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Construction detour leaves Virginia Beach neighborhood with safety concerns over increased traffic

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Posted at 6:03 PM, May 26, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— Virginia Beach residents are upset their quiet neighborhood has become a cut-through to a busy road. Some say they’re worried about safety.

The City of Virginia Beach shut down a small portion of Whitehurst Landing Road Monday to complete utility improvements. The main road connects Kempsville Road and Providence Road in Virginia Beach.

Now, drivers are forced to detour through the residential area of Thompson Way and Taylor Road to get around the closure. As a result, the once quiet neighborhood is getting much more traffic than they’re used to.

Janet Thomas changed the route on which she walks her three dogs to avoid the onslaught of oncoming traffic on Taylor Road, where there isn’t a sidewalk.

“I’m normally walking three dogs at the same time, so I’m a little concerned someone could speed by and not see them,” said Thomas.

The speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but residents say not all drivers are obeying the law.

“We like to take walks at the park and people drive down here like it’s a business area, a commercial area,” said Rob Nixon.

Nixon says he’s noticed speeding is worse since the detour but says it’s been a concern of his the past two and a half years he’s lived on Thompson Way.

Nixon now keeps a bright green sign that reads, “SLOW! KIDS AT PLAY” near his driveway in hopes drivers will use caution; he says it isn’t doing much good.

“They’re not really seeing the sign, which makes me worry they’re not seeing my kids if they’re out here either or other kids,” said Nixon.

The city sent a letter to residents saying the closure would last at least two weeks, but the schedule could be impacted because of weather or other issues. The letter also contained names and numbers residents could contact with their concerns.