By Alton Mitchell
It has only been a matter of weeks since a shift in the traffic patterns on 1st Avenue Southeast shifted from a one way traffic flow to a two way traffic flow. While the original shift in the new traffic pattern was meant to ease the movement of traffic near downtown LaFayette. It has however proved to be a headache to motorist and has caught attention of the LaFayette city council.
Councilman Terry Mangram initiated concerns a Monday evenings city council meeting as he expressed concerns to Superintendent George Green about concerns brought forth as 1st Avenue Southeast has shifted its traffic to two way from years as a one way street.
The initial concerns presented by councilman Mangram and other council members revolves around the intersection of 1st Avenue S.E. and 1st Street SE. The intersection has created a blindspot for motorist attempting to turn left onto 1st Street from 1st Avenue. Several parking spots blind motorist from seeing oncoming traffic which can result in accidents.
Despite the safety concerns brought forth at the meeting driver error also has been a contributing factor to the concerns observed at the intersection as the opening of the new traffic patterns resulted in a right turn only. Many of the close calls that have been observed at the intersection center around motorist making illegal left turns.
At a previous council meeting two weeks ago when it was first announced that the traffic would open to two way traffic concerns were initially expressed about the safety at the intersection. One option that has been discussed is the possibility of eliminating some of the parking spaces around the intersection to offer motorist more time to see oncoming traffic.
LaFayette officials including Mr. Green are aware of the situation and working to reach a feasible resolution to the safety concerns that have developed at the corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street Southeast. The greatest goal is to attempt to keep traffic patterns moving without having to repeat history and observe a high volume of accidents at the intersection.