November 1, 2018
The major topics pertaining to Westwood that were discussed at this meeting included:
- Traffic – how to improve existing and create new traffic calming measures
- Pedestrian Safety – how can we create pedestrian safe zones
- Flooding/drainage issues – how can home owners work with the County to address these issues
- What can be done regarding the maintenance of County owned green spaces in Westwood
Keeping in mind the recent Henrico County traffic study of Westwood (available on the WCA website), Mr. Yob addressed the above issues generally as well as, when possible, specifically. His remarks included the following:
- Regarding Bremo Road – its traffic, older speed bumps, lack of shoulders/sidewalks, and its use as a direct connector from West Broad Street to Monument and St. Mary’s Hospital, Mr. Yob stated that the County will examine the speed bumps to determine their effectiveness and if they need to be repaired or replaced. Although there is always tremendous expense with installing sidewalks, gutters, any other infrastructure additions/repairs, Bremo Road’s status/situation will be reviewed as to whether it is needed/feasible to install sidewalks or other pedestrian features to make walking safer. He stated that Bremo Road is a good candidate for sidewalks; he will contact the WCA with recommendations.
- West Club Lane – after much discussion about the speed of traffic on this street, and the desire for greater pedestrian safety, Mr. Yob stated that they will examine this street to make recommendations for options for pedestrian safety – which would also serve as traffic calming measures. Sidewalks are most likely not an option for West Club Lane, due to expense, however, there are other measures that could be taken. He will get back to the WCA with recommendations.
- Old Richmond Road – there are issues of drivers passing the entrance to the medical park on Bremo Road, and speeding onto Old Richmond Road to turn around (sometimes executing illegal turns). Yob will look into this, including the suggestions of speed bumps or rumble strips to discourage these dangerous drivers. He will contact WCA regarding this.
- Drainage issues – using a Westwood home owner’s situation with drainage issues as a basis for discussion, Mr. Yob gave the example that the County, although it cannot fix someone’s yard, will send employees out to examine the yard and make recommendations to the home owner regarding possible solutions. In addition, should there be any County infrastructure issues impacting these drainage issues, County staff will work to repair/find solutions to these (cleaning gutters, etc.). The County is particularly examining Horsepen Branch, part of which flows in Westwood, to see what can be done comprehensively to ensure its containment from flooding. (See the floodplain image below.)
- Green space (County-owned) maintenance – the parcels in the 5800 and 5900 blocks of Morningside Drive, along with the area along Fitzhugh between Devers and Morningside, need attention, whether it be better maintenance or, as in the case of Fitzhugh, taking what some consider an “eyesore” and making it into a pleasant site that can be enjoyed by residents and others (the Parks and Rec Department stated they would be interested in adding a bench or two, some low maintenance trees, keeping it cleared and clean, but don’t know how to go about it due to questions of jurisdiction). As there have been questions as to what departments of the County actually own/have jurisdiction over these parcels, Mr. Yob assured us he will look into this and get back to us about these issues.
- Yob also urged us to report pot holes, drainage issues, any other infrastructure problems as soon as possible to the County by calling 804-501-4393.
- The green space owned by the medical park on Bremo Road is somewhat of an eyesore; Jon Gwaltney, Henrico County Inspector, will work with nearby homeowner Conner Brown to determine the medical park property owners and determine a plan to contact them to urge better maintenance, some new landscaping, etc.
- Yob will look into installing a few new Neighborhood Watch signs in Westwood.
The traffic and safety subcommittee, together with the WCA board, will continue to examine these issues and possible solutions recommended by Mr. Yob, and pass these along to Westwood residents with updates at regularly scheduled WCA board meetings, as well as through email communication and the WCA website.
Steven J. Yob
Henrico County Director of Public Works
County of Henrico
Lead Zoning Inspector
To report potholes, drainage issues, other issues relating to public works please call 804-501-4393.
About The Henrico Department of Public Works
The Henrico Department of Public Works is responsible for developing, improving, and maintaining an efficient and safe transportation and drainage network for Henrico County. The Department of Public Works is divided into 7 Divisions: Administration, Construction, Design, Engineering and Environmental Services, Road Maintenance, Transportation Development (Capital Projects), and Traffic Engineering. These divisions insure that all engineering, construction, and maintenance work for roads, drainage, transit service, and erosion control follow the acceptable standards achievable with the efficient use of capital expenditures to provide the residents of Henrico County the ability to travel throughout the County in a safe manner and with minimum congestion.
Did you know the Westwood neighborhood was built on the former site of the Westwood Club Golf Course? Current resident, Rich Terrell, recently tracked down a link to the original golf course plans for the Westwood Golf Course. “It’s neat to see where the original holes were laid out”, said Rich. We agree. We wanted to preserve them here as part of our shared history.
Original Course (1926)
Westwood Map (Today)
Map Overlay: What hole did you live on?
Increased traffic in the Westwood Community has brought with it more traffic incidents, and more concerns for pedestrian, bicyclist, and auto safety.
The following are suggestions from the Westwood Traffic Sub-Committee for increasing safety and awareness in our community:
To deter speeding of cars and trucks, bullying of pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars by drivers:
- Keep a pad and pen with you whenever you are out and record the offending automobile’s make and license number, and the date, time, location and nature of the incident
- Take a cell phone photo of the offending auto, making sure to include the license plate, date, time, location and nature of the incident
Report the above to our Westwood Community Police Office, Bob Augustine, of the Henrico County Police Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-833-6474. The more incidents are reported the more a priority our traffic issues will become.
Other helpful suggestions:
- Pedestrians should walk on the left side of our roadways facing traffic
- Watch for vehicles traveling towards you at unsafe speeds/driving erratically
- Consider wearing reflective clothing while walking/biking to increase your visibility
- Refrain from walking on Bremo Road as it has inadequate shouldering and is deemed unsafe
- Observe the 25 mph speed limit when driving in Westwood and refrain from using digital devices or other distractions
- Carry your cell phone whenever you are out and about
Illegal Parking of Items, including vehicles with no or expired registrations, recreational vehicles, boats and trailers, commercial truck tractors and/or trailers, P.O.D.s, and other movable and immovable items parked in a front yard, driveway, at the curb in front of a house, or on the street. Reference Henrico County Code Chapter XXIV, Article V. – R-0, R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-3, R-3A, R-4, and R-4A ONE-FAMILY RESIDENCE DISTRICTS; USES Sec. 24-11. – Principal uses permitted. This is available through the Henrico County website: http://henrico.us/countyattorney/municipalcode.
These, along with vehicles parked too close to a driveway, curb, etc., should also be reported to Officer Bob Augustine of the Henrico County Police Department at email@example.com or 804-833-6474.
Lock Your Car, Your Shed and Your House Doors and Windows.
Call Henrico County Police Non-Emergency number #501-5000 if you see something suspicious.
- If you witness a crime or see a suspicious situation, call #501-5000 for non- person events and #911 for person crimes; please do not be afraid to call the Henrico County Police for they are trained to help you prevent or investigate criminal activity.
- To access Crime Prevention and Personal Safety information and other Henrico County Police Division (HCPD) Community Services programs, see http://henrico.us/police/programs/brochures.
- To access crime alerts directly from HCPD, see http://twitter.com/HenricoPolice.
- To access additional crime-related information directly from HCPD, see http://www.FaceBook.com/HenricoPolice.
- For a free home security assessment by HCPD Community Officer Bob Augustine, contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Personal safety is common sense: if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, you are probably in danger; watch those around you; watch your surroundings; listen to your inner alert system.
- Avoid carrying your purse or attaché case in a way someone could grab it.
- Avoid placing presents or valuables in your vehicle in such a way someone could surveil them for possible thievery.
- Please lock your vehicle, even when you are in it; 85% (or more) of all Larcenies From Automobiles (LFA) in Henrico County are from unlocked vehicles; you can prevent auto theft and LFA.
- When you are home alone, keep your doors locked; do not open your doors for someone you do not know or cannot identify themselves; again, you can prevent a home invasion by not allowing the perpetrator inside your home.
- Although it is a good habit to back your vehicle into your driveway so you are facing forward when entering the street, it is an excellent idea to back into a shopping center parking lot so you can see more clearly when pulling out as you leave.
- With more students on the road during the Holidays Season, traffic becomes more problematic; be patient and remember that younger people are by their nature impatient and careless; go shopping or banking during the in-between hours (9:00-11:00 a.m. or 2:00-4:00 p.m.).
- Be more watchful on the roads of Westwood during the Holidays Season as more people and youth are in the Park and on the roadways; if you walk or jog in Westwood, please stay on the left side of the pavement facing traffic and near the edge of the pavement; if you bicycle, please obey the same rules of the road as vehicles.
- The Westwood Park is a County facility; no vehicles of any kind are allowed in the Park; domesticated animals are supposed to be on a lease at all times in the Park; the hours for the Park are Sunrise to Sunset.