Families of Chesterfield school concerned about ‘dangerous’ intersection after child injured in crash

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)–Some parents and teachers in Chesterfield County say a car crash that hurt a child is their final straw. Now they want changes to the intersection near Tomahawk Creek Middle School.

Wednesday morning, a car crash that injured a child and two adults near Brandermill and Center Pointe Parkways is highlighting safety concerns. While the three victims are expected to be okay, some parents at middle school say accidents will continue to happen if something isn’t done.

Parents say the heavy traffic from morning drop-offs and afternoon pickups contribute to the dangerous intersection. Michael Mulhall, whose daughter attends Tomahawk Creek, said he drives through the intersection to pick her up.

“Being in a line of cars that could be, no joke — I mean 300, 400, 500 cars deep and it’s insanity,” Mulhall said. “Then you watch that and then you know listen there’s a function of time before there’s an accident.”

Chesterfield police said the crash wasn’t related to traffic at the middle school, instead, the driver who went through the stop sign was headed to another local school.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has reported 11 crashes at that intersection in the past two and a half years. Mulhall said changes should happen now.

“Why should we have to wait until something more tragic to solve the problem?” he asked.

Families want a roundabout, traffic signal or a four-way stop sign at the intersection. Mulhall said because the bus driver shortage forced more families to drive their students to school, it causes more traffic at the intersection. Raising the bus driver wage could help alleviate the congestion, he said.

8News was told a developer is widening Center Pointe Parkway to a four-lane divided road which would require a traffic signal at the intersection one traffic volume warrants and the signal is justified.

VDOT said there are no plans for a traffic signal to go up soon, but they have made several safety improvements to Brandermill Parkway since it opened in 2017.

A spokesperson for VDOT said they installed oversized stop and stop ahead signs, flashing lights on stop signs and trimmed trees to improve sight for drivers along Brandermill Parkway. In 2019, VDOT marked additional lanes with pavement markings on Brandermill Parkway, installed delineators, and relocated stop signs to increase compliance with the stop conditions.

However, VDOT said another review of the Brandermill and Center Pointe Parkway intersection is underway because of increased school traffic.

Chesterfield County’s Board of Supervisors sent this statement to 8News Wednesday afternoon:

“County leaders and staff are closely monitoring the traffic challenges at schools countywide. Our Police Department is working closely with Chesterfield County Public Schools to mitigate traffic congestion occurring at Tomahawk Creek Middle and many other schools. The intersection at Center Pointe and Brandermill parkways is also the focus of the Virginia Department of Transportation, which over time has provided enhancements and continues to consider options to make the intersection safer and more efficient for motorists.”

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