Jun 4, 2014 - Edwin H. Amend, RivertonEditor:
Our hearts go out to the parties involved in the May 24 two-car collision at the notoriously dangerous intersection of Highway 789 and Honor Farm Road. They suffer pain, economic loss and extreme inconvenience, all resulting from an accident which would appear to have been totally preventable.
That intersection, as reported in The Ranger, "has been the scene of more than a dozen major traffic accidents in recent years, with some resulting in fatalities."
Along with our sympathy for the victims of those accidents, we express our thanks and appreciation to all the emergency and medical personnel who responded to the accident.
But our feelings are coupled with bewilderment and anger toward the circumstances surrounding the collisions.
How many such terrible accidents must this community suffer before correcting the traffic pattern?
Why can't the intersection be made safe?
Yes, the highway department approached the problem by elevating the roadbed, installing sight-limiting barriers, installing @258;ashing red stop lights and @258;ashing yellow caution lights, and improved lighting for the area.
While these modi@257;cations presumably are well-designed and certainly are well-intentioned, evidently they are insufficient.
What else could be done?
A standard red-yellow-green traffic stoplight, controlling traf@257;c in all four directions, would go a long way toward improving the safety of the intersection. And it would treat all travelers impartially.
Costly? Of course. Everything carries its cost. What is the cost of a deadly accident? How about a dozen accidents?
Here's another solution -- simple, cheap and effective: lower the speed limit.
The highway north of Riverton would be made much safer by extending the existing city 30 mph speed limit northward to Honor Farm Road, establishing a 45 mph speed limit from Honor Farm Road, establishing a 45 mph speed limit northward to Young Road, (just north of Burma road) and northward from there assuming the present highway speed limit of 65 mph.
This would add about three minutes to the trip north out of Riverton. How many minutes does a deadly accident add?
Think about it. Surely, we don't need any more tragic accidents at the already infamous intersection of Highway 789 and Honor Farm Road.
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