Some type of traffic control needed

Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Since the traffic island has been in place and the traffic light installed at Steven Richards and Loop Road, it is definitely easier - and safer - to get out of our neighborhood (we live behind Glacier Valley school) during high-traffic times.

I want to make it clear I am not complaining about the installation of the light and the resulting traffic flow changes there. However, about a year ago I was almost hit broadside by someone traveling at a high rate of speed who completely ran a red light there (on the Loop Road side of the light). My 12-year-old grandson was in the car with me and I questioned him afterwards. He assured me "my" light was green even after we made it safely across the intersection after slamming on the brakes mid-intersection to avoid a collision. He also mentioned the incident had scared him badly (as it should have - he was sitting on the side that would have been hit if I had not reacted when I did). I have also been told by my adult daughter who has tried to make a right turn off Loop Road (coming from the direction of Egan Drive) onto Trinity that she has been honked at and yelled at by drivers behind her when she necessarily slowed to make that turn before the Steven Richards intersection. Since the two deaths that have occurred there recently sadden me greatly, I have been pondering what could be done that might help the situation. One suggestion I have come up with is to install a "signal ahead" or some sort of "caution" flashing sign before the overpass. I know speed limits are posted - and as citizens of Juneau we should all be aware that the intersection itself is a dangerous one - but in reality the approach to that intersection (from the Egan end of Loop Road - and including the Trinity street turn-in) is all included in the danger zone. It seems to me that a reminder that there may be people slowing and turning at Trinity as well as crossing (even against the light) or stopped at Steven Richards might help remind drivers to just be extra aware in that area.

Regarding the idea that Glacier Valley school is too far off Loop Road to create a school zone there, I find the whole idea preposterous. As someone suggested, if a person were to observe children going to and from school in that area it would be obvious that it is a school zone whether it is posted as such or not. Placing a crossing guard at Steven Richards and Loop Road seems like a good idea, but if that guard has no authority to slow or stop traffic, I am not sure how much good it will do. I do not pretend to know the answer to making this a safer area, but I am convinced there is a problem there that needs to be worked on. I sincerely hope no more deaths occur before the intersection (and the approach to it) are subjected to a serious safety evaluation.

Louise Holland


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