Rolling Road residents aim to curb speeding

Heavy traffic has been a fact of life on Bill Dameron’s street since the 1980s.

That’s when the city of Manassas extended Rolling Road, turning it into a shortcut between Sudley Road and Ashton Avenue.

But last month, Dameron, who has lived on the street for more than 20 years, got fed up. A car hit his son’s pickup truck, parked in front of the house, the third such accident in only a few months. Now, Dameron is leading a group of residents asking the city to take action against the problem.

“These people are speeding through our neighborhood,” he said. “This is dangerous for everyone living on Rolling Road, especially for our children.”

Monday night, Dameron presented the Manassas City Council a petition with the signatures of 28 of the 32 homeowners living on the street between Ashton Avenue and Country Lane. The petition asks the council to pass measures to calm traffic on the streets.

City Manager Lawrence Hughes says a city staff committee will go over different ways to slow down traffic, such as speed bumps. And yet many options would be difficult to implement, since Rolling Road is a major route for emergency vehicles coming in and out of Prince William Hospital.

One possibility, Hughes said, might be to turn the street into a special zone where drivers would have to pay $200 fines if caught speeding. Such areas already exist in the city on parts of Richmond Avenue, Clover Hill Road, Quarry Road and Stonewall Road.

Traffic density and the speeding that comes with it has been a growing problem in Northern Virginia as the region’s population continues to skyrocket. It’s something Hughes has experienced himself.

“If I could put a speed trap in front of my house, I could balance the budget,” he said.

Complaints of speeding on Rolling Road have caused the Manassas Police Department to implement stepped up traffic enforcement almost monthly, said Chief John Skinner.

Relief from traffic problems on Rolling Road would come none too soon for Beverly Nitkowski, a resident on the street since July 2000, who says she must dodge speeding cars while walking her aging dog. She worries that a child or family pet will someday be killed.

“I don’t want to see a wreath or a bouquet of flowers sitting on the side of the road near my house,” she said.

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