Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Traffic flow should be logical, not confusing
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 25, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.
Victoria has seen plenty of road construction over the past few years. Sam Houston Drive and Laurent Street were repaved, and the section of Red River Street leading into Riverside Park is currently being redone.
But even the best improvements can face complications, and the recent opening of the overpasses on Loop 463 has brought up some safety concerns in the community about one specific intersection.
The overpass at Salem Road and Loop 463 is open, but the placement of some stop signs has residents worried. At the intersection of Salem and the frontage road, drivers coming off the highway have a stop sign while drivers on Salem are allowed to drive through the intersection unhindered. This placement is confusing and concerning to us. The speed limit for Salem Road at that intersection is about 45 miles per hour, while drivers exiting Loop 463 are decelerating from speeds of about 70 mph or more.
It seems logical that a stop sign would be placed on the side of the intersection where traffic is moving slower and, therefore, can stop easier. That is how the stop sign at the Mallette Drive overpass is positioned. Granted, Mallette stops at the Loop, while Salem passes under and continues for several more miles. But in that case, there are several intersections along Loop 463 where the frontage road and the intersecting street come to a four-way stop, which requires all parties to stop, look and be sure the way is clear before driving through.
The current stop sign orientation at this intersection is confusing and dangerous. There has already been one fatal accident at this location, and more could follow if this is not addressed. Unfortunately, the matter of who is responsible for stop sign placement at the intersection is proving difficult to sort out. A call to the Victoria County Texas Department of Transportation office received the response that the city is responsible for placing stop signs. But the city's traffic control office says the intersection in question is currently under TxDOT.
We encourage both the city of Victoria and TxDOT to re-examine this intersection. Roadside signs and signals are designed to guide the flow of traffic in the most efficient way possible. The current stop sign placement causes confusion and unnecessary hazards. This needs to change, and the solution is as simple as adding or moving two signs.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.