sovle the problem here.

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