If you’ve spent any amount of time in Grayson, we’re sure you’ve seen an accident at Carol Malone Boulevard and Interstate Drive. It seems like this intersection, in particular, is terribly prone to accidents.
Maybe it’s because of the weird angles there at Interstate Drive. After paralleling I-64 for most of its length, the road turns to run parallel to Carol Malone briefly before turning again to intersect with Carol Malone in front of the Arby’s restaurant.
Maybe it’s because of the heavy truck traffic coming and going from I-64 to the Love’s truck stop just on the other side of the intersection. It does seem like a lot of these accidents occur between big rigs or other commercial trucks and commuter vehicles.
Maybe it has to do with the large number of gas stations there just off the interstate, and the early morning and early evening rush hour traffic. If you want to make a turn there, you’ll often find it difficult to see the oncoming traffic you need to cross. It doesn’t matter if you are north bound or south bound, turning left or turning right. There are always other vehicles in front of you trying to make a turn, or vehicles coming towards you making a turn.
Sometimes these other drivers are respectful and accommodating. Often they are not.
No matter what is causing it, there is a lot of traffic coming and going along Carol Malone there just before the interstate. It’s difficult to make a turn in to or out of any of the businesses near the intersection, and the closer you are to the interstate – and the paralleling Interstate Drive – the more difficult it becomes.
None of us like sitting at red lights, and adding extra traffic signals, especially so near an already existing traffic signal, would normally be one of the last things we would suggest. But would it be worth adding another traffic signal there at Interstate Drive and Carol Malone if it could cut back on the number of accidents we see there?
There is, indeed, already a traffic signal just past the intersection, before you exit Carol Malone onto I-64 or continue northbound across the interstate overpass. But that signal isn’t close enough to the intersection with Interstate Drive to be much help with the traffic problems that are leading to accidents.
What is needed is something to stop, or at the very least alert, drivers to the other vehicles that may be trying to enter the flow of traffic onto Carol Malone Boulevard.
Maybe this could just be a large sign, or hanging traffic signal, with flashing yellow caution lights. Maybe the northbound traffic light currently on the overpass approach could be pushed back to the other side of Interstate Drive, while leaving the light in the southbound lane where it is. This option could still control the flow of traffic entering and exiting the interstate but would also give those wanting to turn out of Interstate Drive more opportunities to do so safely.
We don’t know exactly what the best option is for this situation. We’re not highway safety experts or city planners. But something clearly needs to be done to curb the number of accidents that take place here.
We strongly encourage those who are experts in highway safety and city planning to look at what options are available here, and what could best increase safety while having the least impact on traffic flow.
None of us like sitting at traffic lights. But wouldn’t sitting at an extra light be worth it if it helped keep car insurance rates down? Wouldn’t it be worth it if it were easier to make your turns across traffic to fill your tank on the way to work in the morning? More importantly, wouldn’t sitting through an extra light be worth it if it could save somebody’s life?
We won’t tell you how you should answer, but from us, the answer is a simple and resounding, “yes!” Yes, sitting through an extra traffic light would be worth it if it meant saving a life, plain and simple.