Intersections in bad need of overhaul

Published 9:03 am Friday, March 6, 2015

I’m not a construction engineer by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me many of the city’s streets and roads were laid out in such a way to make driving as hazardous as it could be.

Louisiana Avenue is such an example. Drivers almost have to transform themselves into Regan of “The Exorcist” fame when they attempt to cross Louisiana Avenue. It seems one has to turn their head 360 degrees in order to cross safely and not crash into another driver.

Thankfully, that problem will be corrected one day. For a lot of us who travel on Louisiana Avenue frequently, that problem can’t be solved soon enough.

Certainly, Louisiana Avenue is not the only hazardous thoroughfare in the city that tends to have a large number of accidents, but it does have more than its fair share. I would venture to guess driving faster than one should is a major factor in those crashes.

There are a number of hazardous intersections in the city. Some that come to mind that I cross because of the proximity to the newspaper are Louisiana Avenue and North Columbia Street, East Third Street and Sullivan Drive and East Fourth Street and Sullivan.

At all three intersections, one has to inch out in the roadway to try and see if anything is coming. Then there is shrubbery on Louisiana and North Columbia that makes seeing oncoming traffic difficult. At Fourth Street and Sullivan, there is that vacant, dilapidated building opposite the Family Dollar Store that makes seeing oncoming traffic in a safe manner virtually impossible. And at East Third and Sullivan, there is the cinderblock wall on a small hill that hides oncoming traffic headed your way.

It seems to me an answer for the Fourth Street and Sullivan problem would be to bulldoze the building so drivers would have a clear vision of what is coming. That makes sense to me. I’m sure there are some legal questions in that scenario.

A remedy for many of the blind intersections in town would be to cut back the shrubbery so drivers can see what is coming. I realize money is tight nowadays, but that is a thought.

There are cities and towns that seem to have roadways waiting for accidents to happen. I only have to think back to my college days at Ole Miss to realize that.

During my time at Ole Miss, a narrow road encircled the Grove, which is an open area where students can relax and exercise should they so desire. The road around the Grove at the time consisted of three lanes of traffic, not including a parking lane.

During finals, a student in the parking lane happened to open the driver’s door just as I passed by. My car clipped his car door and ripped it back. That incident certainly didn’t help my mental state as I headed to my first exam.

As the city gets its financial situation in order, hopefully some of these problems at various intersections can be corrected in the very near future. The main thing to avoid an accident is to remember to drive defensively and be cautious. A cautious driver is the best weapon against road hazards and certainly other less-cautious motorists.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer with the Daily News. He can be reached by calling 985-7322-2565 or by email at