Yesterday, I showed the current court circuits and the proposed circuits. Both seemed flawed, but it didn't seem fair to critique if I couldn't offer my own solution so I sat down to see if I could work up something better. This is what I came up with (click on pic to get larger version):
Additionally, I tried to make sure each county seat in each circuit connected via the best possible road. Sometimes this was done serially. In other instances it was done radially with each seat being connected inward toward a point. Of course, it was impossible to do this perfectly, but I think I've done it better than either the current situation or the new plan discussed yesterday.
By changing the circuits so that they are small enough to be manageable, I ended up with 26 circuits. This is 5 less than currently extant and 7 more than the proposed plan.
I also fixed two problems with both the current circuit layout and the proposed one. The circuit in which Roanoke/Salem is in is no longer artificially small. There is no reason for Roanoke county and the polities surrounded by it can't be in a circuit with 4 other counties. I also made the entire Greater Richmond Area into a circuit. By doing this 3 polities which are naturally tied into each other are put together. It also allows more common sense groupings of the counties around them.
If the point is to make the best circuits possible, I think this is better than the plan which is being presented to the General Assembly.