Safety suggestions such as a roundabout, reduced speed limit, a four-way stop, and more were recently discussed for both the Basinger and Scott’s Corner intersections during the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) second meeting held on January 20 at Community R-VI High School.
The meeting was led by MoDOT Area Engineer Brian Haefner. Some of those in attendance included Laddonia Mayor Josh Deimeke, Community R-VI Superintendent Cheryl Mack, Martinsburg’s Roger Cope, Audrain County Eastern District Commissioner Alan Winders, Rep. Jay Houghton (District 43-R), residents around the two intersections, among others.
In their first meeting, a crash history was discussed that noted 20 total crashes, one disabling, and one fatality at Scott’s Corner since 2011. There has been 26 total crashes, six disabling, and one fatality at Basinger Corner during the same time.
With a Northeast District MoDOT budget of about $1,000,000 a year for intersection improvements along with carry over monies, a draft for a potential 2018 project at one or both intersections is due in March 2018.
Ideas derived from the first meeting included do nothing, reduce speed limit, four-way stop or signals, roundabout, and interchange (overpass).
Cope noted the use of censors in the road down south that helps drivers know when they are about to have intersection traffic. He also noted possibly widening out the current intersections.
“A two foot shift might be all that’s going to let you know that it’s coming straight at you or he’s going to turn,” Cope noted specifically about Scott’s Corner.
Commissioner Winders said he had talked to city councils in the area and most did not think a roundabout was the best option.
He did say there “was a lot of love” for rumble strips possibly on Highway 19.
Rumble strips are usually used for when a vehicle is coming to a stop so that is why Highway 19 doesn’t currently have a rumble strip.
More signage on Highway 19 heading south to Basinger was also mentioned to him as an idea.
Construction for a roundabout would be about $1,000,000. They are reportedly proven to reduce crash severity, requires little enforcement to achieve speed reduction, may be unfamiliar to drivers, and eliminates right-angle crashes.
Some concerns on the roundabout related to it being constructed big enough to handle oversized loads and big equipment.
Rep. Houghton said his mom was just involved in an accident with a semi on a roundabout that didn’t even know he hit her.
She was not injured and the accident didn’t even set off her air bag, which is an example of reducing crash severity.
Commissioner Winders asked how do folks know to slow down coming into a roundabout?
“How we get them to do that is part of the design and what they see as they come into it,” Haefner said.
An example of a high-speed roundabout was shown in the meeting at Starmont Iowa High School. Another was shown for Missouri 77 and Missouri 25 near Dutchtown.
Statistics show a 76% reduction in injury crashes, a 39% reduction in total crashes, and an 89% reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes with the use of roundabouts.
It was noted that construction of a potential roundabout can be done at both intersections without cutting off the flow of traffic.
With doing nothing really not being an option, reducing the speed limit was discussed.
An initial cost for signs is $1,700. This method requires continuous enforcement as the current speed reduction is ineffective.
It raises likelihood of disparity in speeds, could reduce crash severity if enforced, but does not eliminate right-angle crashes.
Rep. Houghton made a suggestion of possibly lowering the current speed limits down even further.
A potential four-way stop was discussed that would result in a $3,300 cost for signs.
This method may reduce crash severity but likely result in a higher overall crash rate, potential non-compliance, and does not eliminate right-angle crashes.
Some discussion related to four-way stop intersections on Highway 65 in south Missouri and their effectiveness.
Signals using lights were also discussed with costs reaching around $650,000. They may reduce crash severity but likely a higher crash rate. There is also failure during power outage, maintenance and operating costs, and does not eliminate right-angle crashes.
A possible interchange/overpass was also discussed with a price tag of $7,000,000-$10,000,000. It would reduce crash severity and overall crash rate. It also eliminates right-angle crashes.
“I like the idea of doing both (intersections) and doing them both the same if it turns out that they can be engineered the same,” Commissioner Winders said.
He noted that doing them the same way could help with familiarity for travelers. Rep. Houghton said that it appears a roundabout might be a long-term solution but what could be done in the short-term?
He also said it appeared that doing something with the speed limit is a method the group appears to be in consensus with.
It was noted that those in attendance, if they want a roundabout, will have to help in getting the information to the communities.
Projects are also in the discussion stages in Palmyra and New London.
“Still I would like you guys to be involved in your communities and let them know what we talked about that based on what you’ve heard, you think, we think, the roundabout is the right solution,” Haefner said.