No traffic light upsets Edmond neighbors

A fatality accident at the intersection of Countrywood Lane and Santa Fe Avenue in Edmond is part of neighbors in Trails South housing addition's campaign to get a traffic light. City staff said the intersection doesn't meet the criteria needed to add a traffic light.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: November 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm •  Published: November 22, 2013

Neighbors in Trails South are upset with city staff members because they can't have a traffic light at Countrywood Lane and Santa Fe Avenue, which is one entrance into their housing addition.

The widow and mother of Erron Heise, 39, who died 16 days after his motorcycle was hit by a pickup at that intersection, were among the 25 people who met this week with city staffers in a campaign for the traffic light.

The driver, Daniel Bricker, 54, of Edmond, admitted to police he looked down and didn't see the stopped motorcycle in front of his pickup.

Amy Heise and her husband of four years lived in the housing addition. Erron Heise was headed home just before 11 a.m. on Sept. 24 to look for their dogs when the accident happened on Santa Fe, Edmond police reported.

“My fight isn't for a stoplight,” Amy Heise said. “It would not have helped Erron. It would not have saved him.”

Amy Heise, who lives in the 1100 block of Bank Side Circle, wants additional police presence to slow the speeding vehicles on Santa Fe.

Police calculated Bricker was driving 55 mph in the 45 mph zone. Bricker faces a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge. He is free from jail on $2,000 bail. He is scheduled on the 8 a.m. Dec. 5 disposition docket in Oklahoma County District Court.

“The police have got to be there,” said Amy Heise. “I'm not opposed to the stoplight. It is scary when you turn left.”

She and her husband had speculated there was going to be an accident at that intersection because people drove too fast, she said.

Her neighbors want more. They definitely want a traffic light to correct a problem they said has been an issue for years.

They were invited to meet this week with Jim Smith, Edmond's assistant city manager of operations, and Tom Minnick, city traffic planner, to learn about a traffic study the city conducted at that intersection.

The traffic study calculated the number of vehicles that use that intersection and the number of accidents.

National standards outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices must be met before a traffic light can be installed in Edmond and anywhere else in the United States, Minnick said. The standards were first adopted in 1935.

The numbers don't meet the criteria to allow the city to install a traffic light at that intersection, Minnick said.

Upset with city

Most of the neighbors were angry to learn their intersection wasn't a candidate for a traffic light.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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