Drivers in Greensboro often complain about crazy traffic patterns and dangerous intersections around the city – and now they can put that constant griping to good use.
That’s because the Greensboro Department of Transportation is asking people to let them know the worst intersections, traffic patterns and driver practices in town.
City transportation officials are encouraging area drivers to take a survey and provide comments at visionzerogso.metroquest.com.
They will no doubt get tons of responses. Given how many complaints people have about the street layout and related matters in Greensboro, asking publically for that input is a lot like calling up an insurance salesman and asking if they have any suggestions on what kind of insurance you need and how much.
The online survey offers a map for pinpointing problem intersections and other areas of concern – from confusing signage to identifying those places where road rage is common. For some reason, the most annoying thing about Greensboro commuting – drivers refusing to use turn signals – isn’t listed in the choices; however, citizens are welcome to add any complaint they want.
Another section of the survey asks people things like whether they believe Greensboro should have red light cameras or ban cell phone use while driving.
The effort is part of Vision Zero – a city transportation program meant to reduce major accidents and prevent traffic deaths in Greensboro – which have been extremely high in recent years. As the program’s name implies, the goal is to bring the number of serious accidents and traffic fatalities in the city to zero. While that might be an unobtainable goal, there’s no question there are lots of crazy traffic spots that need fixing in Greensboro’s bizarre, convoluted road system that legend has it was designed by M.C. Escher. As a first step in its effort, Vision Zero is trying to identify the main reasons why serious accidents occur so that the city can take steps to prevent them in the future.
The launch of the survey on Monday, Jan. 14 has ignited online debates about Greensboro’s traffic safety on Facebook and other sites. On the social media site Nextdoor.com, for instance, residents listed everything from speeding on Cone Blvd. to a total disregard of stop signs by drivers citywide.
One Greensboro couple posted that the city’s biggest traffic threat was “People running red lights and stop signs,” and added, “We have lived all over the country and we’ve never lived where so many people disobey the rules of the road.”
One Irving Park resident pointed out an obvious candidate for an intersection that needs major attention – and how: “Lawndale and Cornwallis intersection. Worst intersection in Greensboro.”
That intersection, with two major parallel roads, train tracks, a traffic light pattern that would rival a late ‘60s lightshow at a Pink Floyd concert and traffic from six directions bearing down on numerous busy parking lot entrances. The intersection even has a neon psychic home-business sign competing for attention.
Another city driver complained online of their biggest peeve – “Trying to get out of subdivisions along Elm St., such as Land’s End. Traffic is going 45 mph or more, making a pull out a hazardous maneuver.”
According to an explanation of the Vision Zero effort, “Current trends in fatalities and serious injuries make clear that new methods need to be tried to improve safety outcomes. Vision Zero Greensboro, is not expected to recreate the wheel, but join many wheels together, through collaborative partnerships, moving in unison to save lives!”
The initiative is taking as a starting point the acknowledgement that human error while driving is inevitable, and therefore that the city’s transportation systems should be made to be more “forgiving.”
One tenant of the city’s Vision Zero program is that “Safety work should focus on systems-level changes above influencing individual behavior.”