Obstructed Intersection

February 12, 2017
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On average, there are approximately two point five million car accidents at intersections. In fact, intersections with obstructed views are one of the most common causes of accidents. The bushes and trees surrounding the intersection between Manor and Wexford Run road need to be taken away, in order to decrease accidents, enhance accessibility, and reduce congestion.

The most significant reason as to why the bushes and trees surrounding the intersection need to be removed is to decrease accidents. According to a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “About 40 percent of crashes are at intersections. In an uncontrolled intersection, there are no traffic control devices” (DOT). The intersection between Manor and Wexford Run road fits these standards, for there are no traffic control devices to regulate traffic flow, meaning drivers are left to their own judgement as when to blindly turn left or right from Manor Road onto Wexford Run Road. Furthermore, the intersection has an obstructed view on both sides. According to the same study conducted by NHTSA, “Analysts found ‘turned with obstructed view’ occurs at intersection crashes 335 times more than at non-intersection crashes, usually in left-turns” (DOT). A left turn is the most dangerous turn that can be made at an intersection like the one between Manor and Wexford Run, and, most importantly, the obstructed view on both sides makes this intersection extremely dangerous and susceptible to accidents.  In fact, taken from a study conducted by NHTSA in 2015, approximately eleven percent of environmentally attributed accidents occurred because of an obstructed view (Singh). That eleven percent is about six thousand car accidents a year. Anyone looking at these statistics would not hesitate to take down the bushes and trees, so why keep them up any longer?

While also decreasing accidents, the bushes and trees surrounding the intersection need to be taken away to enhance accessibility. It takes drivers a lot more time to drift forward to get past the obstacles and be able to see the road clear enough make the turn. Taking the obstacles away would allow drivers to stop and take a quick glance left and right, making the turn a lot quicker. Moreover, when driving down Wexford Run road and trying to make a right at the intersection and onto Manor road, it is quite difficult to see exactly where the turn is, for the bushes and trees are in the way. Taking away the bushes and trees would allow drivers to see the turn coming up and make it with ease. Finally, when on Manor Road and turning onto Wexford Run, the elimination of the bushes and trees would allow drivers to prepare more to turn. Eliminating the obstructions would allow drivers to see if any drivers are coming along Wexford Run Road, allowing them to turn onto Wexford Run Road more efficiently. Removing the obstructions on the intersection between Wexford Run and Manor Road would enhance the accessibility of the intersection, allowing drivers to make the turn faster and safer.

Along with enhancing accessibility, the bushes and trees surrounding the intersection need to be taken away in order to reduce traffic congestion. First, as stated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “Slightly less than half of traffic congestion in the U.S. is what it calls recurring congestion, or the strain of an overabundance of cars on road capacity during the so-called peak hours of the morning and evening commuting periods” (Traffic). During these “peak hours” of the day, the intersection gets extremely congested, as drivers take a long time to see around the obstructions to make sure the road is clear to turn. Similarly, Manor Road is the main access to a church, preschool, and neighborhood. Thus, it is heavily traveled, often by families with small children. The obstructions cause the intersection to become very congested, especially if church or the pre school has just let out. Why keep these bushes and trees in place if they are endangering the safety of families and slowing down traffic? Finally, removing the bushes and trees surrounding the intersection would reduce air pollution (Morgan). From the constant stopping and starting, cars are creating a little more air pollution, which is hurtful towards the important crops and animals from the two surrounding farms (Morgan). Just taking down these bushes and trees would decrease congestion immensely, saving crops and animals and motorists time.  

Many insist that these obstructions influence people to be more cautious when approaching the intersection, making it safer for drivers. However, many drivers  drive over the speed limit, for Wexford Run resembles a “straightaway,” or a straight section of road. With these obstructions in place, drivers are forced to slowly inch their cars forward into potential oncoming traffic, and with cars coming down Wexford Run often driving almost double the speed limit, it makes it extremely dangerous to drivers.While these obstructions may cause drivers to be more cautious and drive more slowly on Manor Road, it still does not help that drivers must drift into the middle of Wexford Run to see oncoming traffic, causing even cautious drivers to become susceptible to accidents.
It is with utmost importance that our roads are kept as safe as possible, and the bushes and trees surrounding the intersection at Manor and Wexford Run Road is a threat to this goal. The bushes and trees surrounding the intersection are obstructions that are  in the way of drivers, increasing the chance of accidents, decreasing accessibility, and creating unnecessary congestion. Write or call to county legislators, expressing your concern for the safety of our roads, by getting rid of the bushes and trees surrounding the intersection between Manor and Wexford Run Road.

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