Creating a Safer Intersection for Pedestrians & Cars Near New Auburn Elementary School

Safety and traffic congestion has been a concern on Shug Jordan Pkwy. Richland Rd.

“This is a safety concern for kids walking across there on foggy mornings, rainy mornings, icy conditions,” said Ernest Griggs, Associate Pastor at Showers of Blessing.

His church, on a hill, overlooking that busy intersection.

“Later in the evenings around 3 p.m., when school is out, it’s even worse. We have kids coming to our after school programs and these kids will have to walk and its very dangerous. Safety is the main thing,” said Griggs.

The city said there’s a plan for a crosswalk at that intersection to keep kids safe.

“We’ve had some traffic concerns out there in prior years. So, it was something we thought it would better accommodate the traffic for the school as well as recent developments of the street,” said Alison Frazier, City of Auburn Engineering Manager.

But, kids who walk, will have to wait.

With the new elementary school now up and running, the first phase of the intersection project is to widen Richland Rd. into three lanes, add a center lane, and add a deceleration lane near the tennis courts and school.

The city said this gives parents easier access into the school and keeps traffic flowing.

“Widening the road, providing the center turn lane, deceleration turn lane, will help Richland Rd.,” said Frazier.

Phase two — realign the intersection.

“Richland Rd. comes in at a skew or a funny angle, so we are realigning both sides of the street to come into a 90 degree angle onto Shug Jordan Parkway,” said Frazier.

Only then, with phase three, comes the crosswalk and sidewalk extension.

“It’s going to make the corridor a lot different, but definitely safer for pedestrians,” said Frazier.

Until then, walkers will have to navigate this busy intersection as best they can.

Categories: Alabama News