The intersection of Loudon and Bryan avenues in North Lexington has long caused headaches for motorists and pedestrians alike.
Bryan crosses Loudon at an angle, making turns from Bryan onto Loudon tricky. For pedestrian trying to cross the intersection, it’s-all-but impossible.
On Monday, the city unveiled a temporary solution that could become permanent if it improves safety.
The changes include eliminating some turn lanes, adding marked pedestrian crosswalks and rerouting traffic onto other streets.
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Drivers coming from North Limestone on Bryan Avenue will only be able to make a right turn onto Loudon Avenue. Drivers will then have to continue on Loudon and turn left onto Maple Avenue, which merges onto Bryan at the edge of Castlewood Park.
“Vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle safety have long been a concern of the neighborhoods and businesses in the project area,” says Scott Thompson, a transportation planner with the city. “This demonstration project is a low cost opportunity to measure the effectiveness of temporary solutions. Projects like this one often become capital projects for permanent installation.”
Changes to the intersection have been discussed for years, Thompson said.
“There have been tons of collisions in that area,” Thompson said.
The $43,000 cost of the project is being funded from a grant by the Safe Streets Academy and the city’s division of traffic engineering and division of environmental services. The Safe Streets Academy is managed by the National Complete Streets Coalition, which emphasizes street designs that promote motorist, pedestrian and bicycle safety.
“A team from the citizens environmental academy was looking to implement a project in the Loudon Avenue area and Safe Streets Academy had identified that area as one possible location for a demonstration project. Neither group had enough funding to implement a major project but by combining budgets and efforts, we were able to do this one,” Thompson said.
The city will measure the effectiveness of the changes to determine if they should be made permanent, Thompson said. The city will look at traffic counts, collision and other data to determine if the temporary changes are making the area safer.