Letter to the Editor: VDOT’S Route 675 restrictions ill conceived
The Virginia Department of Transportation recently placed length restrictions on Route 675 over Edinburg Gap: “no vehicles over 30 feet.”
The broad restriction has the following effect on motorists: no vehicle over 30 feet may be operated anywhere on Route 675, regardless of whether it is going over the mountain or not. Those living on Route 675 who own a 31-foot vehicle are now locked in, or out, as the case may be.
Those hauling ATVs to the U.S. Forestry Service ATV camps may now be prohibited from doing so depending on trailer length. After purchasing their ATV permits in Edinburg, they may find they have to risk breaking the law to get to the recreational area 5 miles away. They can’t drive 40 miles around because it is illegal from either side of the ATV area to use Route 675 if you are over 30 feet.
The county school bus may be too long to legally use the roadway to transport children living on Route 675 or Fort Valley.
Fort Valley residents who operate a vehicle that is over 30 feet no longer have access to the services and businesses located within Shenandoah County and are forced to exit the valley into neighboring counties for those services.
The restrictions have been posted in a manner that is not noticeable to most vehicle operators. There was no proposal or public comment period that I am aware of prior to these restrictions being put in place.
It should be obvious to most that the wording of the restriction and the impact to even local entities is ill conceived and has been poorly implemented. For example, the daycare center at Kings Crossing can no longer legally operate an over 30 foot vehicle the 50 feet on Route 675 required to get to the Fort Valley Road intersection at Kings Crossing.
Time will tell what other implications will arise from this VDOT blunder, such as Shenandoah County fuel delivery vehicles and other services or deliveries that no longer will service Fort Valley residents due to these length restrictions.
Tracy Ingram, Fort Valley
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