Thursday I told you about Locke White, a Montgomery County resident who lives just outside Blacksburg. For seven years, intermittently, he’s begged officials to lower the speed limit on Deercroft Drive.The twisting, narrow, sidewalk-free road’s loaded with blind curves and is currently posted at 35 mph. The problem, White says, is that when drivers get to the flatter and straighter stretch he lives on, many of them open it up closer to 50.
Guess what? He’s not the only reader concerned with speed in his neighborhood. Which means it’s time for the June reader mailbag.
Another is Gina Stanley of southwest Roanoke. She’s concerned about speeds traveled by drivers on a section of Persinger Road.
The segment in question connects Colonial and Brambleton avenues. Like White’s street, that portion of Persinger sports no sidewalks and is used as a cut-through. Though it’s already posted at 25 mph, drivers frequently go much faster.
“I have been trying for 8 years to get the city to do something about the speeders,” Stanley wrote. “It falls on deaf ears. They know the residential road is a major cut through, with speed tests having been done, they are well aware and do nothing. (The average recorded speed is 40 in a 25.)”
“Persinger is getting all the potholes filled this week and that will make it worse,” she wrote last week. “This sure has given me a new fresh idea to try. So, thank you!”
Courtney Bosworth of Montgomery County urged me to look into “unofficial” speed limits in Montgomery County neighborhoods that aren’t quite as swank as Deercroft Drive.
“I live in a middle class area just outside Christiansburg town limits off of Peppers Ferry where there is hardly a posted speed limit to follow. The neighborhood is not large consisting of three dead end streets. The main street is long enough for drivers to get up a good speed. Even the school bus speeds through the neighborhood.
“My point is that it really doesn’t matter what the posted speed limit is in a neighborhood if nobody is enforcing it. Even out on Peppers Ferry is a nightmare,” Bosworth wrote. “The one direction, heading into Christiansburg has a nice turn lane on the right so cars turning onto Rolling Hills Drive can get off of Peppers Ferry. The other direction is a nightmare though.
“Coming from Christiansburg, cars head up over a hill and then drop down the hill when you get to Rolling Hills Drive. I put my turn signal on about 1,000 feet before the actual turn simply to let cars behind me know I will be making a turn soon. Because nobody, and I mean not the Montgomery County Sheriff Office or Christiansburg Police Department, enforces the speed limit on Peppers Ferry with any type of regularity.”
Another reader I heard from was Jude Donato, who used to lived in the Edgehill neighborhood of south Roanoke. I wrote about neighbors’ concerns about a May 15 brush fire in a gully that serves as an Appalachian Power Co. power line right of way. It’s between the back yards of homes on Three Chop Lane and Heatherton Road.
“Interestingly, there was a [different] power line fire in my parents back yard on May 5, 2021 when I was visiting my parents house,” he wrote.
“The power pole is located in the tri-intersection of Alton [Road], Heatherton, and Coventry Lane. A tree branch had leaned into the power or phone line and was sparking continuously. I noticed this at 07:30 a.m. and notified AEP at 7:35.
“My Father, Tony, took videos and pictures on his phone. Around 10 a.m. the sparking/arcing was still going on. My dad called the fire department because sparks were showering the ground. The fire department watched as a right-of-way crew cut the tree. Fortunately, no big fire, power and cable was restored later that day.”
Donato has also set up security cameras aimed at his folks’ home, which he can monitor on his phone from anywhere. But those suddenly stopped working after May 15. He figures it was the repair job in the gully behind Heatherton where the line late caught fire from a falling tree branch.
Yet another reader I heard from is a lawyer who lives in Roanoke County, Ryan Pry. He responded to the May 19 column on Robert Bersch, a lawyer who retired in December at the young age of 85.
“Just wanted to let you know that there are others like myself who try to fill the very need that you spoke of across the Roanoke Valley and beyond. But we aren’t always as well known,” Pry wrote.
“My own estate planning practice is based from my office in Radford, But I live in Roanoke County (my wife teaches at Glenvar High School), and I frequently make free house calls throughout the area.
“Unfortunately, people sometimes see the Radford address and don’t bother to call from Roanoke.”
Pry specializes in wills, estates and trusts, and he practices some aspects of business law as well. His website is prylawoffice.com and he adds, “am happy to help if anyone needs a will and is unable to leave their home, throughout the entire area of your readership.”