Published: Apr 03, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Apr 03, 2012 04:06 PM
CARY - The town and state have nearly finished reviewing the site of a recent fatal accident. The intersection of S.W. Cary Parkway and West Chatham Street will not see a new traffic light, but the governments are considering other changes for the crossroads.
Two people died at the intersection on Feb. 12 after their car was struck as they were making a left turn at the central-Cary intersection. The death of the couple, Martikia Adams and Brian Cobb, of Cary, prompted an investigation of traffic patterns and possible dangers at the intersection, as is standard for fatal accidents.
So far, the state and town have agreed that “a traffic signal is not the appropriate treatment there,” said Kelly Becker, a regional traffic engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation. Traffic volume doesn’t meet state and federally mandated minimums for signal-controlled intersections, she said.
“You don’t want to unnecessarily stop traffic for such a light volume of side-street traffic,” Becker said. “We can’t put unwarranted traffic signals at intersections.”
The traffic volume at the intersection didn’t come close to the minimums, she said, generalizing because of the complexity of the rules. The fatal February crash brought the intersection’s first recorded traffic deaths. In all, the intersection saw 20 vehicle collisions in a five-year period, a number that Becker said was not relatively large.
But the town and state may still restructure the intersection. N.C. DOT and Cary staff will consider eliminating or limiting left turns at the intersection, but staff are researching nearby intersections to see whether the change would create additional dangers.
“We don’t want to transfer crashes” to nearby intersections, such as SW Cary Parkway and Heathridge Lane, Becker said. “We don’t want to just make a change ... without looking at all the scenarios.”
Further analysis will take at least a few weeks, she said, after which the town and state will discuss any plans to change the roads.