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Your Opinion: Highway changes heighten dangers

Your Opinion: Highway changes heighten dangers

July 6th, 2012 by Ron Willis, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Regretfully, having lived in the area of U.S. 54 and Buffalo Road I am aware of the fatalities and injuries that have taken place. This latest event serves not as a witness to the design and conditions of the highway but the need for constant attention and alertness while driving.

The modifications were absolutely unnecessary and unjustified. The majority of deaths occurred when drivers pulled across the northbound lanes while turning left onto Buffalo Road and were hit by oncoming traffic.

All of us must pay attention while driving. That design remains in place. Vehicles now turning north from Buffalo Road can benefit from an unbelievable sharp right hand turn on to an acceleration lane forcing the driver into the outer lane without the benefit of seeing high speed traffic heading north into Jefferson City.

In other words MoDOT has designed and created a total and complete blind spot with this acceleration lane. Might I suggest either MoDOT could have enhanced the situation with a flashing caution light placed in the median to warn of oncoming traffic similar to the light once positioned at the Southwood Hills Road entrance or a second approach might involve hiring a nanny to direct traffic turning left on to Buffalo Road.

MoDOT continued their irresponsible design with the latest and greatest invention known as a "J." For those unfortunate drivers now wishing to go west the vehicle must first turn right go across two high speed lanes and prayerfully dart into the "J" within about 100 feet which makes no sense at all. It introduces the driver again to a momentary blind spot.

These unnecessary modifications make the area even more hazardous than before construction. Drivers must use caution while turning left on to Buffalo Road and MoDOT has succeeded in making driving more dangerous.