Lane Ranger: NE 23rd Ave./12th St. intersection concerns resident
Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 8:17 p.m.
Gainesville's Drew Joseph recently wrote about dangers at the intersection of Northeast 23rd Avenue and 12th Street, saying that he and a neighbor have witnessed countless crashes and close calls.
Cars have ended up in lawns and, in Joseph's case, one hit the corner of his house, Joseph said in an email.
“This same intersection is one in which numerous elementary and middle school students cross daily in order to get to school at Metcalfe and Howard Bishop — the crossing guards tell me that vehicles routinely speed past them during school hours, and there is rarely an officer out to slow them down,” Joseph wrote.
“I am incredibly concerned about this issue, and tired of the mental, emotional and physical damage caused by such a poorly designed and managed intersection.”
Brandi Vittur, Florida Department of Transportation traffic studies engineer, said in email that crash data for the past four years shows eight accidents at the intersection.
Four of them involved a northbound vehicle on 12th Street making a left turn and hitting a vehicle traveling east on Northeast 23rd Avenue. Two involved an impaired driver, one happened when a child ran into the street and one involved a driver turning right who failed to yield.
This year, two crashes have occurred that both involved a northbound vehicle on 12th Street crossing 23rd Avenue to continue north on 12th Street.
“The only course of action ... would be to construct a raised median along NE 23rd Street between the two signals at the NE 9th Street and NE 15th Street intersections,” Vittur said.
“This physical barrier would prevent left turns from NE 12th Street. Traffic wanting to make a left turn would have to do so at the signals at NE 9th Street and NE 15th Street. However, this would disrupt the local traffic accessing the two schools located to the south of NE 23rd Avenue. Therefore, at this time, FDOT is not pursuing the installation of a raised median. FDOT will continue to monitor the intersection.”
Vittur added that visibility in the southwest quadrant of the intersection is a problem because of some thick azaleas on private property.
The city of Gainesville and FDOT trim them when they extend into the 23rd Street right-of-way, Vittur said.