Two days after the opening of the southern bypass, an accident has occurred at the intersection of KY 96. For some in the community they saw it coming.

There have been many opinions circulating on social media about the lack of traffic signals on KY 100 and KY 96. Instead these intersections are to be equipped with stop signs, pavement markings, and a red flashing light at one. Some say, however, that is not enough.

“It’s a new road and nobody is accustomed to where the intersections are and what they are supposed to do when they reach them,” said Christy Scott-Blick. “I disagree with this idea. I feel all intersections should be the same. I feel traffic lights should be installed. It’s hard enough for an experienced license driver to understand and follow, much less new teenage drivers or elderly drivers. Common sense should tell you they are needed.”

Scott-Blick further stated working people pay the taxes that build and maintain the roads and those people should have a say.

“How many people will it take to lose their lives or get injured? The decision shouldn’t be based on amount of traffic traveling the roads before this gets resolved. Just having a stop sign isn’t gonna resolve the problem when people have traveled these roads for years and aren’t use to that. Lights are the answer,” added Scott-Blick.

According to Wes Watt, Public Information Officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, there are specific state and federal warrants that have to be met before a traffic signal can be placed. Some of the variables to be met in a warrant includes: traffic volume, site distance, crash data and traffic forecasting.

“There is a process for traffic signals and a very thorough study is done on intersections,” said Watt. “Local, district and state engineers study and analyze data to see if a traffic signal is necessary. But it is important to note that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is always looking at a project. We don’t complete a project and just leave it. Just because an intersection doesn’t meet the warrants at this time, doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.”

Watt reminds that when the other section of the bypass was complete and opened for traffic, many of the signals there now were not then.

“Traffic signals are a process. We monitor the growth and traffic patterns continually,” Watt said.

Watt says the Cabinet sees this concern every time a new roadway opens up that creates an intersection. There are always those who are nervous about the difference and change.

Watt adds that traffic signals actually cause more crashes at an intersection.

“Most people are unaware of this fact, but studies have shown time and time again the increase of accidents if a traffic signal is installed. It is not a guarantee accidents will go down if there is a traffic signal,” said Watt.

Portable message boards are in place at the intersections telling travelers of the up and coming stops. According to Watt, they will stay there for several weeks. There will also be a red flashing beacon installed at the KY 100 intersection, as well as pavement markings and duel mounted stop signs.

Local officials are concerned as well.

“I’d really love to see traffic signals at both intersections of KY 100 and KY 96. We need to continue to let our state Senator, Whitney Westerfield and our Representative, Jason Petrie know how we feel,” said Russellville Mayor, Mark Stratton.

Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick said he was somewhat concerned, but realizes the state has criteria to follow.

“If the state does what they say by making it visible by a beacon and signage thats fine, but if we find there are accidents happening, we will stick to trying to get signals if they are needed,” said Chick.