|07-02-2006, 03:42 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
Big Ben's intersection.
I'm not a big PFT fan, but generally look in on what the pig can snoot out, but I did find that amusing.
During our comments, I said that looked like a seriously dangerous intersection. PFT might be innards lined with well, enjoy your brauts and laugh at Usama, but I could see inherent problems in that intersection the day of the accident.
"I'm not making excuses for either party because it could have happened to anyone, including me, at the very same place, the intersection of Second Avenue at the Armstrong Tunnel and 10th Street Bridge.
I speak from experience. Over the past 35 years, I figure, I've driven home from the office that way about 8,000 times in the same direction as Big Ben was headed when the car cut in front of him. Screech! Smash! I've come upon dozens of crashes and witnessed scores of close calls there.
It is an old-style, free-for-all intersection with no left-turn standby lanes, not atypical of numerous other dangerous intersections in a city where streets laid out long ago are restricted physically, lack safety upgrades and are often geometrically convoluted.
At the Second Avenue intersection, left turns can be made from any direction, all from the "fast" lane, which doubles as the through lane. Sight distance is limited emerging from the tunnel. A low-slung Parkway East exit ramp and eastbound lanes pass overhead, restricting natural light and placement of traffic signals and signs.
Going south through the tunnel, there's no-left-turn arrow on the traffic signal or "Left Turn Yield on Green" sign, but drivers encounter both on the opposite side, coming north over the 10th Street Bridge.
Going east on Second Avenue, there's no-left-turn arrow on the traffic signal or "Left Turn Yield on Green" sign, but drivers encounter both on the opposite side, coming west on Second Avenue.
It's easy to see why mistakes are made and accidents happen, especially in a city known for the "Pittsburgh left" by jerks cutting in front of oncoming traffic or making the turn after a yellow light has turned red.
Years ago, before budget problems began to mount, the city assigned a traffic cop to the Second Avenue-Armstrong Tunnel intersection during morning and afternoon rush hours.
Those days are gone.
Lax traffic law enforcement today is a consequence of police downsizing, priorities and unwritten policy. Running red lights and speeding are routinely ignored. (Another woman was run down on Liberty Avenue Raceway through the Strip District last week.)
Pittsburgh's Department of Engineering and Construction has been more than halved. Two years ago, it was rolled into the Public Works Department. A few months before, the last traffic engineer on the city payroll was given a pink slip.
It's no wonder that getting around hasn't gotten any easier, any safer or kept pace with modern traffic practices.
It's also no wonder why out-of-towners and occasional visitors get confused, dread driving in the city or simply stay away.
The fundamental problem extends beyond Pittsburgh city limits.
"Working in the Moon Township/Robinson area, I see this all the time as drivers push the lights or don't seem to know they must stop," Todd Prince, of Brighton, said in an e-mail. "The signals seem never to have been updated for traffic growth over the past 10 years. Don't get me started about the lack of left-turn signals on the Route 60 ramp from the Pointe at North Fayette or getting off the southbound ramps to go to The Mall at Robinson."
I've said it many times, many ways over the years: PennDOT can spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year making physical changes to increase safety, but until it spends tens of millions to upgrade traffic signals for safety and efficiency, we're spinning our wheels.
Highway research statistics show more than 50 percent of all crashes causing deaths (23 percent) and injuries occur at intersections."
|07-02-2006, 03:58 PM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
Here is what they did in our town.
There only needs to be three turn arrows in town. They spent millions of dollars to make the road into a TWO lane with a confusing turn lane. They managed to double the work load of the street by spending millions. The funniest thing is the turn lane is wider than either of the lanes. They didn't even make a bycycle lane. I couldn't believe it.
The city needed a turn light at the intersection of two highways, one at the mall, (which still doesn't exist), and one down by the City Pool which is next to a Highway. One more could be put at main and another at the new HyVee area. 5 stop signs. Now, one car comes up at an intersection and I wind up behind 8 cars! All they had to do was put in some turn arrows. That's progress? Turning a 4 lane into a two lane? They just needed 3 or 4 turn lane arrows. They have several lights that are so absurd it's pathetic.
Want to know what else is funny? Streets here have no right of way. There isn't even a yield. Kids have blown by me on the left that have no clue what right of way means. I'm amazed. You make a 4 lane into a two lane, don't put in yield signs, and don't even put even Yield signs.