Exiting a turnpike or super highway can be a challenge when it involves entering a heavily traveled roadway. It's often trouble for those already on that roadway as well as when those leaving the turnpike/highway try to jump lanes immediately.
I would like to know when the city, state, or turnpike authority is going to do something about putting up some concrete barriers at the westbound John Kilpatrick Turnpike off-ramp for Pennsylvania Avenue. People are coming off the ramp and are immediately trying to turn right into the (retail shopping) parking area. ... I have nearly had three accidents there traveling west on Memorial Road, and the last one involved a mother with a young child in the rear passenger-side baby seat. If I would not have been able to stop, I would have T-boned the vehicle right by where the child was seated. Something needs to be done like they did at the Northwest 39 Expressway and the Interstate 44 westbound on-ramp.
Well, Harry, there apparently is nothing such planned at this time, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the city of Oklahoma City tell me.
The location you're talking about, the off-ramp at the Penn-Memorial intersection, is partly under the turnpike agency's jurisdiction and part under the city's control. The roadway at Northwest 39 Expressway and I-44 involves the city and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. That doesn't decide where a barrier is or is not used, however. It's dependent upon several factors.
I have gone through both of those intersections within the past week. Whereas those exiting off the Kilpatrick have a pretty clear view of traffic that is approaching from behind, those turning westbound onto Northwest 39 Expressway from I-44 have some obstruction.
The Memorial Road traffic also goes immediately into left turn, straight ahead, or right turn. The I-44 to Expressway traffic goes a greater distance before it reaches a stoplight.
Where the big problem occurs, as you pointed out, is when vehicles exit the turnpike and attempt to slash and dash across Memorial. Would a barrier reduce the danger? Possibly. It's less than a block from the ramp to the light. Would you force everyone exiting the turnpike to turn left?
I think it will take more engineering study to see how the traffic flow would work. The traffic engineers constantly assess the major routes.
We'll see what they come up with.
By the way ...
Have you seen those public service announcements about the consequences of texting and driving? Powerful stuff.
There's one where a young man has trouble speaking and says he has had thoughts about giving up because of the hardships the brain damage and other injuries he suffered in an accident caused by texting.
There's another where a young woman shows the text between her and a friend or sister who was killed when she crashed while she was looking at her phone as they were communicating. One word.
It only takes a second for tragedy to strike. One tiny second of distraction can produce a lifetime of pain and anguish.
Hopefully, you are not among those who engage in this dangerous — and sometimes fatal — activity. If you HAVE TO communicate by phone, pull over. Be safe, not sorry.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.
To learn about road construction projects throughout the state, go to okladot.state.ok.us and click on “Traffic Advisories.”