- Community Engagement
- Community Meetings
Request a Community Meeting
The Town of Ashland welcomes all opportunities to meet in person with residents and business owners to discuss any areas of concern, answer questions, or simply build stronger relationships.
Town staff and members of Town Council are available for annual, quarterly, and/or topic-specific meetings with all of Ashland's neighborhoods, homeowners associations, and community groups. If your neighborhood or group would like to schedule a community meeting with staff and members of Council, please contact Martha J. Miller, Community Engagement Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 798-9219.
Community Meeting Notes
Below are questions and follow-up actions from recent community meetings.
- 2/27/23: Could the Town evaluate adding speed limit signs to Berkley Street to assist with reducing speed?
The Town’s Public Works Department will evaluate the current number and location of signs along Berkley Street as well as review additional opportunities to reduce vehicular speeds in the area.
Follow Up: After the meeting public works staff evaluated the speeding concerns on Berkley Street and will add a 25 MPH speed limit sign in the eastbound direction. 25 MPH will also be painted in white letters on the roadway in each direction.
- 2/27/23: Community members brought up concerns about neighborhood interactions with disrespectful College students.
Chief Aronhalt shared that he currently meets with R-MC sports teams at the beginning of the school year to address being a good neighbor. He also shared the good relationship the Town has with College personnel, and more importantly the various landlords who rent to College students in the neighborhood. Staff reiterated that it is important to call immediately when something happens so the issue can be addressed in the moment rather than after the fact.
- 2/27/23: Specific car is racing/speeding/drifting throughout the neighborhood.
APD staff took notes and will attempt to locate and advise the individual of a need to change behavior.
Follow Up: Due to concerns conveyed at the meeting, officers were instructed to engage in directed enforcement to curb speeding complaints and vehicles with excessive noise emanating from their exhaust. Ashland officers committed 13 hours 40 minutes to this project. As a result, officers stopped seven vehicles. During the meeting there was also concern over a vehicle with excessive loud exhaust. An officer was familiar with a vehicle that matched the description. On March 19, 2023, the vehicle was located on England Street and issued two citations for the exhaust and expired inspection. We will continue to maintain a presence in the area.
- 2/27/23: Why was the new Gandy designed so that the bus loop enters and exits off of Henry Street? Also raised a concern about how construction traffic could negatively impact the neighborhood.
Staff did their best to explain the County hoped to separate parent vehicles picking up children from the bus traffic. Currently, construction traffic is using Archie Cannon Road which has significantly limited any negative community impacts. The Town Manager will reach out to the HCPS administration staff to further inquire about construction management and neighborhood impacts for future phases of the project.
Follow Up: The Town Council considered the Conditional Use Permit for the new elementary school on March 15, 2022. Location of the bus loop was briefly discussed at in the recording at this link.
For more detailed information residents should reach out to Ed Buzzelli, Facilities Director, with Hanover County Public Schools. email@example.com.
- 2/28/23: What can be done about traffic and speeding on the Street?
Community members expressed concern at both the volume of traffic (I-95 overflow, summer/weekend travel, and “rush hour” traffic) as well as consistent speeding on Jamestown Road. Police Department staff shared that during I-95 and Rte 1 backups they try to station officers at Jamestown Road to limit use of the road and reduce speeds on the road. They have gone so far as to drop “police reported ahead” pins on Waze and Google Maps as well as driving very slowly down the road to reduce the noted speed the GPS algorithm’s are seeing in traffic. Police staff also asked residents assistance in identifying areas where they can park to run radar to reduce speeds. Several locations were identified. Some residents also shared concerns that police are targeting community members rather than out of towners, and police staff reiterated that they don’t target anyone except those violating the law…in this case speeders.
The Town Manager also shared that Henrico County has installed signs saying something similar to, “Please ignore your GPS. This is not a cut through Street”. He instructed the Public Works Director to find out more about these signs and evaluate whether they would be appropriate to add at Jamestown Road. He also made clear that while these signs may modify some behavior, they are not legally enforceable. Residents can expect to see an increased police presence in the weeks and months to come based upon feedback received at this meeting.
Follow Up: Public Works investigated options and will install a large sign southbound stating to Ignore GPS and that there is no left turn for thru traffic onto Jamestown Road. Sign is not a typical sign and needs to be specifically fabricated. Staff will install once complete.
As statistical backup to these statements regarding targeting of Jamestown residents Chief Aronhalt shared the following information to be shared with Jamestown residents.
2022 98 summonses written 0 summons issued to residents.
2023 10 summonses written 0 summonses issued to residents.
In 2022 we issued summonses to Ashland residents on Jamestown, but none had their residential address on Jamestown. One individual had a post office box in Ashland. It is possible they could reside on Jamestown. As a result, this is a perception and not a reality.
- 2/28/23: Community members asked about speed bumps as a means to reduce speed and frustrate cut through traffic.
The Town Manager and Public Works Director shared history on a similar request 10-15 years ago where temporary speed bumps were installed and subsequently removed because neighbors were very unhappy having to regularly navigate the bumps as well as the nuisance of the sound associated with cars going over the bumps and subsequently accelerating. Even with this prior history the Town Manager instructed the Public Works Director to review Jamestown Road considering the Town’s traffic calming program to evaluate what additional measures, to include speed bumps, could be implemented to reduce speeds and deter overflow traffic. By a show of hands approximately 50-60% of the individuals in the room were in favor of installing speed bumps.
Follow Up: The Town Public Works Department did a field review and they will have a double yellow line striped down the middle of the roadway to keep drivers on their side of the road and help slow down traffic speeds. Staff will also make sure the road is adequately signed for 25 MPH and re-apply the 25 MPH painted in several locations on the roadway. These activities are early stage solutions in the Town’s traffic calming program.
- 2/28/23: Community members asked about the installation of a traffic light at Rte. 1 and Jamestown Road.
The Town Manager indicated that a light has been considered, but is a long ways off from being warranted at this time. He shared that it is more likely a light will be installed at Archie Cannon Road and Rte. 1 in the relatively near future. The Public Works Director talked about traffic signal warrants, which are the set of requirements that should be met to install a traffic light. He indicated traffic volumes and accident thresholds have not been met at the location and based on current traffic volumes and patterns he did not expect them to be met soon. The Town Manager asked the Public Works Director to research if there is a waiver process to the warrants needed for a signal.
Follow Up: Public Works indicates traffic signals should only be installed when meeting nationally recognized traffic warrants, which there are 9. Problems created by an unwarranted signal include excessive delay, increased rerouting of traffic to less appropriate roads or intersections, higher crash rates and disobedience of the traffic signal. The warrants that apply to this type of intersection are the ones dealing with traffic volumes, accident history, and pedestrian volumes. None of those warrants are currently met to install a traffic signal at that intersection. We will monitor the intersection to see when it is warranted and with keeping in mind that we would need to budget for around $500,000.00 at today’s costs.
- 2/28/23: Community members asked about paving of Jamestown Road and implied that the lack of paving of the street could be due to discrimination.
Mr. Jennings shared the history of paving on the road (last done in 2011) and surrounding roads. He also shared that paving of roads is based upon a combination of planned paving of roads every 10-15 years combined with annual evaluation of the condition of various roads done by VDOT and Town staff. He indicated the next paving of Jamestown Road was scheduled for a few years from now. The Town Manager indicated he would work with the Public Works Director and Town Council through FY24 budget process to move paving of Jamestown Road up the priority list.
Follow Up: While the road is still in good condition and not in immediate need of repaving staff have moved another road down the priority list and Jamestown Road up the list so that paving will occur in this fiscal year (that means it will be done by June 30, 2023.) This repaving will occur along the entire length of Jamestown Road.
- 2/28/23: Community members asked about the possible installation of sidewalks along Jamestown Road.
The Town Manager and Public Works Director shared that this was a topic of conversation in 2011 as well, and that Town Council had gone so far as to budget to construct sidewalks. As part of planning for that project the Town surveyed members of the community about whether they wanted sidewalks in their community and whether they would be willing to donate/work with the Town to provide the necessary right of way (ROW) to construct the sidewalk. Due to the historic development of Jamestown Road there is insufficient ROW to build a five foot sidewalk which would necessitate working with the neighbors. Based on survey results and a perceived lack of willingness of neighbors to work with the Town to provide ROW the sidewalk project was abandoned at that time. Town staff indicated they would welcome the opportunity to budget and construct a sidewalk in the neighborhood, but it would require a very significant amount of cooperation by the neighborhood to address the ROW issue.
Follow Up: Jamestown Road is still not on the sidewalk priority list based on history. If residents would like to get a sidewalk on the list Town staff request that a group of neighborhood citizens agree to work with the Town on location, need, and siting of a future sidewalk. Please reach out to Martha Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer.
Beyond a sidewalk the Town’s contractor will widen Jamestown to the greatest extent possible while paving. Unfortunately, due to limited right of way this will likely only gain an additional six inches.