Brilliant. Sneaky, but brilliant.
Residents along Blanchard Road, and motorists who use the route from Washington Road to Hereford Farm Road in Evans, have complained about the awful intersection at Washington Road.
The dangers have increased since the county built Blanchard Woods Park, and with the recreation facility drawing increased use- including the NCAA Division II soccer tournament in a couple of years- the traffic troubles will only worsen.
As those dangers have increased, the disgruntled messages have been loud and clear, whether from vehicle crashes or telephone calls. Yet often those complaining felt like their worries were falling on deaf ears. They wanted a traffic signal for the intersection, and the county points out that Washington Road is a state highway. So they complained to the state Department of Transportation, which says the intersection doesn't qualify for a light.
Squeaking wheels get the grease, so the saying goes. And the DOT suddenly heard lots of squeaking recently, courtesy of a sign posted near the intersection.
It's still a mystery as to exactly who erected the sign, though it's likely the property's owner. And if it isn't, the owner certainly hasn't been in a hurry to take down the sign that reads, "For complaints with this intersection, call (478) 552-4819, or (478) 552-4601.
The numbers ring up the DOT, and staffers say they've been getting plenty of calls.
Is that more likely to result in a light at the intersection?
Probably not. Columbia County's Construction and Maintenance Director Matt Schlachter says before an intersection qualifies for a traffic signal, it has to meet several conditions under national engineering standards. That intersection just doesn't, he says.
Schlachter is meeting with DOT engineers this week to review plans for a revamp of the intersection in advance of a county-funded widening of Washington Road. If approved, the section still won't get a traffic signal, but it should become at least a little safer.
Meanwhile, motorists, keep squeaking. It sends just as good a message as another car crash, and it's a lot less dangerous.
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