Intersection needs changes for safety

Published 8:52 am Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear Editor,

Imagine you are driving to Birmingham for work one morning, traveling down Highway 52 when you witness a wreck at the intersection of Highway 52 and Highway 93.

It is a seven-car pileup that occurred because a 17-year-old drove into the intersection and t-boned a car headed into Helena.

This is what happened with my mother and me back in 2001; this wreck almost resulted in her death.

If there had been some changes made to this intersection, like the clearing of trees or caution lights above the intersection, maybe this wreck would not have occurred, nor the many others before and after it.

Living at the top of this hill, I have seen multiple wrecks occur at the intersection of 93 and 52, including two that occurred just eight days apart on Nov. 27 and Dec. 5, 2011. The thing that makes this intersection so dangerous is the fact that it is in the middle of a curve up a hill and when sitting on highway 93 it is difficult to see left, up the hill due to the tree line.

After my wreck I heard a lot of people talking about putting a traffic light at the intersection, but I believe that would cause more harm.

Although many others say Highway 93 does not have nearly enough traffic to cause the traffic on Highway 52 to come to a complete stop, I feel that a concession to those who stand on both sides of the issue would be to place a flashing stop light over Highway 93 and a flashing caution light over Highway 52.

This would not cause the flow of traffic to occur any differently; it would just bring more awareness to the intersection and provide more caution. Another solution would be to clear the tree line enough that drivers can more clearly see up the hill when turning off of Highway 93.

Samantha Ellis