The VPC board has authorized funding for a study of two intersections on Shawan Road and Tufton Avenue. A preliminary meeting and site visit is planned for this month with a consulting team comprised of Lardner/Klein landscape architects and Kittleson & Associates transportaiton planners. This team has extensive experience in developing context-sensitive designs for scenic byways and rural areas. They will provide concepts for future upgrades deemed appropriate for this magnificent rural road. Such a design would slow traffic, improve safety, moderately improve flow, and compliment the surrounding land use and aesthetics. The focus of their work will be the Shawan/Falls intersection and the Tufton/Greenspring/Worthington intersection.

It is acknowedged that there is congestion during rush hour, particularly in the evening, and difficulty in making a left-turn at these intersections. Many believe, however, that the level of inconvience at rush hour is acceptable and fear that upgrades will only encourage more traffic moving through at higher speeds. Others feel that at least a minimal improvement is warranted to improve safety. The VPC board has weighed the options and is moving forward with a study to determine what kinds of improvements are possible and would provide the best result for this very scenic road.

Many members have called the VPC office to discuss activity visible at the intersection of Shawan/Cuba/Beaver Dam. The county is preparing for an intersection upgrade that will add a turn lane in all directions. Planning and design for this upgrade have been in the works for the last couple of years. The VPC, Cuba Road Association, and others had hoped for a better solution than the one planned, but the county has decided to go forward with this project and will put out a call for bids sometime in May.

The VPC has not yet finalized arrangements with the consultants but should settle on a contract this month. The concepts should be available sometime this summer. Stay tuned for updates.