Police to crack down on drivers who block intersections near mall

Monday, November 24, 2008 | 5:07 p.m. CST; updated 5:13 p.m. CST, Monday, November 24, 2008

COLUMBIA — On Stadium Boulevard between West Broadway and Interstate 70, the Columbia Police Department will be “aggressively enforcing” traffic signal violations and the blocking of intersections through the end of the year, according to a news release.

The heightened enforcement will last from the Friday after Thanksgiving through the sales at the end of Christmas, said Columbia police Sgt. Shelley Jones.

According to the release, the intersections include Stadium Boulevard and Broadway, Worley Street, Ash Street, Bernadette Drive, I-70 Drive Southwest and the I-70 east and west bound ramps.

According to the release, this is the fifth consecutive year that police will heighten enforcement, following many complaints and accidents in 2004. In 2007, 44 accidents were reported at this location from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  And in 2005, 297 vehicles were stopped because of intersection violations during the same time period, the release said.

Most violations arise from motorists breaking Columbia City Ordinance 14-251, “Blocking the Intersection.”

“There’s so much traffic congestion in that area on a regular basis, and add the Christmas and mall shoppers that go through there, it becomes a major problem,” Jones said. “It leads to aggressive behavior. We’ve had a couple instances where drivers started yelling at each other.”

The main problem is that drivers pull into an intersection when the light is green, but traffic in front of them does not move forward so motorists are in the way of crossing vehicles and crosswalks, Jones said. 

“You want to make sure you can get through the intersection so that you’re not blocking cars coming through or the crosswalk,” she said.

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Charles Dudley Jr November 24, 2008 | 5:35 p.m.

If they have not learned how to properly drive by now then yank their license,tow their cars and make them bike or ride the bus but then again busting these obvious problem drivers generates some revenue for the city so maybe look into increasing the fines given by the city court judges.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 25, 2008 | 6:53 a.m.

Hopefully they'll come to Clark Lane next.

(Report Comment)
Paul Gilzow November 25, 2008 | 10:54 a.m.

Add providence in front of the intersection of Elm Street to the list please.

(Report Comment)
Mike Zweifel November 25, 2008 | 11:21 a.m.

I second the Clark Lane and Hwy. 63/I-70 interchange suggestion. The Columbia Police Department could assign an officer to that intersection, and pay for that officer's salary, benefits, transportation, and then some, with all the vehicles that would get a ticket.

Just give the officer a motorcycle to get there and back. The officer could walk through the intersection, passing out tickets. It was horrendous this past weekend.

Same with Broadway downtown during the lunch hour; any intersection will work.

(Report Comment)
Blake Segafredo November 25, 2008 | 11:43 a.m.

I feel that a better solution to this problem would be a city wide re-programming of the traffic signals. A portion of the problem is due to bad timing sequences. Until that is fixed, no amount of police presence will help the problem.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 25, 2008 | 11:46 a.m.

The Clark Lane problem has nothing to do with timing. It's all about people thinking that one more car can sneak through -- and then it doesn't.

(Report Comment)

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