(Above: Photo of a collision at Huntmar and Maple Grove on August 14 just before 9:00am.)
The traffic lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove were activated on Thursday morning. Less than 24 hours later, at the end of the morning commute, two cars collided at the intersection.
A number of readers have complained about the lack of turning lanes or advance green signals. Some drivers say the intersection is making their commute slower, especially if they’re driving from Maple Grove. (Although the drive home on Huntmar during the evening rush hour was quite a bit smoother Thursday and Friday.)
It’s way too early to call the lights a failure. The point of the lights isn’t about improving your commute time, it’s about safety, and the lights are a huge improvement for motorists and pedestrians.
I live close to the intersection and drive (or walk) through it many times each week. I’d often see motorists totally ignoring people trying to cross. There’s just too much volume at the intersection for a four-way stop to work.
The lights are going to take some getting used to. This morning’s accident was probably a case of a driver being on autopilot, and mistakenly treating the intersection as a four-way stop.
The lights are a temporary solution. The intersection will be reconfigured a few years from now when Huntmar Road is widened to four lanes, and proper sidewalks are added down the entire stretch.
It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s much better – and safer – than what we had before.