Garbage truck drivers and others traveling onto Barbara Road in Columbus have realized that turns are a bit too tight at the Macon Road intersection.
A resident who lives in the 4300 block of Macon Road said the intersection has been that way since he moved into his home in 1961. It makes no difference whether a vehicle is turning onto Barbara Road from Macon Road or a car is attempting to enter the busy, four-lane roadway, there just isn’t enough room for two vehicles, especially if one is making a turn.
The tight turning radius in the area has forced some drivers to make shorter cuts, entering the narrow intersection. The turns have left metal storm drain covers broken at least three time over the years, the resident said. Vehicles have beaten a path over the city right-of-way at the intersection to keep from striking another vehicle at the stop sign.
Pat Biegler, director of Public Works, said the Engineering Department will be looking at the area to determine if there is enough room on the right-of-way. “If we’ve got enough room, we will improve the turning radius,” she said.
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There are other ways to enter the area, but Biegler admits Macon Road is kind of scary at that point. “We are going to take a look at it and see if we can help,” she said. “Even cars will go around it if it’s too tight a turning radius. That one is pretty tight.”
City truck drivers are in the area daily, but operators aren’t urged to look around for issues. Garbage truck drivers have to watch inmates and also keep and eye on the traffic.
“For safety’s sake, I don’t personally urge them to be looking around, because it really is dangerous out there,” the director said. “They are looking for trash cans and who put what and where. There are a number of places where they go, they have to drive in and back out. It’s a pretty scary job if you really get down to it.”
On some occasions, a truck will enter a cul-de-sac, and vehicles are parked all over the area — some are left in places where they shouldn’t have been parked.
“You have to think about being in the helm of a big truck coming to cul-de-sac and everybody is parked on the street, and you can’t get out,” Biegler said. “It takes a lot of nerve to go out there and drive one of those things. I have a lot of respect for them.”
By the time all the measurements are taken by city crews, there still may be some constraints with the narrow space. Lets hope the crews can widen the gap at the intersection without too many obstacles getting in the way.
A homeowner said he already has seen enough wrecks at the location to consider some changes. And it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether the city right-of-way has asphalt or concrete on it or not. Drivers are making their turns even if they’re tight.
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