By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Traffic bottlenecks are often an unexpected disadvantage of living in a planned community, especially when the HOA subdivision has only one road in and out.
All of the curvy loop roads and cul-de-sacs connect to a few main artery roads, sort of like branches extending from a tree trunk. The result: vehicles often travel on the main roads at unsafe speeds, ignoring stop signs. And during morning and evening rush hours, traffic gets backed up at the community’s exit onto a local highway.
If the subdivision is gated, similar backups occur upon entry, too.
The problem is particularly frustrating, and potentially dangerous for neighborhoods with a single entry and exit point.
Such is the case for University Club in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, according to reports by WBRZ. The upscale subdivision has more than 700 homes, with hundreds of residents leaving for work every morning at about the same time.
University Club has one access point, and it intersects with Louisiana state route 30. But there’s no traffic signal at the three-way intersection, and there are no stop signs on LA-30. So residents have to wait in a long line of traffic, as each vehicle stops at the highway, until they can turn and quickly accelerate.
Not only is waiting inconvenient, but it’s also unsafe, according. To University Club HOA residents. They say drivers are often forced to dart quickly out into the intersection with oncoming traffic traveling at relatively high speeds.
The state Department of Transportation reportedly concluded there’s not enough traffic at the intersection for a stop light. But watch the video below, and see if you agree.
HOA takes matters into its own hands
Frustrated with the lack of action from state and local officials, University Club HOA chose to hire an off-duty Sheriff to direct traffic at the busy intersection, so residents can safely exit their neighborhood for their morning commute.
But that causes another problem. Now traffic backs up on LA-30. Drivers from other nearby communities say that the backup leads to sudden stops, which could result in rear-end vehicle collisions.
And now all of the other drivers complain about traffic delays, making them late getting to work or getting their children to school.
One resident of University Club suggests adding an acceleration lane, so that residents can more easily exit onto LA-30. But that won’t help residents trying to turn left onto LA-30, nor will it help drivers trying to enter University Club from the highway.
Why the reluctance to add a stop light?
This is a very common problem, even in my own personal experience. I’ve owned three homes, one of them HOA-governed. In all three locations, and in two different states, local roads or HOA roads intersected with state highways, with no stop lights.
So I can personally relate to the problem faced by residents of University Club.
In two out three locations, the state didn’t approve a traffic light until several traffic accidents resulted in fatalities. Then, due to negative media coverage and public pressure, a stop light was approved and installed.
Also, in both cases, signs were installed in advance of the traffic signal, and speed limits were reduced, to warn highway drivers of the possibility of stopped traffic ahead.
But, in the case of the HOA community, the state expected the real estate developer to pay for installation of the traffic signal. That dragged out the approval and installation process for more than a year, while both parties negotiated exactly how much money the developer would have to pay.
Unfortunately, the state department of transportation’s reluctance to add a sorely needed traffic light puts drivers at increased risk of injury or fatality.
While they’re at it, homeowners should work with their HOA, Parish and state leaders to build a second entry and exit point for their community.
Iberville Parish residents say ‘not so fast’ to off-duty deputy hired to direct neighborhood traffic
February 06, 2019 6:50 PM in News Source: WBRZ By: Brittany Weiss
ST. GABRIEL – Turns out, not everyone is happy with the way one neighborhood is dealing with traffic.
The University Club Homeowner’s Association in East Baton Rouge Parish hired an off-duty sheriff’s deputy to direct traffic at the entrance to its neighborhood. The residents were so fed up with a lack of solutions from officials about traffic congestion the HOA took matters into their own hands. Now, some people are trying to put the brakes on that.
One of those people is St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau.
“I don’t think it’s illegal but I know one thing, it’s not fair,” he said.
For the last couple of months, Ambeau says the calls have been constant. Wednesday morning he said he received a phone call from a woman who was crying on the phone after experiencing an 18-wheeler slam on the brakes behind her as she stopped to traffic in front of her. The caller had said it happened on LA 30 heading toward University Club, where a deputy was directing traffic.
Ambeau says there are thousands of drivers taking LA-30 from St. Gabriel to Baton Rouge every day.
Read more (video):