The Town of Middleburg is set to more closely monitor drivers’ speeds as they enter town.
The Town Council on Thursday voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of a $3,420 solar-powered radar speed sign and two electronic message boards for $22,375 from All Traffic Solutions.
Police Chief A.J. Panebianco said the radar speed sign will be permanently set up on the east end of town on the shoulder of Rt. 50’s westbound lane to show drivers their speeds as they enter town. It will blink when drivers are speeding to grab their attention and encourage them to slow down. The sign will also allow the town to collect data of each vehicle that passes by for future targeted enforcement. The town will spend $2,195 on the display and another $1,200 on accompanying accessories.
The town already operates a battery-powered radar speed sign, which is portable and is deployed at various times in different locations around town.
The electronic message boards will feature three lines for the town to customize messages and graphics with up to six scrolling screens and the ability to save and schedule messages. They will be on trailers that are compact enough to fit on the shoulders of narrow roads, “but big enough to make an impact,” according to Panebianco’s report.
They’ll be used for town events, road closures, traffic routing and to inform residents of various town announcements, such as garbage collection interruptions and water flushing. The town will spend $12,500 for the two displays, $6,400 for both trailers and another few thousand for accessories.
Panebianco said the town would deploy the boards only when the use will be helpful. “We don’t want them to be ignored because they are always out,” he said.
He said that while the message boards will take about eight weeks to be delivered to the town, the speed sign should be there much sooner.
Aside from those new purchases, the town this year also was successful in lobbying VDOT to install two “Do Not Enter” signs with flashing lights along Rt. 50 near the Zulla Road intersection to deter drivers from mistakenly turning into oncoming, eastbound traffic.
Panebianco said that according to VDOT, those signs are the only ones of their kind in all of Virginia.
“It will save lives,” he said. “It may be one of the things in my career that I’m most proud of.”