Dumb and Dangerous Driving in Augusta

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 16, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The I-20 construction projects are well underway and with some ramps closed, people are making some dumb and dangerous moves. There's a lot more traffic on Washington Road because the I-20 Westbound Ramp is shut down.

Christina Rentiers drives on Washington Road all the time. She works at the Starbucks on Washington Road near I-20 and lives right up the road.

"A trip that would normally take me 15 minutes tops, is taking a lot longer now," says Christina.

Because of the construction on I-20 and I-520, which is adding a lot more traffic onto Washington Road. The Georgia DOT in Augusta saying all the projects on the two highways are on schedule. But a problem, a ramp onto I-20 Westbound on Washington Road going toward Evans is closed.

"Obviously, we are in a bad area right now. And I know that ramp isn't going to be open until 2009, and if there is any way they can speed up that construction, that would be awesome," says Christina.

Speed it up because people are making some dumb and dangerous moves. First, News 12 saw a car coming into the Starbucks parking lot where a sign clearly says exit only. Not to mention crossing a double yellow line on Washington Road.

"I'm going out the correct way and people are turning into me. Once, I actually had to back up and let someone in so I wouldn't hit them head on. It happens a lot," says Christina.

News 12: "Have you seen people make a U-turn in the middle of the road?"

Christina: "I have, yes."

News 12: "How often?"

Christina: "At least ten times a day that I see just being here at work."

And News 12 saw a car doing just that. We also saw a driver making a left hand turn onto the I-20 Westbound ramp, where a sign clearly says no left turns.

"It's obviously kind of dangerous," says Christina.

Another problem is cars are not following the GDOT detour and instead making a U-turn at the corner of Stevens Creek and Washington Roads.

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2008 at 12:11 PM
    I agree. The chaos is just going to get worse. Better planning should have been in the works long before now. GDOT means Georgia Doesn't Obviously Think.
  • by Jubilate Latte Location: West Augusta chaos on Jan 17, 2008 at 05:29 AM
    It was a stupid plan to begin with. It is not reasonable to send people so far in the opposite direction. Unless people are forcibly prevented from turning left into the Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks lot or from doing u-turns at the Stevens Creek light, they are going to continue using the on-ramp next to Starbucks. We haven't had the services of the best engineering minds in West Augusta. One look at what has happened around SAM'S makes that obvious. I can't help wondering if it will really make any difference in the amount of congestion and chaos even after it's all completed.
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