Cutting Carnage — Changes overdue along Dallas Highway
June 19, 2013 11:16 PM | 4610 views | 7 7 comments | 113 113 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a county traversed by three major interstate highways where average speeds often seem to hit the 90 mph mark, one of the most dangerous stretches of road in recent years has, improbably, been the segment of Dallas Highway between Old Hamilton and Bob Cox roads in front of the Avenue West Cobb shopping center.

An average of nine accidents a year have taken place at the entrance to The Avenue since 2009, including a fatality on May 15. Another fatal accident took place at the Dallas Highway intersection with Old Hamilton/Casteel roads in 2011, with a third fatal accident taking place that year at the Dallas Highway/West Sandtown Road intersection a half mile to the east.

According to Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee, there is not enough distance for drivers on Dallas Highway who are turning into the Avenue mall to see oncoming eastbound traffic on the highway. And a similar condition exists at the Dallas Highway/Old Hamilton/Casteel intersection near the western entrance to the mall.

The county now has changed the two traffic lights so that as of last week, westbound drivers turning left are only able to do so when eastbound traffic has come to a full stop.

“Like any issue like that, it will increase congestion, but the improved safety outweighed the increased congestion that may occur at that intersection,” Lee said.

The cost to taxpayers is about $5,000 per intersection — a pittance, especially when one considers the potential savings in lives and property damage.

Other changes are afoot as well.

The state Department of Transportation is planning to extend the left-turn lanes at The Avenue, which will create more “storage” space for cars waiting to make that turn.

And the county is hoping to persuade the state to approve a similar alteration to the traffic light at the Dallas Highway/Bob Cox Road intersection, where eastbound travelers hoping to turn onto Bob Cox must also contend with short sight-lines caused by a hill.

Equally important, the county wants to lower the speed limit to 45 mph from 55.

“We believe a lower speed limit will give drivers more time to see and react to other cars in the area in order to avoid collisions,” county spokesman Bob Quigley said.

The county cannot make such changes unilaterally, because Dallas Highway is a state road (S.R. 120).

Those changes are overdue, but none the less are welcome. As noted above, they should go far to reduce the carnage to life and property on one of Cobb’s busiest roads.
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Rick Z
June 21, 2013
Whatever the merits of this editorial, its credibility is undermined by the hyperbole of the very first sentence:

"In a county traversed by three major interstate highways where AVERAGE speeds OFTEN seem to hit the 90 mph mark," (emphasis added)

90 mph as the average speed? Ludicrous.

And even when talking about the most extreme drivers on the road, rather than average, I'd barely call 90 mph occasional, not "often." 80 mph would be often.
Shut it down donkey!
June 21, 2013
No speed limits gonna change the self absorption of the drivers who live out there. They will still crash into each other just as much. ISTG these people can't even JOG without running into each other. They are so dang self absorped and belive the world should bow to them and only them.

Obama needs to close Dallas Highway at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to protect the historical integrity of the federal land.

If he did that for us here in Marietta, as a huge plus the West Cobb Paulding cell phone big gulp SUV little big mamas would have to go around Marietta on their 30 mile drive to Lenox to see and be seen with the new shopping bag they just bought off eBay because they can't really afford to shop at the store.

Brother Thomas
June 23, 2013
This is simply a stupid statement.
Darth Cobb
June 27, 2013
Yes.. Yes... Let the hate flow through you...let it wash over you. Drink it in, bathe in it... Let it invade, infect you... Fester in you. Only then will the jealously you choke on turn to a blinding rage that frees you from all moral constraint. Or... OR, you could get a life. Your choice.
I Say
June 20, 2013
I concur that the speed limit between Bob Cox Rd and Old Hamilton/Casteel Rds should be lowered to 35 mph. There isn't enough between the 4 signals to safely travel at a speed any higher than that unless it's 2 or 3 in the morning when traffic is at a minimum. Definition of Speed Limit: The fastest speed one may travel under perfect conditions. How often are the conditions "perfect", Especially in this area?
It's About Time
June 19, 2013
I am so glad to see that something is being done about Dallas Highway. Reducing the speed limit between Old Hamilton and Bob Cox is crucial. I think that 45 mph is still too fast though. 35 or 40 would be better. Still, I am happy to see the county taking measures to make this part of our county a bit more safer.
real world
June 20, 2013
perhaps the county and the state could just properly engineer that section of road rather than increasing congestion and changing speed limit signs that will be promptly ignored as drivers adapt to the prevailing speed.
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