Georgia DOT Considering Changes to Busy Cartersville Intersections
CARTERSVILLE, GA. – According to an online news story from daily-tribune.com, the Georgia Department of Transportation is considering changes to two busy intersections in Cartersville, Georgia. The intersections both cross with Highway 41 and are known for congestion and traffic accidents.*
During a five-year period of time, from 2013 to 2017, almost 60 vehicle crashes occurred at the intersection of Highway 41 and Collins Drive in Cartersville, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. Thirty crashes occurred at the intersection of Zena Drive and Highway 41. Many of these were “angle crashes,” resulting from motorists attempting to cross the highway or turn left.
Not only have the two intersections been identified as sources of traffic crashes, they are also sources of major traffic congestion. Drivers waiting for a large enough gap in traffic to turn can cause significant delays for the motorists behind them.
“During the peak hour at Zena Drive, in particular, you’re spending over 300 seconds [5 minutes], potentially, to turn off the side of the street,” said Georgia DOT Traffic Engineer Christina Barry. “So even if you’re wanting to turn right off the side street, if you get stuck behind somebody who’s wanting to turn left, you could be sitting there for quite a long time.”
To eliminate both of these issues, the Georgia DOT is looking into the possibility of constructing reduced-conflict U-turn (RCUT) intersections at the two areas. The intersections, which would cost about $50,000 to build, require all drivers to first turn right and then make use of a special U-turn area if they want to cross the highway or turn left onto the highway.
“The traditional intersection has 16 crossing conflicts, and those are where your angle crashes typically occur,” Barry said. “The RCUT cuts that down from 16 down to two, so it’s quite a drop.”
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