Franklin Turnpike safety must be addressed

To the editor:

I’ve written on this safety concern in the past, yet I feel it’s important to bring it back up for further discussion in hope someone from the Virginia Department of Transportation will help rectify the problem.

I’m sure many of you have noticed, but it is very difficult to see the lane markings on Route 41 (Franklin Turnpike) when it’s raining after dark. It’s almost as if the lane markings aren’t there at all. I noticed again just this past weekend while I was headed home Friday night and was reminded just how bad the matter is.

I’m not the only motorist who has noticed this problem as several neighbors and many other people I’ve spoken with agree that this is a serious safety concern. I wanted to bring this matter up again hoping someone, be it local and/or state, could offer any assistance getting this problem resolved.

The lane markings just don’t show up well at all after dark in the rain. In fact, they don’t show up too well even when there’s no rain. This, coupled with the fact that there are no street lights along the county section of Virginia 41 north of the city limits, makes seeing the lane markings that much more difficult to see.

Is there something VDOT can do to help rectify this problem? I’m thinking simply painting the white lines with a brighter and, or reflective white paint? There should be a brighter white, reflective type paint available to use. I’ve seen many other roadways in other cities and states that utilize a more visible paint or something that makes the lane markings much more visible to drivers. Maybe also install the frequently used reflective prisms in the pavement. I think these prisms have been installed on U.S. 29 north of town just past the tank museum and further out, along with brighter white paint and the lines show up much better. This safety modification would help drivers see the lines and identify the proper lanes of traffic on this very busy stretch of road during rainy times after dark. After all, Virginia 41 is a very heavily traveled stretch of road and has had its share of bad accidents. Again I ask, can anyone offer help or contact the correct person(s) with influence and control to assist in getting this safety concern taken care of.

I’ve called VDOT several times and discussed this with them and they’ve told me they will look into the matter. Hopefully they’ll research the matter soon. I’m sure all who travel this busy road would greatly appreciate the safety improvements be made. Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer help and/or suggestions with this.



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