Engineer says deadly intersection is safe

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, March 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---An Augusta city bus driver will not face charges in the accident that left a medical school student dead, but some students and faculty still say it's a dangerous intersection. One traffic engineer says the intersection is running as it should.

Major Weaver of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says the driver contends he had a green arrow at the time of the accident, and a witness on the bus agrees.

A car hit Norma Miller at the intersection in December 2006. She says it's a dangerous intersection and has some ideas on how to change it.

"I think there should be a bridge put overhead to where people walk across it," she said.

But Augusta-Richmond County says the idea might not really work.

"A pedestrian bridge would sort of not be feasible at this point, given the right of way constraints out there," said Steve Cassell, a traffic engineer for Augusta-Richmond County.

He says it would be very hard to do because of the location and cost.

MCG Police Chief William McBride agrees it would be difficult. He says he looked into it in the 1990's and back then it cost about $900,000.

Both Cassell and the police chief say they doubt people would even use it because some don't even use the crosswalks already there.

"If it happened to one of their family members, they'd be all for the building a bridge," said Miller.

She says another way to make the crossing safer, is to stop all lights at the same time, allowing pedestrians cross without worrying about a car not yielding.

"We have not looked at that. Right now the signals operate properly with the function of the signal," Cassell said.

He says the intersection is running as it should.

"I firmly believe if you follow the signal indications, you'll be safe," he said.



 
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