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Accident Prone Intersection To Be Overhauled

SANTA BARBARA — Construction on one of the most accident prone street intersections in Santa Barbara will begin early next week. After five weeks, there will be new traffic signals, pedestrian crosswalk signs and new sidewalks on the Carrillo and Anacapa Street intersection. “Once in a while if we got the office windows open, we’ll hear a screech and sometimes it’s accompanied by a crash a half second or so afterward. But it kind of centers around this intersection right here,” explained Daniel Brown, who works about a block away. From 2003 to 2007, there were 62 traffic accidents. “And it was considered the intersection with the most accidents than any other intersection in the city,” said City Engineer Pat Kelly. The plans call for overhanging traffic lights that will be visible to motorists from a further distance. “This could be a major improvement if they put lights in the center of the intersection because I see a lot of close calls. I’ve never really seen an accident but I’ve seen a lot of close calls here,” Jay Van Muter, tour bus driver. Another improvement is to make changes to the curbs that will make pedestrians more visible and reduce the time it takes to cross the street. The traffic signal controller which was knocked out twice in one week back in 2008 will be moved further away from the street to make sure if another accident happens, the signals will still be operational. During construction, one lane in each direction will be closed to drivers but sidewalks will remain open. “We anticipate we’ll have a safer intersection for pedestrians and vehicles,” said Kelly. Construction is scheduled to be completed before Thanksgiving.

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