No More Delays Regarding Deadly Intersection in Summit
Friday, August 27, 2010 • 11:02am
The residents living at and around the "Island" intersection where Ashland Road, Pine Grove, Mountain Ave, Devon Road and Plymouth Road all come together have known for years it's not a question of if someone would be killed there, but a question of when. Tragically, that question was answered for us on the morning of September 28th when a Summit resident, who was out walking her dog, was struck and killed by a car.
Having lived at this intersection for the last 14 years, I, along with my neighbors, have continually lobbied the city to fix what we all knew was a fatal accident waiting to happen. Several years ago, out of total frustration with the city's and county's inability to find a workable solution, we got together to propose our own solution - simply altering the flow of traffic around the intersection by squaring off the roads, reducing the speed limit and installing stop signs. The city chose to adopt only about 25% of our solution - modifying only one of the turns off of Ashland Road onto Mountain Ave, by turning into about a 65 degree turn, from about 30 degrees, along with moving the crosswalk. Despite additional pleas from the residents, they chose not to address the most dangerous part of the intersection - the exact spot where Monday's accident occurred.
Serious accidents are usually the result of a series of seemingly innocuous variables - minor mistakes, oversights or actions that, when they occur in a certain precise sequence, result in severe injury or death. Monday's tragedy was just that -- the result of a series of unfortunate variables coming together at just the wrong moment. And, it's important to note the driver of the car in Monday's tragedy had just come off the turn that was only partially modified several years ago.
At this intersection, there are several, now proven to be lethal, variables present - pedestrians (many children), tempting shortcuts, five roads converging, road designs that induce even responsible drivers to exceed the speed limit and tempt those who are inclined to dangerously exceed it, direct sunlight and the inability to effectively police it due to sharp converging angles.
Not all of these variables will be part of a traffic engineer's mathematical calculations and we will never be able to eliminate all of them. But, it is the responsibility of city and county officials to know, understand and minimize these variables by managing those within its control - specifically road design, layout and speed.
The residents will not accept any more excuses or delays.