Concrete medians saving lives

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

East Texas (KLTV)- They're still being built on East Texas highways and were created to protect you, but many tell us they're fed-up and frustrated with those concrete medians. As you know, more and more are being added to Longview and Tyler roads. We met with some pretty annoyed drivers and got the answers behind the barriers.

You may wish traffic could zip-along and move, but it doesn't. As East Texas continues to grow, so do lines of traffic.

"You can get to a light and two or three cars will get to go and then you have to wait," said Linda Collins.

There are lots of folks frustrated over median barriers, like the one being built on Troup and the Loop in Tyler.

"That's the biggest traffic jam, causing things we've ever had in Tyler." said Don Collins.

But TexDot says they're saving lives.

"The medians were being built when I started with TexDot in 2005 on South Broadway and those were probably the most highly contested medians that we put in so far. But within 18 months Tyler PD was telling us that they've seen a 50% decrease in wrecks," said Larry Krantz with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Longview Police said medians have significantly cut down on fatalities. In 2007, there were 19 fatal wrecks, as opposed to 8 last year. Tyler's numbers stayed the same, but Tyler PD told us medians have prevented many accidents.

"Random turns against traffic, people racing to beat oncoming traffic. You know, all the things that gave the chicken lane or the suicide lane it's name, those are the kinds of behaviors that we're trying to prevent," said Krantz.

Of course, they're not fool-proof.

"I saw a lady one day that was turning and she went over the median, you know which probably could hurt her car," said Kay Epperson.

But law enforcement says they cut-down on severe accidents, and they ask East Texans to be patient because eventually you will get there.

TexDot says there are at least two more median projects in Tyler both on the Loop.