Greendale Intersection Made Much Safer With Left Turn Lane, Light
By Mike Perleberg
U.S. 50 at State Line Road. Image via Google Maps.
(Greendale, Ind.) – One of southeastern Indiana’s most dangerous intersections has been made safer.
Last fall, a new left turn lane was introduced on U.S. 50 eastbound at State Line Road in Greendale. It came with the addition of a left turn arrow.
Previously, both of the eastbound lanes of the highway permitted traffic to go straight through the intersection. Eastbound traffic turning left onto State Line Road did not have the benefit of a left turn arrow signal, or a lane dedicated for left turns. In a 45 MPH zone, left turns can be tricky if a motorist is unable to properly judge an oncoming vehicle’s speed.
In addition to a left turn lane and signal, traffic turning right from State Line Road onto U.S. 50 westbound is no longer permitted to turn right-on-red.
The intersection was infamous among locals for frequent crashes – a few of them rather serious. There were 50 wrecks involving 106 vehicles at the intersection between 2013 and 2016. In 2016, 17 wrecks there involved 37 vehicles.
Since the left turn signal and “no right on red” sign were added, wrecks at the intersection have dropped to zero.
“The idea is to make it safer with all the accidents there,” Greendale Mayor Alan Weiss tells Eagle Country 99.3. “This is what the traffic engineers came up with. So far it is working because in the three months it has been there, there haven’t been any accidents.
The safer configuration came about, coincidentally, by accident. The Ohio Department of Transportation hired a contractor last summer to repave and reconfigure much of U.S. 50 between State Line Road and Lawrenceburg Road. When backups began to occur on U.S. 50 at State Line Road due to the highway lane closures in Ohio, the mayor from Indiana approached ODOT and the Indiana Department of Transportation for a solution.
ODOT and INDOT coordinated to install what was intended to be a temporary left turn signal and repainted the westbound lane accordingly.
“It worked so well, we thought “Why don’t we just keep it?” recalls Weiss.
Weiss said that right-on-red is now prohibited because there are too many objects blocking the view of traffic approaching around the bend on U.S. 50.
The mayor has more news on U.S. 50 in the city. He says INDOT has plans to add more signage at State Line Road as soon as this year. The highway may also be resurfaced from the State Road 1/I-275 intersection to State Line Road in 2019.