Petition seeks Centerville light
December 31, 2016
The second wreck in six days at Highway 88 and Centerville Road has spawned a petition and a call for a light at the intersection.
Carson Valley residents Chelcie Bartlett-Rosseau and Melody Cordes are asking residents who support a traffic signal at the intersection to attend Tuesday's 1 p.m. county commissioner's meeting to speak during public comment
Because the item isn't agendized, commissioners aren't allowed to take action on Tuesday.
A woman received life-threatening injuries when she pulled out in front of an oncoming pickup on Thursday morning.
Bartlett-Rousseau said her husband, who works at Lake Tahoe, called her that morning to say he was being detoured around the intersection.
"I started the petition because I was so fed up with the amount of injury at that intersection," the 25-year-old mother of an infant said. "The visibility at that intersection is just terrible."
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As of Saturday, 901 people had signed the petition, located on change.org. It can be found by searching for traffic light at SR88.
Bartlett-Rousseau said a school bus driver who travels through the intersection tells her charges to brace impact every time.
"Something needs to happen," she said.
A Sheridan Acres resident, Cordes said she uses the intersection frequently and has a son involved in a collision there.
"It is a very dangerous intersection that has affected my family," she said. "I contacted as many people as I could to find out how to get things going."
Cordes asked that residents turn out at Tuesday's commission meeting.
The intersection is one of four main routes out of the Gardnerville Ranchos, Douglas County's largest community.
Three people were injured 3:40 p.m. Christmas Eve when a Chevrolet pickup allegedly pulled out in front of a Ford pickup.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Gordon said two people were helicoptered to Reno where they were treated and released. A third person was treated at the scene.
At 6:53 a.m. Thursday, a woman in a black Mazda pulled out into the path of a southbound GMC pickup. The pickup hit the drivers side of the Mazda, which was pushed into a third vehicle. The driver of the GMC was taken by ambulance for treatment. The third driver was treated at the scene,
In response to residents' questions about a traffic light, the Nevada Department of Transportation issued a statement saying it has been reviewing enhancements to the intersection.
"Some citizens have asked about the potential of a traffic signal," the statement said. "Federal Highway Administration standards must be followed before a traffic signal can be considered at an intersection, and we have carefully analyzed this intersection, including conducting what is called a traffic signal analysis."
According to the statement, the intersection does not meet the requirements to receive federal funds for a signal, that state engineers say may not improve safety at the intersection.
"Traffic signals placed at intersections where the standards are not met can create safety hazards: there are significantly more crashes at signalized intersections than anywhere else, and the types of crashes are more severe," according to the state. "We will continue to look at potential safety improvements."
State traffic engineers have proposed a roundabout at the intersection, as recently as 2014 at a meeting with residents.
"There are some important reasons why a roundabout could enhance safety," according to the state. "Traffic lights do not always directly prevent crashes or fatalities. If installed where they unsafely impede the flow of traffic, excessive delays can lead to drivers ignoring signals and running red lights; potentially leading to additional crashes."
By slowing down traffic in the intersection, state officials say a roundabout could reduce the severity of a collision.
"An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that converting 23 certain intersections from traffic signals to roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 80 percent," according to the state. "Please know that we want to keep Nevada roads safe. In conjunction with the local community and local leaders, we will continue looking for safe and feasible enhancements for the intersection."