Traffic accidents continue to mount at the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 (East Union) and Talton Street, and District A Minden City Councilman Joe Cornelius is trying to get something done about it.
"There have been 47 car-related accidents within a period of 11 years," Cornelius said. "The citizens of districts A and B have asked for a traffic light at that intersection for many, many years."
While attending a Louisiana Municipal Association meeting recently, Cornelius – armed with 360 signatures from the district – contacted state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) official Rhett A. Desselle and chief engineer Richard Savoie.
"Mr. Deselle and Mr. Savoie said there was a study done on the intersection some time ago," Cornelius said. "I told them they should come back, especially during high traffic hours, and they assured me another study would be done."
Cornelius said the high traffic count in the area is due to several businesses – such as a grocery store and mini-mall – The Farm, where many children-related festivals take place and school traffic from Webster Junior High, J.A. Phillips Middle School and J.L. Jones Elementary.
"During early morning and evening hours, the school traffic makes this area heavily traveled and dangerous," Cornelius said.
In October, Minden Mayor Bill Robertson received a report from DOTD denying a traffic light at that intersection, as well as a highly-traveled intersection at Lewisville Road and Country Club Circle where many parents and grandparents trek daily to drop off and pick up students at Glenbrook School.
"I've had a lot of requests from citizens from this area and at the intersection of East Union and Talton streets for a traffic light at both places," Robertson said.
"They felt like traffic lights would alleviate the situations. I'm disappointed that neither one was approved, but we are still going to continue to try to get new lights installed because we think it's for the betterment of the public."
According to a survey submitted by DOTD engineer Byron Tindell, a 24-hour machine count was conducted September 13.
"Results of the survey showed 5,991vehicles entering the intersection from East Union and 2,501 from Talton Street," the report said. "A spot speed study conducted along East Union on the same day revealed the fiftieth and eighty-fifth percentile speeds to be 38 miles per hour and 43 miles per hour, respectively. The speed limit is posted at 40 miles per hour on East Union."
City records showed eight accidents on file for the period between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009.
"These accidents include four right-angle-type accidents, one side-swipe-type accident and three left-turn-type accidents," the report said.
East Union is U.S. Hwy. 80 and Lewisville Road is also La. Hwy. 159, requiring the city to go through the DOTD District 04 Office.