Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A short-term fix for Timmerman

I would like to suggest some major, but cheap and fast changes to the signs at the flashing light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and state Highway 75 that I feel could significantly decrease the number of accidents that have been happening over the years.

The major problem seems to be that while people going east and west on Highway 20 do stop at the flashing red light, they think it's a four-way stop, and do not realize that the cross traffic does not stop. Compared to the other signs in the area, such as the "Galena Summit Open" sign, the size of the letters on the caution sign are much smaller and very hard to read. I have been going through that intersection for years and feel it is very difficult to notice the caution sign unless you already know it is there.

The ITD should make the following changes:

· Enlarge the size of both the caution sign and the lettering.

· Change the background color of the sign to something that people will notice easily.

· Change the placement of the sign so that it stands out.

· Have two warning signs in each direction instead of one.

When I spoke to ITD District Engineer Devin Rigby about this recently, he stated that there were standards about signage that he would look into. I feel that when people's lives may be saved, the ITD could waive regulations, try something new and maybe override present standards, since what they have now is absolutely not working.

First: Change the size of the word "Caution" from 4 inches high to at least 12 inches high. Change the word "Caution" to "Warning" and make the letters much fatter (bolder). Increase the size of the other letters from 3 inches high to at least 8 inches, and make them fatter also.

Second: Change the background color from dull gold to neon yellow-green, like what is used on the crosswalks of the bike path.

Third: Increase the number of signs to at least two in each direction, and change the placement. Have one sign separated from the stop sign and appearing about 30 feet before the stop sign so it doesn't look like an afterthought. Have another one, if legally possible, hanging from the flashing red light itself, or if it's not legally possible, directly opposite the stop sign on the other side of the highway.

I feel these few changes could make a huge difference in safety.

Beth Duke


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