Solutions to U.S. 431/Henry Road Corridor Discussed

City personnel from police, fire, engineering and city planning departments, Jack Draper, Mayor of Anniston, Millie Harris, Ward 4 Council Person, and representatives from Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the trucking industry met Monday, July 10, to discuss measures to improve the corridor of U.S. 431/McClellan Veterans Memorial Parkway from Henry Road to the Coleman/Choccolocco Road intersection where another fatal accident occurred on Friday, July 7.

ALDOT has been involved in an engineering study of the U.S. 431 corridor for the past several months, and today ALDOT representatives were able to address several solutions proposed by the group. City Manager Kent Davis, who had called the meeting of city management personnel and others, urged “swift and immediate action.” ALDOT agreed to expedite the engineering study, and proposed intermediate and long range phases of improvements.

Afterward, Davis said many of the ideas that were discussed came from the citizens who live and work near the intersection or drive through it regularly, including comments left on social media for the City’s consideration.

Davis explained, “These are the people that are witnessing the problems and seeing the patterns. I want them to know that City Hall is taking this seriously. I want to tell them, ‘Here’s what we are going to do, and here is what ALDOT is going to do.’”

Over the next two days, ALDOT engineers will be on site at the intersection evaluating the impact of making the immediate actions that were suggested during the meeting today. These include changes to traffic signalization timing and placement and design of road signage.

 

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ALDOT employees at the Coleman/Choccolocco Roads and U.S. 431 intersection on Tuesday, July 12.

 

City of Anniston Police Chief Shane Denham said the Department had increased patrols of the U.S. 431 corridor and intersection prior to the most recent accident, and that motorists can expect to see an even stronger police presence along the corridor. The Department’s investigation of the July 7 fatal accident is ongoing.

These are the people that are witnessing the problems and seeing the patterns. I want them to know that City Hall is taking this seriously.

— Anniston City Manager Kent Davis

Over the next two weeks, ALDOT will study the corridor of U.S. 431 from the Henry Road junction to the Choccolocco/Coleman Roads intersection with the goal of producing intermediate solutions that can be made within a month. ALDOT explained that long range improvements will be more complex and will require research into seasonal traffic patterns, topography and environmental conditions. No timeline was given for the long range phase.

Jack Draper, Mayor of Anniston said he was pleased with ALDOT’s willingness to work with city of Anniston representatives. “First, our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and families of last Friday’s accident,” said Draper. “Today, we put everything on the table. No idea was off limits.”

 

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Downtown Driving: Stuck in the median

When a driver finds herself “stuck” in the median on Quintard (whether she has turned off of Quintard into the median or become delayed while crossing Quintard from a cross street), she has no traffic light. Instead, she yields to north/south traffic before proceeding onto the cross street. Continue reading Downtown Driving: Stuck in the median

You Can Judge a Hydrant by the Color!

Have you ever noticed the multi-colored fire hydrants in the greater Anniston area? If so, you may have wondered who developed their color schemes. The colors currently used within the Anniston Fire jurisdiction come from the Insurance Service Office’s (ISO) color coded recognition format. Each hydrant has a color format that visually informs a firefighter of the size of the water main and the gallons per minute flow (gpm) available at the hydrant — critical to quickly extinguish a blaze.

Every year, participants with the Opportunity Center paint hundreds of fire hydrants, and the Anniston Fire Department flow-tests every hydrant in the system or jurisdiction. The Anniston Water Works Engineering Department monitors the flow test results to guarantee that adequate pressures are maintained throughout the system. It’s a great partnership between two organizations that creates a cost saving benefit to all the ratepayers of the system.

So, unlike a book, you can judge a hydrant by its cover!

(Source: Reprinted with permission from the Anniston Water Works. Link here to the original version.)

 

Pictured above: A firefighter with the Anniston Fire Department tests a hydrant in Golden Springs.

Nightmare on Two Wheels

As Alabama’s status grows in cycling circles, we’re bound to see more cyclists traveling the local country and mountain roads. This is a good thing. Cycling is one of the “clean” tourism economies generating critical tax revenue and generating local jobs growth. We want cyclists and their families to visit us, and we want them to tell others how great cycling is in Alabama. As local residents, we can participate in creating a bike-friendly destination that will attract additional cycling tourists. A simple way to accomplish this is to be a responsible pet owner. Continue reading Nightmare on Two Wheels