Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

November 7, 2013

OUR VIEW: Precautions and solutions needed for Hoosier Heartland intersections

(Continued)

So, what’s the fix here? Well, we aren’t traffic engineers so we don’t claim to have all the answers. Ideally though, the intersections would be tore up and reconfigured to better accommodate traffic flow. That’s not only unrealistic but incredibly expensive and terribly inconvenient.

From our point of view — having driven the intersections several times to get a better understanding of the problems Logansport commuters have been very vocal about — we believe a much more realistic solution would be the addition of traffic lights.

At shift change, traffic backs up on the access roads. With things moving so slowly and so much ground to cover through the intersection, drivers are taking risks they normally wouldn’t just to get through. Traffic lights would produce more controlled and safer traffic flow.

What options should be implemented, if any, will be part of a traffic study that INDOT representatives tell us will be down the road. It could be a few weeks or a month or so, they say. Before jumping into changes, they say, they want to allow motorists to adjust to the new traffic flow and then see what changes are needed.

We know the changes won’t come overnight or even in a timely fashion — we understand these things take time — but we are encouraged to hear that additional precautions are being taken in the immediate future.

INDOT tells us that additional signage on the access roads between the two intersections will be up soon. The “Stop Ahead” signs will help alert drivers unfamiliar with the road that they are on an access road, not an on ramp.

That signage will alleviate part of the problem with the roads’ configuration. The access roads have the look and feel of an on ramp, meaning drivers are hitting the gas in their approach to an easy merge that doesn’t exist.

We’ve already reported on a number of accidents at the Burlington intersection, and we’re afraid we’ll be doing the same thing when the Ind. 29 intersection is completed. We find ourselves holding our breath because we see a major accident coming.

Though we’re encouraged by the impending signage, we urge INDOT officials not to lose sight of the need for long-term solutions.

 

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