March 12, 2009

MoDOT Installs New Flashing Lights at Dangerous Intersection

In an effort to draw more attention to the existing traffic signs at the intersections of Route A and Route H at Highway 136 just south of Arbela, the Missouri Department of Transportation has installed new traffic lights.

Flashing red lights have been installed atop the stop signs on Route H and Route A.

These improvements were made following MoDOT’s recent review of accident patterns at the intersections.

MoDOT area engineer Jennifer Hinson indicated the two new traffic lights were put in place January 21st.

She indicated MoDOT typically reviews five-year traffic reports for intersections, looking for patterns related to crash causes.

The most recent review of this intersection revealed a pattern of accidents being caused by driver’s failing to stop at the stop signs.

MoDOT had previously reviewed the intersections in question and had made adjustments such as installing larger stop signs and also installing “stop ahead” signs warning drivers they were nearing an intersection and a stop sign.

Hinson indicated the flashing red lights are not a common fix utilized by MoDOT but the latest traffic patterns indicated the need for further traffic control at the intesection. She noted that the highway department considered installing “rumble strips” in the road surface to warn motorists they were nearing an intersection. However the proximity of neighboring residences had led MoDOT to install the warning lights instead, fearing the rumble strips would have created a noise nuisance for the neighbors.

Currently the warning lights are activated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The system is solar powered. Hinson stated MoDOT will continue to review the situation. One possible upgrade in the future could be an electronic “loop” installed in the roadway, which would trigger the flashing lights when an approaching vehicle crosses the loop.

Former Arbela Mayor Dick Stevenson praised the installation of the new warning lights. Stevenson stated he had been pursuing the intersection improvements for nearly 30 years.

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