TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The S-curve on West Grande Boulevard in Tyler is an area that frequently sees car crashes, a fact that is pushing the City of Tyler to investigate solutions for increased safety.
According to Tyler Police, there have been 27 reported accidents in that area within the last year, though none were fatal.
Sunday evening Steven Sanchez was outside looking at new paint on his home when he heard a crash and jumped in his car to see what had happened.
“We heard a big thunder, an explosion. It sounded like two crashes, so we jumped in the car, ran over there and saw the car overturned,” Sanchez said.
He has lived behind the Grande Hill Estates apartments for 16 years and said they hear people speeding often and will pass by crashes in the area on occasion.
“It’s dangerous because it’s hard to see who’s coming around the corner. Also, when it’s wet it can be slippery,” Sanchez said. “So I’ve told my kids to avoid that road if possible, and also I’ve talked to my neighbor and she’s told her daughter the same thing about avoiding that road.”
The City of Tyler has budgeted $150,000 this fiscal year to begin preliminary engineering on this stretch of road according to City Engineer Lisa Crossman.
“We do know that there is an accident history in this particular curve. At this point in time we don’t really know what the contributing factors are to those accidents,” Crossman said. “We need to gather all of the accident data and really determine what the contributing factors are to determine if this is an issue with the particular drivers, or maybe there are issues with the roadway itself. It may be a matter of signage, at this point we don’t really know.”
Crossman said they are bringing in a contractor to conduct the study and figure out what a solution could be.
“The possibilities range from additional signage up to reconstructing the road, and a multitude of options in between,” she said. “So until we get the study complete and really determine what the causes of the accidents are and get the recommendations from our consultants, we really don’t know what the ultimate solution is going to be.”
There are three crosses in the grass right where the accident on Sunday happened. Across the street at the apartment complex, Sanchez said, “You often see cars go through the gate there, at those apartments. And so the gate is taken down and some of the trees sometimes get hit.”
There are flexible, yellow delineators lining the median, but some have wear and tear, or are completely gone.
“I wish the city would either put a light up, a flashing light, or maybe a concrete barrier. Because it’d be better to hit the concrete barrier than to hit another car head on,” Sanchez said.
Crossman said they hope to complete this study in the coming year and then develop a plan to implement recommended improvements.