Intersection Is a 'Death Trap:' Neighbor

Downtown intersection shows scars of other wrecks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Adam Roop
    A crash earlier this year

    There have been at least four accidents at the intersection of Front Street and West Cedar Street in the past year, according to nearby residents, so they said they were not surprised a motorist was killed there Saturday night.

    Rob Carlson calls the Little Italy intersection a "death trap." Sadly, those words are true for a 56-year-old motorist killed in an accident Saturday.

     The exterior of the condo complex on the southeast corner bears the scars of the recent collisions: There are scrapes on the sidewalk, broken plaster on a building column, and a collapsed gate that was hit Saturday night by one of the two vehicles involved in the fatal crash.

    Intersection Is a 'Death Trap': Neighbor

    [DGO] Intersection Is a 'Death Trap': Neighbor
    Neighbors have been complaining for months about a Little Italy intersection.

    "While it's very sad to hear the news about what happened the other night, it's not surprising," said Carlson, who moved into the Palermo condo complex eight months ago. "This intersection needs a signal, badly."

    Right now, traffic is controlled by two arterial stop signs on West Cedar, where it crosses Front Street. But motorists at those stop signs may not realize how fast traffic is coming down Front Street, which is a continuation of an off-ramp from southbound Interstate 5.

    Signs at that off ramp caution motorists to slow to 45 mph when exiting the freeway, and further slow to 25 mph once they're on Front Street, heading south toward downtown. But some motorists disregard those signs.

    "They come rushing through here at 50 miles an hour, sometimes more than that, but almost never at the speed limit," Carlson complained.

    The driver who was killed in Saturday night's collision apparently ran the arterial stop sign on West Cedar and was hit by a truck headed southbound on Front Street. The medical examiner has not released that victim's name.

    Les Kollegian runs the Jacob Tyler Creative Group ad agency, headquartered in the ground floor of the condo complex. He said that  in the recent past at least, there's been an accident about every three months at the intersection, which is literally right outside his company's door.

    "We've seen everything from overturned cars to cars hitting the building," Kollegian said.

    The ad agency has a rule, Kollegian said: None of his employees who go outside to take a break can turn their back on traffic while standing on the corner.

    "I mean, at any time, something could happen," Kollegian said.

    The city said construction is under way to intsall traffic lights at the intersection. They expect them to be working by next month.