Left turns dangerous

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 11, 2002

Take a left turn onto Third or Stanley from East Three Notch, and take your life into your own hands. Cars waiting on the inside lane block the view of cars coming up in the outside lanes, and those turning left must rely on luck and timing to make it through safely. Luck and timing are not often a driver's friends, as the recent accidents at that intersection have proven.

Two traffic lights hang over the intersection. One needs to have a left turn only, and that inside lane needs to be designated "turn on arrow only."

Third leads directly to Andalusia High School, which means many of the drivers taking that turn have teens in the car with them, or are teens themselves, with a teenager's impatience and inexperience behind the wheel. Fortunately, the low speed limit - when observed by drivers – compensates somewhat for the blind curve and blind spot under the light, and few injuries have resulted in the accidents. But the odds are climbing

There are several places in Andalusia where driving can be hazardous - the Square, and the five-way intersection on Dunson, to name two, but both of these areas are rarely the scenes of collision since their very formation inhibits excessive speed.

When a city begins to grow from its pre-automobile origins, traffic patterns that were adequate for a few hundred people in wagons do not serve several thousand people in vehicles. For the most part, Andalusia has done a good job anticipating this growth and countering traffic snarls with the addition of the Bypass. Little can be done with the older parts of the city, short of razing buildings and starting over – hardly desirable or economical - but when something can be done to rectify a problem, it should be done.

We ask the city to protect its drivers. There are some factors that the city has little control over - reckless drivers, bad weather, poor judgment - but this is a problem the city can solve.