CABLE NETTING barrier proposal to prevent wrong-way collisions in AZ
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A Phoenix New Times article published June 1st 2017 states "...the Arizona Department of Public Safety report that to date in 2017, dispatchers have taken 698 reports of wrong-way drivers. By the same time last year, they had taken 740".
When will it be considered "enough is enough" for someone in authority to actively do something about the exorbitant amount of wrong-way drivers reported in Arizona?
With the reported deaths of the two sisters back in April, I was determined to draft a set of plans to prevent further wrong-way collisions to not only make the roads safe for everyone but especially for our children. This isn't anything new to me and wasn't put together haphazardly, I have utilized my 20 years of experience in the engineering field. I have personally contacted Governor Doug Ducey, the Arizona Department of Transportation, as well as several news stations (link to my interview with FOX10 news below).
ADOT states they are willing to explore other options but they wouldn't entertain the idea of meeting with me to view my plans, only email correspondence to gather more information. They simply stated they decided to just move forward with the Thermal Camera pilot program instead. Thermal cameras will only alert the authorities. By the time they are able to get to the scene and locate the driver, a wrong-way crash will have already occurred. The goal should be to PREVENT wrong-way collisions before they happen! *For those insisting on spike strips, please read the information provided at the bottom of this petition.
The CABLE NETTING barrier I am proposing is activated by underground sensors when a driver has entered the freeway going the wrong direction. Lights will flash as the CABLE NETTING barrier rises from the ground. A prominent yellow color will be highly visible to all drivers and is reflective at night. A BUDDY ALERT (a proposal to utilize the screens already in place for Amber & Silver alerts; Facebook page & petition links below) will display "WRONG-WAY DRIVER AHEAD" on the digital freeway signs facing right-way drivers so they can pull over to the right and slow to a stop or exit the freeway. This CABLE NETTING will not only avert a collision with a right-way driver by creating a "physical barrier" but will also prevent severe injury & irreparable vehicle damage for both right and wrong-way drivers. Similar CABLE NETTING barriers are known to effectively stop vehicles weighing up to 15,000 pounds traveling at speeds in excess of 40mph and have been utilized by government agencies, the military, the petrochemical industry, as well as a wide variety of corporate companies and civil clients with much success. *For the sake of protecting my drafted plans, certain aspects of the final design have been left unsaid and are in the final print to be presented to the Governor and other applicable parties.
I believe the CABLE NETTING barrier along with the BUDDY ALERT is the only way to successfully prevent wrong-way collisions!
I urge any of you that believe in these works to SIGN this petition to instill the importance of taking action now before another innocent life is lost!
Best regards, Jeffrey Castaneda.
The following link is my interview with FOX10 news on June 7th 2017.
BUDDY ALERT Facebook page & petition:
Questions that have come up about the CABLE NETTING barrier proposed (additional will be added as needed):
-What if the driver is impaired and doesn't stop when the CABLE NETTING barrier is rising?
*If the impaired driver fails to see the flashing lights/bright yellow coloring/night reflectors, they will collide with the barrier instead of another vehicle preventing serious injury or death.
-What if someone accidentally enters the freeway going the wrong direction without realizing?
*Once the sensor is tripped, the lights start to flash and the CABLE NETTING barrier rises giving the driver an opportunity to correct their mistake safely. Once they are going in the right direction the sensor will activate the lowering of the CABLE NETTING barrier.
-Will the CABLE NETTING barrier create roadblocks and slowing of traffic when activated?
*What we need to keep in mind is the goal of preventing wrong-way collisions. The time it would take to activate/deactivate the CABLE NETTING barrier would be less than if there was a collision resulting in death causing freeway closure and detours. Even if a driver were to collide with the CABLE NETTING barrier due to impairment, the cleanup and accident assessment wouldn't require as much time as a collision resulting in death.
-What if emergency vehicles need to access the freeway going the wrong direction?
*Emergency vehicles will have the ability to deactivate the CABLE NETTING barrier while the digital freeway signs will display "EMERGENCY VEHICLE APPROACHING" so right-way drivers can safely pull over to the right and slow to a stop or exit the freeway.
-What if a right-way driver is in the far left lane and passes a digital freeway sign displaying a BUDDY ALERT not allowing them to exit the freeway?
*It is our duty as safe drivers to read and abide by all notices posted. If a right-way driver acknowledges the alert, they should make every attempt to pull over to the right and slow to a stop before reaching the activated CABLE NETTING barrier. They will then have to wait for the lowering of the barrier to proceed with the flow of traffic.
Why spike strips WILL NOT work:
An ADOT blog post published March 22nd 2017 states "These are among the many reasons why ADOT isn't considering spike strips, determined after decades of testing and research across the national transportation industry:
* No available system is designed for speeds faster than 5 mph.
* Not for use in high-volume traffic.
* Not guaranteed to blow the tires of vehicles traveling at high speeds.
* Can break, leaving stubs that damage tires of vehicles traveling in the right direction.
* Cause drivers going in the right direction to see the spikes as a road hazard, causing brake lights, slow traffic and backups.
* Dangerous to motorcycles and small cars.
* Prone to getting clogged with dirt and snow.
* Slippery when wet.
* Require excessive maintenance — must be visually monitored and maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure to safe operation.
* Failure of the system could result in damage to a vehicle traveling in the right direction and harm to that driver.
* Not compliant with the nationally accepted traffic control device guidelines.
ADOT isn't alone in this assessment. We've found no place in the world where spikes are used on highway systems".
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