Virginia Beach looks to make safety improvements at 32nd Street and Arctic Avenue

Posted at 6:05 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 18:05:46-05

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - Changes are coming to a busy Oceanfront intersection that has seen multiple traffic crashes in recent years.

The City of Virginia Beach began looking at 32nd Street and Arctic Avenue after hearing from Mayor Will Sessoms about issues there.

City Traffic Engineer Robert Gey says the road has seen an increase in traffic in the past few years.

"32nd Street has become very popular, a lot of traffic has diverted from the roundabout up 32nd street," Gey told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Wednesday.

A study found on average there have been about seven crashes at the intersection per year since 2013. Right now it's controlled by a two-way stop sign system, on the approaches from Arctic Avenue.

Greg Dagres owns a barbershop right on the corner and says during the busy tourist-driven summer months there's at least one crash per month.

"I'll be inside cutting hair and next thing you know you'll hear a screech. Sometimes you don't hear a screech and a collision and I'll come running outside to make sure everyone is okay," he told Corillo.

As part of the traffic study, engineers considered altering the intersection to a four-way stop or installing a traffic signal. They've recommended against those solutions for now because of the proximity to another signal at Holly Road and the way the intersection is configured.

Instead, they'll add markings to the pavement to remind drivers to keep the intersection clear, as well as install solar-powered flashing stop signs, similar to the ones a block away on Laskin Road.

"I'm looking right down at this stop sign now and I can see it from here flashing plain as day and I'm going to notice it," Dagres stated.

Virginia Beach Traffic Engineers will collect more data from the intersection during the 2016 tourist season and then reevaluate to determine if additional safety measures need to be taken.

32nd Street at Arctic Avenue Intersection Study