Several local residents were in attendance at Monday evening’s Rocky Mount Town Council meeting to ask for assistance curbing the high level of traffic along Bernard Road.
The road, just under a mile long, is often used as a shortcut for drivers traveling between Virginia 40 to U.S. 220 Business and U.S. 220. Residents living on and near the road described constant traffic throughout the day as well as many large tractor-trailers.
Bernard Road resident Royal Lilly said the heavy traffic makes it difficult for him to even pull out of his driveway at times. He said drivers often don’t pay attention to the stop signs and will speed down the road.
Rodney Bowman, another Bernard Road resident, said many drivers along the road will speed from one stop sign to the next along the road. “A lot of times it’s a race track,” he said.
According to Warren Boyd, a resident of Mountain View Drive just off Bernard Road, Monday’s discussion wasn’t the first time residents came together to ask the town for help. He said efforts were made 13 years ago, but little was done at the time. He asked council members if they could find ways to solve the problems this time.
“Something needs to be done about this traffic,” Boyd said.
The residents addressed the town council during its public comment period provided during each meeting. While council members don’t usually address individuals following public comments, Mayor Steven Angle agreed to have the town’s police department look into the problem.
“We certainly realize the problems you all have been having,” Angle said.
Angle directed community members to meet with Mark Lovern, Rocky Mount’s interim chief of police. He said the two could come up with a workable solution to the issue.
Council members also approved a change to the town’s building height restrictions in some residential districts from 25 feet to 35 feet. The change will put the town in line with surrounding localities.
Assistant Town Manager Mark Moore said the town began looking into the change in height requirements because of a large number of zoning permit applications for single family homes exceeding 25 feet in height.
Council members unanimously approved the height restrictions change to 35 feet.