Updated speed limit sign on Falconbridge Drive
photo Emma Ford

With the new school year settling in, many noticeable changes have occurred at Godwin. One of those changes affects how some students commute to school, leaving students to find different, longer ways to get on campus safely.

The crosswalk that many used to cross Pump Rd. is no longer in existence. Right before the summer ended, Henrico County Public Works paved a nearly two-mile section of Pump Road between Crowncrest Drive and Gayton Road, passing by Godwin and eliminating the once heavily-used crosswalk.

At times, the crossing had been beneficial. Parents waited on Old Prescott Rd. to pick up students instead of waiting in the senior parking lot. Nonetheless, this would backup traffic on nearby Pump Rd., inadvertently triggering potential accidents in front of the school.

Many concerns arose that students were at risk of being struck by a vehicle while walking across four lanes of traffic, making school officials wary about students maneuvering it.

Godwin principal Leigh Dunavant said, “There is no plan for Henrico County Public Works to reline the crosswalk because it does not follow traffic engineering regulations.”

Junior Lindsay Schwartzkopf lives near Old Prescott Rd. and finds it frustrating that it has been removed, but understands the county’s decision to do so.

“The crosswalk is how I get to school every day, and I don’t appreciate walking 15 minutes extra all the way to the light and back every morning and afternoon. That being said, the Godwin staff has made it clear that students can cross Pump Road at their own risk,” she said.

As students continue to adjust to the removal of the crosswalk, they are advised to walk to the intersection of Ridgefield Parkway and Pump Rd. to cross. If parents wish to pick up students, they are advised to use the front loop for drop-off in the morning and the senior parking lot for afternoon pick-up.

Another change affecting students’ commute is the recent lowering of the speed limit on Falconbridge Drive in the Raintree subdivision. It may no longer be a shortcut for many to avoid the chronic backup on Pump Road.

Sometime during the second week of September, Henrico County lowered the speed limit on Falconbridge from 35 to 25 miles per hour, surprising many who used the road to shorten their commute to school. Many students reported they would easily speed down the road, causing a long-time concern for residents on Falconbridge.

Senior Emily Key said, “It was a quick route to school for me, and although it is frustrating, I guess it will encourage people to slow down while driving to school.”

Because of notorious delays on Pump Road while trying to get to Godwin, Falconbridge Drive was the detour route for many trying to arrive on time. At times, it would shorten a commute by fifteen minutes.

With these changes, students will once again have to acclimate to different routines and find new ways to commute to school.

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©2018 Eagles' Eyrie - the school newspaper for Mills E. Godwin High School in Henrico, VA

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