Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said at a recent council meeting that the city will be looking at possibly upgrading intersections from I-280 to Coy Road to ensure safety.
“We will be checking the intersections from I-280 to Coy Road because that is the section of Route 2 (Navarre Avenue) where we’ve had the most accidents,” said Seferian at a meeting on Jan. 23.
Public Service Director Paul Roman, Police Chief Mike Navarre, and Seferian will also look at the intersections of Navarre Avenue and Lallendorf Road, and Navarre Avenue and Wynn Road, said Seferian.
“We’re going to look at those intersections to make sure we’re up to making them the safest intersections as we can,” said Seferian. “We always have an ongoing look at different intersections, different traffic problems within the city, all the time.”
Councilman Terry Reeves asked Seferian if there was a high accident rate at the corner of Stadium Road and Route 2.
“That intersection has had some accidents,” said Seferian. “It seems as we go farther east, they taper off. There were some incidents, and there have been changes over the years there. But we simply could look at that as long as we’re doing the other ones. We’ll take a look at that one, also.”
Seferian said he previously lived on Stadium Road and is very familiar with the area.
“We see people using the overpasses in a couple of areas – Seaman and Route 2 – that change some people’s normal course of the way they choose to commute. I didn’t think it created a traffic problem on Stadium,” said Seferian. “It probably did lighten it up some. I don’t think that has really been an issue. It’s how clear people see the intersections and what causes awareness problems at either of those intersections. I know Coy Road and Navarre Avenue seems to be the biggest problem area. I don’t know if it’s a mental awareness problem when people approach there and makes a shift into a congested area versus a fairly rural area. Those are the types of things where we’re checking traffic patterns and accidents, and we’ll do the best we can.”
Coy Road, according to Councilman Sandy Bihn, is congested, particularly in the afternoons.
“Between 2 and 4, it’s really, really busy. There’s not enough space for the cars to go, to really keep them at a pace that I think a lot of people would like to see,” she said.
Bihn said she was concerned about having to accelerate her vehicle when going west on Route 2 from Stadium Road.
“You can’t accelerate normally because of the grade of the overpass. I don’t know how that was designed, but it’s definitely a problem. There’s probably nothing that can be done about it, but I don’t think there’s the proper approach in that design. They use it all the time, and it’s not right,” said Bihn.
“The other thing is the lighting at the intersection at Stadium and Route 2. It should be looked at because it’s quite dark at night, and I think a light there could help,” said Bihn. “We have lights at other intersections. I think it would be appropriate to do that. As to the Wynn Road intersection, I’ve talked to family and friends, and all of us, when we get to that intersection, tend to take our foot off the accelerator and look. That intersection seems to be perilous and all of us know that it’s dangerous. I think, quite frankly, it’s because of the trucks. The trucks turning, the radius and the width of the intersection, seem to be inadequate. I too would like to know the number of accidents at that intersection compared to others, the severity of them, and the number involving large trucks. I don’t know if anything can be done. I think we’ve taken actions to try and make the intersection safer.”
She noted the recent fatal accident of a 16-year-old Clay High School student at the intersection of Wynn and Navarre Avenue. Cody Van Hersett was westbound on Navarre when his vehicle collided with a semi on Navarre that was turning left onto Wynn Road. Van Hersett was killed by the impact. The driver of the semi was cited.
“This wasn’t the only accident. This was a really awful one. But there have been other ones on a fairly regular basis, unfortunately,” said Bihn.
Councilman Mike Sheehy, chairman of the Safety Committee, said he would like a copy of the accident report on the accident. “And I ask that that also be given to all members of city council.”
Seferian said Navarre will provide it to council.
“There still will be horrible tragedies,” said Administrator Mike Beazley, “but…I feel good about where Oregon is and the way Oregon takes its traffic seriously.”