Engineer says deadly intersection is safe

By: Samantha Andre Email
By: Samantha Andre Email

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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  • by sitting duck Location: mcg on Mar 19, 2008 at 07:44 AM
    So, I'm forced to cross in the crosswalk at Harper St. this AM because the MCG Police are there. The officer stands on the side walk and tells us when the walk sign appears. I got half way across 15th st and the walk sign changed back to don't walk. I was not timming with a watch but it was not enough time and I was moving pretty fast. I guess I'm lucky there was not a bus turning there.
  • by employee Location: mcg on Mar 18, 2008 at 05:38 AM
    So, a bridge was being looked into in the 90's? Why were you looking into it, since everything is working and safe? I guess it would have been pretty and we could have put mcg ink logo all over it.
  • by Patricia Location: Augusta on Mar 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM
    And while you're at it, put some braille on the mens and womens restrooms at MCG!!!! People tend to yell at me when I walk into the wrong one.
  • by Patricia Location: Augusta on Mar 17, 2008 at 11:55 PM
    The engineer obviously does not try to cross intersections in Augusta on foot, in a wheel chair or with a white cane... The intersection in question is a barrier to disabled and other pedestrians and should be evaluated as such. I cannot get 1/4 across any street here without the walk light changing. And some walk lights won't change at all unless traffic from the opposite way approaches! The engineer need to consider that walking is a legitimate way to get around...especially if Augusta is to attract Tourism.
  • by Frustrated on Mar 17, 2008 at 10:10 AM
    Following the signal indications doesn't ensure safe passage. Every day, there are "WALK" signs lit for people to cross 15th St. At the same time, cars are given a green arrow to turn left into the crosswalks that are lit to "WALK." This poses an obvious problem. Making lights red in all intersections to allow pedestrians to cross could work, but the associated traffic congestion would probably be a real problem. Safety is key, but flow of traffic is important, as well. Just don't give cars that "green arrow/light" when the crosswalks they're turning into are telling people it's "safe" to walk. As for the increased law enforcement prescence, I think that's a joke. All you're getting are wannabe bada** yelling and screaming at people for trying to get to work in a hurry. I've seen it happen. I work at MCG and cross 15th St. occasionally. Having an officer yell at me as I try to not get hit by a car would only distract me further.
  • by Anon on Mar 14, 2008 at 12:30 PM
    If the intersections surrounding MCG are safe, how is it that we are now at this very moment witnessing a car accident IN THE CROSSWALK at the intersection of 15th street ans Harper Street.
  • by Anonymous Location: Augusta on Mar 12, 2008 at 04:31 PM
    I work at MCG. It's sad and tragic that a person died while crossing the street. My condolences to the family. 1: As far as an over the road crosswalk, where would you put it? Near Laney Walker or near Harper Street? If built, how many would actually use it? 2: Concerning people's complaints about crossing 15th Street, why not get on a MCG shuttle bus that pick folks up from parking lots on Chafee Avenue and Fat Man's? 3: Concerning placing a police officer at the intersection twice a day, it's a futile effort to make it look like something is being done. Having that officer available to enforce the existing traffic laws and ticketing the violators would be better. The sheriff's department was out in force eariler this week, what were there results? It would be good to have that law enforcement presence more often. Thank you.
  • by anonymous Location: Augusta on Mar 12, 2008 at 03:07 PM
    Thank god public Safety is learning to use radar!!!! Now when I get hit by a car it will be at 35 rather that 50!!!! That might make the difference between living with severe brain damage and broken extremities or dying. Gee thanks! The only way that MCG Police running radar is going to help me is if they are standing in the crosswalk with a stop sign in their hands while they are doing it. Other wise I think I will take the quick less agonizing death at 50 mph!
  • by MCG Emplyoee Location: Augusta on Mar 12, 2008 at 02:40 PM
    That is a great idea James. Have you ever attempted to cross there? Here is my idea... You meet the news station out there at about 7:45. They can't bring the news truck though because people will be on their best behavior. They won't try to hit you if they are being watched. Just a little hand held video recorder is all they should need. Then that is where you come in. You try to cross the street 4 times going toward the hospital. Then when you are finished at that intersection come down to the one at Harper and 15th at 4:30 and try leaving the hospital. All the jay walking use to **** me off when I had to come down 15th. If you cross the street going in the direction that I told you at the time that I told you then you will have a different opinion. It is something you have to experience 1st hand. I don't mean to scare you but these people are/ will be responsible for your life. Our students ( That lack common sense ) get sent to hospitals everywhere.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2008 at 12:48 PM
    Iam a employee at MCG. And I was wondering why come the state cannot provide man power to work out with the highway dept. wWho has the man power the STATE are the Highway dept..
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