Fayette County

State plans to install traffic signal after several accidents on new stretch of Citation Boulevard

Robert Duncan, who lives nearby, stood at the new intersection of Citation Boulevard and Greendale Road Wednesday. Since the Citation extension opened to traffic on Monday, five accidents have been reported at the crossing.
Robert Duncan, who lives nearby, stood at the new intersection of Citation Boulevard and Greendale Road Wednesday. Since the Citation extension opened to traffic on Monday, five accidents have been reported at the crossing. Herald-Leader

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced Wednesday that a traffic signal will be installed at an intersection on newly opened Citation Boulevard.

Lexington police have investigated five traffic accidents at the Greendale Road intersection since the Citation Boulevard extension opened to traffic Monday afternoon.

Until the light can be installed, movement will be limited at the intersection, according to a Transportation Cabinet news release:

■ Left turns from and onto Citation Boulevard at the intersection are not allowed.

■ Through traffic on Greendale Road across Citation Boulevard is prohibited.

■ Right turns onto Citation Boulevard from Greendale Road and from Citation Boulevard onto Greendale Road will be allowed.

There is no indication of when the traffic signal may be completed.

A Twitter post from the Transportation Cabinet said the signal will be installed "ASAP," meaning as soon as possible.

A meeting with a design team is scheduled for Thursday.

People in nearby neighborhoods began calling for a traffic signal after the first accident, saying that Citation Boulevard, a four-lane road, is too wide for Greendale traffic to cross without a light.

"It's just too great a distance," said Robert Garnham, who lives in a neighborhood near the intersection. "You've got an awful lot of people facing disaster with the way it is."

The speed limit of 50 mph on Citation Boulevard also is a concern to some people.

"It's easy for the speed to run away from you," Garnham said. "Even people with the best of intentions could cause an accident."

Robert Duncan, who also lives nearby, said that many are driving well over the speed limit.

There's not enough time for people to get across Citation even when vehicles are going the speed limit, and vehicles exceeding the speed limit could cause an even bigger problem, Duncan said.

An officer was stationed at the intersection Wednesday morning to monitor traffic. Within 30 minutes of arriving, the officer had pulled over two cars for running the stop sign on Greendale Road.

The heavily traveled corridor includes trucks heading to and from the nearby FedEx and UPS processing plants.

During the original planning of Citation Boulevard, the intersection with Greendale did not meet the criteria for a traffic light, said Natasha F. Lacy, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

"You can't just put up a traffic signal anywhere," Lacy said. There are several qualifications an area must meet before a signal can be put in, including volume of traffic, sight distance and geometry of the area.

All of these qualifications were re-evaluated after Citation Boulevard opened and the accidents began, Lacy said.

A hill on one side of the intersection and a curve on the other reduce the distance that a driver crossing Citation can see.

This was taken into account during planning along with the width of Citation Boulevard that Greendale drivers would have to cross, Lacy said.

With the opening of the extension, Citation Boulevard now connects Leestown Road, Georgetown Road and Newtown Pike in northwest Lexington. It is named for Citation, the Thoroughbred who won the Triple Crown in 1948.

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