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Letter: It’s time to review safety for Ham Lane intersections

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Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:00 am

I travel through the intersection of Ham and Vine three times a day. Whether the statistics state it is dangerous or not, listen to the people who drive it day in and day out. I also live close-by and regularly hear the screech of tires and bangs from wrecks.

The left turn lanes from the north and south are extremely dangerous in that one cannot see the oncoming traffic in the middle lanes. We wait and wait to be able to turn safely. Frustration certainly creeps in and then mistakes are made!

At 5 p.m., the lights change from green to red very quickly, allowing only a couple of vehicles to continue straight. Those waiting to make left turns are stuck there. The oncoming traffic never lets up long enough for people to make their turns. Why are the lights along Ham Lane not synchronized so there is a little let up in the traffic? Why this is so on a main through-street is beyond me, especially at “rush hour” — yes, we do have “rush hours” in this town.

Maybe the city needs to send someone out to view the traffic patterns at this intersection instead of waiting for more statistics, and yes, possibly more loss of life.

We cannot turn the clock back and prevent that horrendous accident from occurring, but now is the time to keep this family’s deaths from being in vain, or others who have died or been seriously injured at this intersection.

Bridget Wilson


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Ed Walters posted at 6:56 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Treacy: I will agree with you, as long as the sentence for texting compairs with DUI as they can both do the same amount of damage. You must remember that driving is a privilege rather than a right and can be removed from you as the DMV see`s fit, I fail to see the hurry to talk or text from the high school bunch as to what is so important as all that could be said was most likely said before leaving the school parking lot, this goes for older folks also. I live on a busy street and see it all the time. To be disconnected for a few minutes is not the end of the world. A complete stop means the wheels have stopped turning, ask any cop while he is writting you a ticket. Mean `ol man, no I just learned the hard way. [wink]

  • Jason Wilkins posted at 4:45 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Jason Wilkins Posts: 32

    I live near Lodi Middle School and walk my dog about 5 times a week and I walk on Ham Lane. I would estimate that easily 30 - 40 percent of drivers are on their hand held cell phones. Mornings, afternoons or evenings it just does not matter. Lots of times people are speeding and distracted. Being extremely attentive of your surroundings and watching the cars in every direction is important. Unfortunately no degree of attentiveness could have prevented this horrific crash. Changing the light cycles, adding time, adding turn only lanes with their own lights - none of these things would have prevented this senseless tragedy.

  • Treacy Elliott posted at 2:32 pm on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Treacy Elliott Posts: 77

    Ed, I agree with you, but make the penalty more like DUI. The basic difference is the drunk makes a bad decision under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The texter/cell phone user makes a bad decision with a supposedly clear mind. Both can end in preventable tradgedy. Problem with today's society is too many people believe laws don't apply to them. We are infringing on their rights to talk or text while driving. Nothing is more important to them than "being connected" every second of the day.

  • Ann Winters posted at 11:07 pm on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    Ann Posts: 27

    Well said, Josh. It's rare that I go out and about town, that I don't see high speed, talk or texting on cell phones, or running red lights. Also, coming to a full stop at stop signs is a rare sight, indeed. Just this past Thursday, driving past the train station, a small vehicle sped past me. I guess my observing the in town speed limit was just too slow for that driver. So sad, the unnecessary deaths and injuries that are caused by the reckless and senseless driving habits of some licensed drivers.

  • Ed Walters posted at 1:18 pm on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Ham and Vine are controlled by traffic lights. It is similar to Hwy.12 in one respect, it`s not the road, but the driver, it always has been and will remain dangerous due to the drivers that have other things on their minds. One way to convince drivers to not text, use a cell phone or other distractions is, $1,000 fine for texting or 6 months loss of drivers licence, or both. And you know what a drivers licence means to young drivers, or all drivers for that matter. Keep eyes on road and brain in gear at all times.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:20 am on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Josh, I agree. I don't even proceed through a green light without looking for traffic both ways. After years working in LA and the bay area, you never know when occurences such as this can occur.

  • wendy coe posted at 7:09 am on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    wendy coe Posts: 39

    I was at that intersection this week. It was not at 5, but 2 p.m. The light was red, and when it turned green one car went through and the second car was entering and the light had already turned yellow. 2 cars crossed only. It was identical the next round of cars. I totally agree with your opinion.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 6:36 am on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    I don't disagree with Ms. Wilson's letter, but unfortunately in this particular case no traffic light, stop sign or speed limit was going it prevent this accident. This was a result of total disdain for the law.


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