'Delineators' intended to prevent crashes

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 | 5:00 p.m. CDT; updated 5:38 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 24, 2008

COLUMBIA — Wonder what those yellow, reflective plastic tubes are doing in the middle of Broadway just west of Providence Road? The city installed the “delineators” on Sunday to prohibit westbound drivers from making left-hand turns there. The Missourian talked with Jill Stedem, a spokeswoman for the Columbia Public Works Department; Scott Bitterman, supervising engineer of traffic for Public Works; and Sgt. Timothy Moriarity, the Columbia Police Department’s traffic unit supervisor to get some answers.

Q: Why have the delineators been put up?
A: “We’ve had a lot of accidents where people were attempting to make a left turn going westbound on Broadway into Walgreens,” Moriarity said, “and that backs up traffic into the intersection. The other problem is people in the left lane heading eastbound would stop and let them go through, and they would go through but there would be traffic in the right lane and they’d have a collision.”

Q: How many accidents have actually occurred at this intersection?
A: “Thirteen crashes occurred in an 18-month period,” Bitterman said.

Q: How much did the project cost?
A: “Ten-thousand dollars, including labor,” Stedem said.

Q: Are the delineators the permanent solution to the problem?
A: “Yes,” Stedem said. “Often similar problems are taken care of by a median, but there is not enough space in this location.”

Q: Have they been effective?
A: “Yes,” Moriarity said. “I can already tell right now because we no longer have cars backed up in that area.”

Q: Have any accidents resulted because people were not aware of the delineators?
A: “No, and I don’t think there will be,” Moriarity said. “The delineators have a high visual impact.”

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Charles Dudley Jr September 24, 2008 | 7:24 p.m.

Great job on solving that ongoing problem at that intersection.

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