Cary increases safety signage at site of fatal crash

Posted July 9, 2012 5:54 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2012 7:29 p.m. EDT

— Traffic engineers have placed six new signs near a Cary intersection where a couple died in a February collision.

Residents called for a stop light at West Chatham Street at Cary Parkway after the Feb. 12 wreck that killed Martikia Adams, 22, of Raleigh, and her boyfriend, Brian Cobb, 26, of Cary.

Adams was trying to make a left turn onto Cary Parkway when her Saturn crossed into the path of a Dodge Avenger, police said. The driver of the Avenger, Meghan Sladek, 22, of Apex, was charged with speeding.

"It was a bit unsafe," driver Nan Haugan said of the intersection. "Anything they could do to make it safer is good."

Engineers with the state Department of Transportation said the intersection doesn't meet the criteria to warrant a traffic light, but they met with Cary officials in recent months to come up with ideas to improve safety.

"There was nothing that really stood out as a crash pattern," said David Spencer, senior traffic engineer in Cary.

Crews recently added signage, including a stop sign in the median of West Chatham Street. Other signs alert drivers to watch their speed and be prepared to stop.

They also trimmed back tree branches to make it easier to see the stop sign on the right side of the road and put reflectors on both stop signs.

Spencer the cost of the changes was minimal because the town has all of the signs in stock.

"A traffic light may have been a good idea, but at least it's something – a little better than it was before," Haugan said.

"It's not like a big, huge change," said Fred Stansell, who lives nearby. "In my mind, they don't need a red light there. ... (They) just need to encourage people to obey the speed limit."

Neighbors said they've noticed more of a police presence at the intersection in recent months.

"If we start to see crashes continue to happen or if we see a pattern develop, then we'll take the appropriate steps," Spencer said.