Speed Limit Adjustments and Road Project Priorities Produce Results
In May, The City changed certain speed limits to facilitate better traffic movement while maintaining safety on local streets. The results have been a drastic decrease in speeding tickets while the accident rate has remained relatively unchanged.
The number of speeding tickets issued from May to December in 2008 was 1,913. The number of tickets written this year for that same time period is 728. That is a 62% decrease that is attributable to the adjusted speed limits. While the accident rate for the same period of time last year is up 8%, the overall amount of traffic on our roads is up 10%. The increase in accidents is in direct correlation to the increase traffic volumes. But the City is working to reverse the accident trend.
By working together, City departments have identified the top accident locations around the City. They have put together plans to focus our enforcement and road improvement projects to prevent accidents in those areas. Below is an example of some of the work planned.
1. Highway 72 / Wall Triana Highway – This is the top accident location in the City. A project will soon be underway to add turn lanes on Highway 72 to turn south on Wall Triana as well as turning east from the northern side of Wall Triana Highway onto Highway 72. Additionally, the project includes widening Wall Triana to include 2 lanes of through traffic moving north and south through the intersection.
2. Madison Blvd / Wall Triana Highway – A repaving project is set to begin early next year that will provide striping improvements to better direct traffic exiting off of I-565 onto Wall Triana Highway. Since this is a State of Alabama controlled area, the City is working with the State on these improvements. The City has requested a traffic signal at the top of the exit ramp.
3. Hughes Road / Highway 72 – Construction is ongoing to increase the turn lanes to allow more traffic to turn south on Hughes Road and also widen Hughes Road from Gooch Lane to Highway 72. The improvements are set for completion in April.
The next steps for improving safety will be a focus on neighborhoods. More to come on those initiatives in the coming months.