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Cary intersection doesn't meet criteria for traffic light

Posted February 13, 2012

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— Cary traffic engineers say the intersection where a Cary couple died in a wreck on Sunday hasn't met the criteria for a traffic light, despite pleas from drivers and neighbors that the intersection is too dangerous. 

Police say 22-year-old Martikia Adams was driving in a Saturn with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Brian Cobb, when she attempted to turn left from West Chatham Street onto Cary Parkway and crossed into the path of a Dodge Avenger.

Adams and Cobb were taken to WakeMed, where they died, police said. They leave behind a 2-year-old daughter, who was not in the car. 

Meghan Sladek, who was driving the Avenger, suffered minor injuries, police said.

No charges have been filed.

Neighbors living near the intersection and drivers say the is dangerous and a common site for car crashes.

"Turning left is pretty hard. I think you could use a light here," driver Mark Seawell said. 

Cary traffic engineer David Spencer said the town has looked into installing a traffic signal at the intersection three times since 2007. 

"One of the things that we look at when considering a signal is crash history," Spencer said. 

Brian Cobb, Martikia Adams Cary intersection didn't meet criteria for traffic light

There hasn't been enough crashes at the intersection to justify installing a light, he said. 

"Unfortunately, looking at the criteria for crashes, there is no taking into account for the severity of the crash," Spencer said. 

In addition to traffic volume and other criteria, to warrant a light an intersection would need to have had five crashes that would have likely been corrected by a traffic light in a single year. 

There have been two correctable crashes, including Sunday's wreck, in the past year and a total of five correctable crashes at the intersection since November 2004, Spencer said. 

Spencer said engineers will be evaluating the intersection again to determine if it qualifies for a traffic light. 

61 Comments

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  • conservatism lives Feb 21, 2012

    Well it did not say speed was a factor, and how do all of you know cars go 60 mph down cary parkway? Have you been trained to see how fast a car is going?

  • amycsack Feb 16, 2012

    Something that hasn't been mentioned in the discussion - roundabouts. I'm not suggesting that the Town put roundabouts all along Cary Parkway, but T-bone collisions like this one are among the most fatal types of accidents at intersections. By their design, roundabouts are safer because they eliminate the potential for T-bone collisions. And on a road where you're trying to maintain traffic flow, they eliminate cars having to stop at lights when there's no traffic coming in from side streets. They also avoid creating local air quality effects from cars idling and accelerating at a new traffic light.

    Again - not saying that the Town should put one here, but next time your DOT is trying to put in a roundabout somewhere, try to give the project the benefit of the doubt. I know no one likes roundabouts, but that's because they're something new and different and we're all creatures of habit. Trust me, if you can navigate a yield sign, you can learn how to use a roundabout. (It would

  • katyc Feb 14, 2012

    Very true Shamrock! It is ridiculous that our tax dollars can't pay to put in a light for safety. Why is there a light at Chatham and Old Apex or Old Apex and High House...2 very small intersections that could survive a 4 way stop sign...not an EXTREMELY busy road with a 45 mile an hour speed limit. I feel so bad for that little girl that will grow up without her parents. My prayers will be with their families.

  • Shamrock Feb 14, 2012

    "If the vehicle was close enough to hit them, it was close enough to see and avoid."
    pedsrndad

    You must not be familiar with the interestion in question. There is a sharp curve there and people come around it at 55-60 MPH even when the speed limit is 45. I have always felt nervous when turning out onto CP from Chatham.

  • dev8me Feb 14, 2012

    you can set the speed limit to anything but like brlzlz said, that won't make anyone stop.. it won't make anyone less reckless.
    "when she attempted to turn left from West Chatham Street onto Cary Parkway and crossed into the path of a Dodge Avenger"
    So, was she blind and didnt see ? What was she doing if not paying attention ???

  • br1z1z Feb 14, 2012

    Change the speed limit to 35. But that still won't make drivers stop and look. Some people want to place blame somewhere else. You cannot take human error out of this. Most drivers I see only stop when there might be a collision. They continue to do this until it becomes a habbit. Next thing you know, wait was that car commin...............

  • pedsrndad Feb 14, 2012

    Sure, put up a flashing yellow light BUT, no light, no signal will make up for looking carefully for the chance to safely turn. I feel for the little girl growing up without parents. This incident is a reminder for all drivers to use patience and caution when turning, not to assume all others will stop or slow down for us. If the vehicle was close enough to hit them, it was close enough to see and avoid.

  • RALEIGHNATIVE25 Feb 14, 2012

    When does common sense come into play? Oh I forgot, engineers have plenty of book sense only.

  • carydoggymom Feb 13, 2012

    Let me see if I have this right....The criteria for installing a traffic light requires multiple occurrences of either property damage, bodily harm, or loss of life. The wisdom of our city fathers leaves much to be desired.

  • bimbim Feb 13, 2012

    I bet if it was the mayor's family, there would be a light there tomorrow. What a load of bull!

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