People living on Melrose Road share safety concerns

People living on Melrose Road in Rockingham County are sharing safety concerns about the road...
People living on Melrose Road in Rockingham County are sharing safety concerns about the road after a deadly crash there over the weekend. A man from Broadway was killed in a crash on the road on Saturday but unfortunately, some people living along the road say crashes are nothing new.(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:34 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - People living on Melrose Road in Rockingham County are sharing safety concerns about the road after a deadly crash there over the weekend. A man from Broadway was killed in a crash on the road on Saturday but unfortunately, some people living along the road say crashes are nothing new.

“I’ve had people actually pass me on this road and that’s just not necessary. So I think mostly it’s speed and inattention. So many people come down the road off the hill and accelerate going down there,” said Steve Eckard who has lived on Melrose Road for 73 years.

The crash on Saturday happened right outside Eckard’s home.

“Two motorcycles came around this turn and whether it was speed or inattention I have no idea but the one on this side just swerved out a little bit too far and it was just crazy how that vehicle happened to be there. I don’t think either one of them had any time to react,” said Eckard.

Eckard said he’s seen his fair share of crashes on the road over the years.

“I’ve seen a car flip right down there, right after it happened. I’ve seen one go down over the bank and hit a car next door. My mailbox has been knocked off, and numerous people have gone through my neighbor Gary’s fence. I don’t know how many times to count, I think he’s just used to it,” said Eckard.

Lane Turner owns a farm on Melrose Road and shares many of Eckard’s concerns, he said that his neighbor was recently hit when pulling out of her driveway.

“Somebody rear-ended her, she was sitting on Melrose Road and somebody came out and hit her. Then there was an accident about two weeks ago right there at that intersection and one of the cars actually flipped over on its side. So I think that is an area that needs to be addressed,” said Turner.

Another concern for Turner and others is the road’s intersection with Route 11.

“There are trees that come out too close to the road and you really don’t have enough sight distance unless you pull almost down into Route 11 and with farm equipment when I come in there with the front end loader on the tractor it’s really dangerous because I really can’t see unless I almost have the front end loader out in the road,” said Turner.

Fortunately, VDOT traffic data indicates only one reportable crash involving a vehicle coming from Melrose onto Route 11 in the last seven years. Most crashes have occurred farther back on the road.

VDOT said that earlier this year chevrons were installed on the second curve on Melrose heading west off Route 11.

Another person living on the road who wished to remain anonymous said that the high-speed limit of 55 MPH on the road makes it especially dangerous. The high speed combined with the curves is something Eckard has to take into account each time he pulls out of his driveway.

“There’s kind of a blindspot. I can come up here and see nothing but if I go a little bit further and there’s a vehicle there I didn’t see it. So I gotta be real careful especially if they’re going fast,” said Eckard.

One safety improvement that people say they’d like to see is the addition of speed limit signs along the road and a center line down its entirety.

“I think it might at least get people’s attention a little bit more because I travel on Buffalo Drive over there on the other side of 11 and I think those vehicles are closer than here, probably not, but there’s a double line there. I’d like to see that,” said Eckard.