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Robby Morrison: Intersection is fatality waiting to happen

Agrees with Billy Joe Fudge on need for changes at S KY 61 intersection which serves as entrances, on opposite sides of the road, to Pinewood Shopping Center and Holladay Place. See Comments re article 90988 Billy Joe Fudge Road work needed on Hwy 61 in New Columbia
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By Robby Morrison
Personal Commentary

I have been turning out onto Burkesville Road from Will Walker Lane when I am back in Columbia for the last few years since the new bypass was built. When I was in Columbia in December and January I mentioned that it is a fatal accident waiting to happen with the traffic from the new Pinewood Shopping Center.

] I found the situation of crossing into the Walmart entrance next to DuoCounty or turning north on Burkesville Street to go into town to be as stressful as any driving experience that I have encountered. That is saying a lot given that my previous driving stressors include 15 years of driving throughout Latin America and driving a manual transmission car on a wet rainy day in London (England not Kentucky) sitting on the right side, shifting with my left hand, while driving on what I considered to be the wrong side of the road. So, I just started turning right and using the stoplight to go into Walmart or the parkway if I needed to go from the suburbs in the New Columbia-Bliss area into the metropolis of old Columbia.

Where I live now, the City of McAllen, TX, recently installed turning lane barricades (concrete curbs with yellow plastic post that allow turning lane use in only one direction) and closed some shopping center entrance-exits in the exact same situation; where shopping center entrance-exits directly across the street from each other, without stoplights, entered onto a four-lane road with a turning lane.

There were just too many accidents for the reasons Billy Joe Fudge pointed out. Like the Walmart center in Columbia, there was a stoplight entrance just a block or so away, but lots of people wanted to go in and out where there was not a light. Some stores and shopping center owners complained at meetings when it was first announced, but months later it is clear that doing so solve the problem.

Reflecting on how long it took to get a stoplight at the Walmart on the top of Jamestown hill years ago, a stoplight is probably not in the near future. If I recall correctly the state required the shopping center owner to pay for some or all of it. The quickest and easiest solution is to put up a barricade to block the entrance-exit from the Walmart-Sleep Inn area next to DuoCounty Telecom. That would force vehicles to go down and use the stoplight or turn in on Burkesville Loop to enter. Hence, eliminating the congestion and confusion from the two streets being directly across from each other. It is my understanding that state regulations prevented an entrance to Pinewood Shopping Center further down on South 61 or on West 80 because it was too close to the intersection. Because Pinewood is not in the city limits, no city zoning approval was needed to be able to pressure the Pinewood developers to pay for installing a stoplight. As a result, the only solution short of a stoplight is to prevent the entry and exit into Walmart-Sleep Inn next to DuoCounty.

- Robby Morrison

This story was posted on 2017-06-09 02:04:01
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