Russell Street, right along the Bates College campus, has 3 of the most dangerous intersections in the city. Along a .2 mile stretch between Main St and Bardwell St, there were 41 accidents last year!
Eliminating a lane of traffic is the best way to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists alike.
Maine Traffic Fatalities are on the Rise
Sadly, the state of Maine has seen an increase in traffic fatalities in recent years. Lewiston is no exception. Here is a sobering statistic:
Between 2013 and 2015, there has been a 17% increase in fatalities on Maine’s roads.
We can do better.
By eliminating a lane on Russell Street, we will be taking a strong step in the right direction in improving our pedestrian safety. We can even set an example for others.
A Dangerous Road for Drivers and Pedestrians Alike
Russell Street appears three times on lists of the most dangerous intersections in Lewiston. Its accident statistics from 2015 are atrocious.
- The intersection with College Street had 15 reported accidents in 2015.
- The intersection with Main Street had 14.
- The intersection with North Bardwell Street had 12.
This is unacceptable for an area where so many students, faculty and other members of the public are traveling as pedestrians and motorists.
Russell Street “Road Diet” is the Solution
So, how does eliminating a lane on Russell Street help the problem? It’s simple. Russell Street goes on a “road diet.”
A “road diet” is what traffic professionals call eliminating a travel lane. These road diets usually involve reducing 4-lane roads to 3-lanes, making room for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The result is two through-lanes and one turn lane. This allows plenty of room for cars, while making pedestrian and bicycle accidents less likely.
The Key is Removing the Fourth Lane
Some benefits of removing the fourth lane include:
- Drivers can only drive as fast as the lead car in any lane.
- Cars going straight are separated from turning cars, which means traffic doesn’t slow while someone is turning.
- The slower speeds on three lane roads reduce the chances of an auto or pedestrian accident.
- Slower speeds mean that any accidents that do occur are likely to be less dangerous.
- There are fewer lanes for pedestrians to cross.
The Bottom Line
Eliminating a lane on Russell Street is the best, most cost-efficient way to reduce accidents near Bates College and make Lewiston safer.
Please sign our petition to reduce Russell Street by a lane. The time to take action is now.
Image via flickr by reivax