NEWS Memphis choosing revenue or safety in road design leads to accidents, traffic experts say – FOX13 News Memphis

Memphis choosing revenue or safety in road design leads to accidents, traffic experts say - FOX13 News Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 Investigates is investigating some of the most dangerous intersections in Shelby County, where cars are speeding, people are changing lanes wildly and others are slamming on the brakes.

FOX13 Investigates has been tracking problems at these intersections for months, dating back to last winter. The accident happened at these so-called “dangerous intersections,” and the FOX13 investigation wanted to know why.

FOX13 Poll: Memphis’ Most Dangerous Intersections

One of the busiest roads in Memphis is on Winchester Road, which is also home to four of the city’s five most dangerous intersections: Winchester Road. at Plow Ave; Winchester Rd at Kirby Park Rd; Winchester Rd at Riverdale Rd; Winchester Rd at Germantown Rd.

In 2021 alone, there will be 563 accidents at these intersections.

FOX13 Investigates handed over the intersection in question to Chuck Marohn, one of America’s top traffic experts.

“We end up building a lot of these things when we really shouldn’t be doing it,” Marohn said in a Zoom interview with FOX13 Investigates.

RELATED: Memphis driver pushes traffic light at dangerous intersection after child dies in crash

Marohn worked as a civil engineer and urban planner for decades before founding the Strong Towns Group, which works against conventional growth in cities and roads.

Marohn blames much of the problem on road designs he calls “streets.”

“You can’t move vehicles at high speeds or make them switch lanes; cars going in and out of lanes at random. … [I]It’s trying to do two things that are directly in conflict with each other and failing at the same time,” Marohn said.

Memphis added red-light cameras at several intersections in Winchester. But, years later, those same intersections are still on the most dangerous lists.

“You can’t combine these things — high speeds and random stops, speed cameras like this — and there’s nothing but a high crash rate. People might be inspired to put them in by safety; they actually It didn’t improve security, so they ended up just increasing revenue,” Marohn said.

They don’t generate that much income. Figures pulled by FOX13 Investigates show that Memphis issued nearly 20,000 tickets last year, but collected less than $270,000 from red-light cameras.

“These are bad investments for the city, but (the city) does it anyway because we make money today,” Marohn said when asked by a reporter whether the Memphis government was putting profit over safety by designing roads the way they did. Said.

“There’s really no reason for the Memphis area to build another foot of this design,” Marohn said.

Planners and engineers should stop designing “roads” and roads that slow traffic down and give drivers safer places to turn, Marohn said.

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