Nelson Co. Residents Hope Petition Will Slow Traffic on Route 151

Nellsyford, VA - A group of folks who live in Nelson County are circulating a petition to lower the speed limit on much of Route 151.

A lot has changed in that area. They say wineries, breweries and museums are attracting more tourists to the busy thoroughfare and they hope this petition will encourage VDOT to take action.

When Peter Agelasto opened the Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History museum this summer, he realized something had to be done.

"This is stated by VDOT to be the second most dangerous intersection in Nelson County," Agelasto said, pointing to the intersection of Route 627 and 151.

He started a grassroots effort asking VDOT to improve several blind intersections, add deceleration lanes, and lower the speed limit along a growing stretch of Route 151.

"What this is all about is getting the attention of our delegates, getting the attention of VDOT, getting the attention of the government," Agelasto explained of his decision to start a petition.

It asks for a maximum speed limit of 45 miles per hour from Route 664 to Route 250 and lowering the speed limit for the village of Nellysford to 35 miles per hour.

In 2008, VDOT lowered the speed limit after five traffic fatalities the previous year and the Nelson County Sheriff's Office beefed up patrols.

Ed Misker says slowing down traffic even more won't make the road any safer.

"I don't think they need to lower the speed limit. They just need to put in more turning lanes," he said.

But Agelasto says there have been at least two deaths this year and he hopes his petition will prevent even more.

"We don't want to kill somebody or have some tragedy just to get their attention," he added.

Agelasto hopes to have at least 1,000 signatures by the beginning of next year. He's placed several of the yellow petitions at businesses along Route 151 and the Nellysford Post office.