|Springfield Public Works is testing out the safety benefits of a new right-turn lane design with a pilot study at the intersection of Battlefield Road and Campbell Avenue. The design with a tighter angle is recommended by the Federal Highway Administration and temporary rumble strips simulating new curb lines have been installed on the right-turn lane approaches on the northeast and southwest corners – turns with a traditionally high frequency of crashes. This new design also accommodates wide-turning vehicles like semi-trucks and trailers.
Crash history shows that motorists traveling in the right turn lane are much more likely to be involved in a rear-end crash than when traveling in any other lane. When several of Springfield’s busiest intersections were built, large-radius turn lanes were standard, allowing traffic to merge swiftly. However, crash data has since shown that turns with a large radius allow faster approach speeds and cause drivers to lose sight of the vehicle in front of them, resulting in rear-end crashes.
Through the voter-approved 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax, funding has been designated to make safety and capacity improvements to several Springfield intersections, with the goal of increasing right-turn lane safety.
“After several months, a crash study will be conducted comparing crashes before and after the installation,” said Public Works Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “We will also evaluate the effect of the modified design on crashes, traffic flow, pedestrian safety and truck traffic. This information will assist with the future redesign of major intersections in a way that best suits our community.”