Dallas Highway gets safety upgrade
by Jon Gillooly
June 18, 2013 01:30 AM | 6538 views | 4 4 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Motorists turning left into the Avenues at West Cobb shopping center now must wait for a green arrow before turning on Bob Cox Road. The intersection was a hotspot for accidents, with drivers trying to dodge oncoming traffic from Dallas Highway.
Motorists turning left into the Avenues at West Cobb shopping center now must wait for a green arrow before turning on Bob Cox Road. The intersection was a hotspot for accidents, with drivers trying to dodge oncoming traffic from Dallas Highway.

Last week the county took steps to improve the safety of drivers turning left off Dallas Highway into The Avenue West Cobb shopping mall.

The number of accidents involving vehicles turning left into The Avenue have averaged about nine per year since 2009, and that triggered the county’s effort. Transportation standards call for further review when there are six or more left-turning accidents per year.

Until now, westbound drivers on Dallas Highway who turned left into the shopping mall risked colliding with eastbound traffic.

County Chairman Tim Lee said there wasn’t sufficient distance for the drivers turning into the mall to see the oncoming eastbound traffic. The county changed the light signal to only allow drivers to turn left when the eastbound traffic has come to a full stop.

“Like any issue like that it will increase congestion but the improved safety outweighed the increased congestion that may occur at that intersection,” Lee said.

A similar problem was occurring at the intersection of Dallas Highway and Casteel Road.

“Both of these intersections now have new protected left-only signals as installed last week,” county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

The changes cost about $5,000 per intersection.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will also extend the left-turn lanes at The Avenue to create more space for cars waiting to make the turn, a change that should be completed later this year.

The county is also seeking state approval to make the same change to the light at Dallas Highway and Bob Cox Road.

Reducing the speed limit from 55 to 45 mph is another request the county has made to GDOT, which must approve it since it is a state road.

“We believe a lower speed limit will give drivers more time to see and react to other cars in the area in order to avoid collisions,” Quigley said.

Since The Avenue opened in 2003, one death occurred at the Dallas Highway intersection on May 15. Another death occurred at the Casteel Road intersection in 2011 and a third occurred further down Dallas Highway at West Sandtown Road in 2011, Quigley said.

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Bells Ferry/Shiloh
June 18, 2013
So now they tell us that 6 accidents turning left at an intersection "constitues further review." And that you need "sufficient distance to see traffic" if you are turning left.

Then Cobb DOT get your bodies, your notebooks, and your stats out to the interection of Bells Rd. Rd. and Shiloh/Shallowford Rd. Traffic which is northbound on Bells Ferry Rd. and attempting to turn left onto Shiloh Rd. has a Left Turn Signal, but then it goes to a green light, so people can turn Left at any time. But this signal needs to go RED after the Left turn arrow expires. For everyone's safety we need motorist to turn LEFT on the Green arrow ONLY SIGNAL. NOT on a green Light also. There maybe 50 ft of sight if the other left turning traffic is not blocking the view and the oncoming traffic is doing at least 45 mph at a sight hill.

Over the past 12 years I have called and called. I know of at least 1 person killed and too many accidents to name. Many I was almost a part of and I was not even turning left.

And what is even more contradictory is just down the hill from this intersection about 200 yds is the intersection of Bells Ferry Rd. & Hawkins Store Rd and it has a Left Turn Protected signal and the line of vision is more than 3 times as far. You can NOT turn LEFT at this intersection unless you have a Green Turn Arrow. After that it goes RED.

So don't tell me this is the rule. We have the light, just changed the timing. NOW! If there is a rule about accidents and sight distance, then why doesn't the Shiloh/Bells Ferry Rd. signal have one? Is it because we do not have an Avenues Shopping mall? If we do not have enough traffic, then why is Shiloh Rd/Shallowford Rd. being widened with extra lanes? I pray every time I have to turn Left at this intersection when the Green Arrow has turned to a Green Light. Sometimes I wait, but then the driver behind me blows their horn and gets mad. Maybe I can get the MDJ to write up the accidents and this intersection might get the attention.

Bob Bummer
June 18, 2013
These were the types of infrastructure upgrades that congress said it was funding in 2008 that never happened. The money ended up going to save highly paid deskjockeys' jobs so that they could layoff/retire/fire/cut pay of the average middle class workers.
too long
June 18, 2013
Why did this brilliant piece of reasoning take so lont?
About time
June 18, 2013
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this was a needed change that should have been implemented years ago. The 45 needs to be in place from Midway Road to Old Villa Rica where traffic is at its worse.
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