Improve Safety at Intersection of Ooltewah Georgetown Rd & US 11-64
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Ooltewah-Georgetown Road (OGR) intersects Lee Highway, US 11-64, between Walgreens and Wendy’s in Ooltewah. This intersection has four major safety concerns which need to be corrected.
1. When it rains a large puddle forms on OGR next to Wendy’s at the intersection. It can encompass both southbound lanes, and even the northbound lane. It slows traffic and can splash from cars turning north onto OGR. Such splashing can block the vision of those stopped at the light in the right two. The puddle can be over 6 inches deep. Additional drainage needs to be provided to eliminate this safety hazard.
2. At Wendy’s the right turn lane on OGR only accommodates two or three cars. Since the Legends Apartment Complex was built about a quarter mile north of the intersection on OGR, long lines form to go through the light. The line often backs up to the Legends entrance, and 4 or 5 light changes are required for traffic at the back of the line to get through the light. Many cars peel out of line and race through the Samaritan Center Collection Driveway and Ace Hardware parking lot to avoid the jam and wait. This through-traffic in the ACE parking lot is dangerous and annoying to ACE patrons. The situation is exacerbated by the entrances to Walgreens and ACE being directly opposite each other on OGR. There is often a standoff there between those in line for the light, and those trying to enter or exit Walgreens and ACE. It would be a great help to lengthen the OGR right turn lane to Lee Highway. It should be lengthened, next to Wendy’s, back to the ACE entrance.
3. The left turn arrow from Lee Highway to turn north onto OGR is timed too short. Only two cars can turn left before the light changes. Invariably a third barges through on yellow, and a fourth runs the red light in front of the oncoming westbound traffic of Lee Highway. The light should allow at least five or six cars to turn before changing.
4. The left turn lane from Lee Highway to northbound OGR between Walgreens and Wendy’s is too short. The turn lane is often full and turning cars backed up into the left main lane of Lee Highway traffic. Many cars turn left before the turn lane starts and go through the Samaritan Center Parking lot and ACE parking lot to enter north OGR from ACE. Again, this diverts dangerous through- traffic into the parking lots. The Lee Highway left turn lane at OGR should also be lengthened.
All traffic through Ooltewah has increased dramatically in the last several years. These simple corrections would help traffic flow at the Lee Highway - OGR intersection. They would also reduce safety hazards caused by through-traffic diverting into the adjoining parking lots to avoid long lines at the intersection.
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