I am a resident of the Four Seasons community and was returning home yesterday morning from shopping. Upon making a turn from 29 onto Route 33 west, I immediately saw police car lights flashing and a row of cars stopped at the Greenecroft intersection. I thought “O no, not again!”
Yes, as I approached the left turn from 33 leading into Greenecroft Boulevard I saw that another horrific accident had just taken place. Something needs to be done and done quickly to avoid further tragedies and help people feel safer at that intersection.
With the speed limit at 55 mph, there is no doubt in my mind that many drivers are speeding at 60- 65 mph. I observe this during the morning rush hour as I attempt to make a right turn each morning. I’d like to make a few observations:
1. There is often no break in the traffic coming east, so one cannot wait until there are no cars approaching.
2.There is no entrance ramp. So every driver needs to speed up to 60 mph within seconds after making a right turn.
3. As I frequently need to make this turn, I always look in my rearview mirror to see the car behind me. I see the same image of a car approaching so fast that he or she feels the need to pass into the left lane to go around me, and then back into the right lane as soon as possible (of course, almost never signaling).
4. Considering the distance remaining to the next traffic light, that car will save about 8 seconds in travel time going 60 mph instead of 45 mph, which is the ignored change in the speed limit as one approaches Route 29. Apparently, too many drivers will make that trade-off in safety to other drivers because they are in a rush to get somewhere 8 seconds sooner. On more than a few occasions, that driver winds up right in front of me at the next light.
5. The speed limit needs to be changed going both ways on Route 33 east and west around the Greenecroft Boulevard intersection, and it needs to be enforced.
6. I fully support suggestions of others in our community (including Diane Wilson, President of our Home Owner’s Association) to lower the speed limit to 45 mph on the eastbound lanes from the Advance Mills intersection and then down to 35 mph where the limit now changes to 45 mph.
7. Enforcement – A police vehicle stationed at varied points and varied times during the day (especially during rush hour) along the route of the eastbound Route 33 traffic so as not to be a pattern.
8. Writing 20-25 tickets per day will certainly spread the word amongst drivers that if their neighbor gets a $50-$100 ticket they might also. At 55-65 mph, that offense will also go on their drivers record and impact their insurance cost.
Breaking News: While drafting this letter, I was informed of yet another vehicle crash during this morning’s rush hour just west of the Greenecroft/ Route 33 intersection. If left alone, this problem is already getting worse and will only happen more frequently as traffic increases, and people can get away with saving those precious 8 seconds while endangering other people’s lives.
Richard F. Green