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Posted: 5:36 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013
By Tenikka Smith
SALISBURY, N.C. —
There are plans Wednesday night to make major changes to a busy intersection in front of the VA Hospital in Salisbury. Eyewitness News checked and there have been more than a dozen accidents there. About 2,000 cars use the main entrance of the VA Medical Center each day. More than 8,000 pass by on Brenner Avenue and a new parking deck coming in 2016 will bring even more traffic to the area. Getting in and out can be difficult for drivers like Vietnam veteran Larry Harris. "You've got to really watch both sides. Sometimes you can't see those cars coming and it's dangerous," he said. Which is what prompted the VA to reach out to city leaders to find out what could be done. "We have patients coming in and out of every day in wheelchairs and disabled and we want to protect their livelihood and wellbeing," said VA public affairs officer Carol Waters. City engineer Wendy Brindle has been monitoring traffic at the intersection since 1996. She said it never met the requirements for a traffic light until now. "This last time we looked at it, the volumes do not meet traffic signal but there has been some accidents in the area," Brindle said. There have been 13 accidents there in the last three years. Ten were side impact crashes that Brindle said likely could have been prevented with a traffic signal. She says five preventable crashes in a 12-month period meets the requirement for a traffic signal. Six happened at the entrance between April 2012 and April 2013. The city is now looking to get funding for a traffic signal, pedestrian signals and crosswalks. It will cost about $80,000. The city and VA have discussed sharing the costs.
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