Dangerous And Sometimes Deadly Intersections - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/5/08- Tyler

Dangerous And Sometimes Deadly Intersections

They are 6 dangerous and sometimes deadly intersections in Tyler.

We told you Monday about the accident that claimed the life of an East Texas mother. 46-year old Tracy King was killed Monday morning in an accident at Highway 271 and the Loop 323 extension. That's just one of 6 Tyler intersections that were approved to have traffic lights put up in 2005. Now, in a KLTV 7 exclusive investigation, we find out why after 3 years, many of those lights are still not up.

"3 years ago when we did this study we had 6 intersections and we looked at and prioritized those intersections," said Michael Wilson, Development Services Engineer with the city of Tyler.

Half of those intersections were installed with traffic lights. They are Kinsey Drive and Loop 323, Broadway and Heritage Drive, and Hollytree Drive and Rice Road. The city said those three had a higher priority based on the amount of traffic, not necessarily the number of wrecks.

"It's rare that an intersection does warrant based on crashes," said Wilson. 

According to the city, there needs to be at least 5 crashes per year at an intersection to warrant a traffic signal. And, they must be accidents that a signal could have prevented.

"A traffic signal will not necessarily reduce the number of crashes," said Wilson.  "We still have accidents at traffic signals and it's usually due to driver error.

Highway 271 and the Loop 323 extension, the scene of Monday morning's deadly accident. It's on the list but a light is still not up.

"The design on it is 80-percent complete," said Wilson. 

Neighbors told KLTV 7 Monday they see as many as 5 accidents a day, mostly fender benders. However, according to police records, the highest number of major wrecks there since 2005 in a 12-month period was 3.

"25,000 cars a day or more and 2 or 3 crashes a year is a pretty small number of incidents," said Wilson.

The other two still lacking lights are Gentry Parkway at State Highway 110 and Cumberland Road and Paluxy Drive. The city estimated it will cost 170,000 dollars for signals on each of these roads, but if it saves just one life, they said it is money well spent.

The city said the light at 271 and the Loop 323 extension should be up and working in about 6 months.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com

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