ALDOT study is good news

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In the newsroom at The Star-News, we sort hold our breathe when we hear rescue personnel dispatched to Hwy. 137, so we can only imagine how first responders who get those calls must feel.

That’s why we are pleased to hear that the Alabama Department of Transportation is conducting a traffic study to determine if a caution light or other safety devices might be needed on the lonely highway populated by beach traffic.

The issue came up after the recent deaths of three sisters in an accident at the intersection of Ala. Hwy. 137 and County Road 4. Jay Spicer, assistant chief of Wing’s Volunteer Fire Department, estimated there have been eight fatal wrecks there in the past two decades.

Spokesman Tony Harris said ALDOT has already begun a safety review of that location as a result of the most recent wreck. The study will take several weeks, and will examine traffic volume and crash history. Based on the results, ALDOT will determine if traffic control changes are needed, he said. Federal criteria governing traffic control at intersections also will have bearing on the final decision, he said.

If it is not determined that a caution light is needed, warning signage, rumble stripes and other improvements might be needed, he said.

ALDOT’s statement came a day after Wing residents organized a June 28 meeting to seek a caution light at the intersection.

If it saved even one life, it would be a great thing.