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New Crosswalk, Traffic Light Pattern at Blue & Gray Parkway, Lafayette

By Susan Larson

The traffic signals at Lafayette Boulevard and the Blue & Gray Parkway have been modified to accommodate pedestrians, runners and bicyclists using a new crosswalk at the intersection.

The crosswalk was added for the Virginia Central Railway Trail.  Parts 1 and 2 of the trail open Saturday, Sept. 20.   Users of the trail can now activate a crosswalk signal at the Blue & Gray Parkway, just west of Lafayette Boulevard.  When the “Walk” light is on, all traffic across the crosswalk will be stopped.

“The main change is that the right turn lane from Lafayette Boulevard south bound (coming from downtown) to the Blue and Gray Parkway west bound (toward I-95) is now signalized and motorists in that lane are required to stop for a red signal,” said Doug Fawcett, Director of Public Works.  “No Turn on Red” signs under the signal heads will be illuminated when the pedestrian signal is activated, and motorists must wait to turn until the light turns green.

These changes have been made to achieve safety for pedestrians and motorists and maintenance of the traffic flow through this busy intersection.   “Motorists who have “rolled through” the Yield sign in the right turn lane at this intersection no longer have that option,” Fawcett said.

“Trail users need to activate the crosswalk signal and wait for it to come on,” Fawcett said. “Because the parkway is a major thoroughfare, the pedestrian signals will only activate at a certain point in the normal signal cycle.  This means that, depending on the time of day and the time at which the button is pushed to activate the crossing signal, trail users may have to wait as long as two and a half minutes for the ‘Walk’ signal to come on.”

The new 2.7 mile trail for pedestrians, bicyclists and runners extends from the eastern end of The Apartments at Cobblestone Square out Lafayette Boulevard, across the Blue & Gray Parkway, then down Alum Spring Road and behind Alum Spring Park to the Route 1 Bypass. Users will not need to cross Lafayette Boulevard because the path goes under the Hazel Run bridge.

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