Inconsistency #5: Crash data (part 1)

What makes this project necessary? The traffic on the road seems fine now.

Another multipart answer from the Flat Rock village council. We will look at:“There were 91 reported vehicle crashes along N. Highland Lake Road from 2011 to 2016. 21 of those accidents resulted in injuries. There were 3 accidents in the last quarter of 2017 and a hit and run in February of 2018 that involved a bicyclist who suffered a broken leg. (Statistics and incident reports provided by NCDOT and Blue Ridge Fire &Rescue.)”

The data provided by NCDOT does show 91 reported vehicle crashes along N. Highland Lake Road from 2011 to 2016. What the village council answer fails to say is that 45 of those 91 incidents occurred at or near the intersection of Spartanburg Highway and N. Highland Lake Road, a section of the road that NCDOT has already widened and straightened, and where NCDOT has already added left-hand turn lanes.

An additional 24 incidents occurred east of the railroad tracks (bringing it to a total of 69 accidents east of the railroad tracks) and a total of 11 incidents happened at the intersection of N. Highland Lake Road and Greenville Highway. That leaves 11 incidents over five years on the rest of N. Highland Lake Road.

Are curves in the road a problem? The data shows only three incidents over five years near the large curve at Highland Park Road and Highland Lake Drive, not exactly a dangerous area.

According to traffic studies, it may well be that the current width of the lanes (11 feet each), the visual border of trees, the railroad tracks, the curves in the road, and the lack of left-hand turn lanes work to keep the traffic slower and safer than would a wider road with dampened curves, left-hand turn lanes, no trees–and faster cars.


One thought on “Inconsistency #5: Crash data (part 1)

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  1. You can cite statistics until the cows come home. It’s just rationalization to intimidate people into thinking that this project is necessary. Facts show otherwise. The road itself is not unsafe.. DOT admits that. Accidents are caused by unsafe drivers making poor decisions. Widening will merely increase speed. Why is the Village Council in denial about this?


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