Caution: Frustrated drivers in construction zones
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 23:19:51 GMT —
As the orange construction cones continue to go up, so do the number of frustrated drivers and accidents. It's even affecting businesses.
It's becoming a too familiar sight around town. Caution: Roadwork Ahead. There's construction on I-40, Hillside, and U.S. 87, just to name a few.
Besides seeing a rise in the number of frustrated drivers, there's typically a rise in accidents.
"Traffic gets choked down to one or two lanes where it might be three lanes. People stack up in there and people still have the tendency to be in the same hurry where they need to be and they'll forget to give enough room, and one of the most common accidents that I see out there, from someone following too closely," said Sgt. Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department.
Sgt. Barbee says drivers gawking at an accident will sometimes cause another one, or a traffic jam that slows first responders who need to get through.
"When the officers are trying to get to the scene the traffic is stacked up for them, and very often several blocks beyond the accident. And they can't drive there any faster than anyone else if someone is in their way".
But it's the Hillside construction project that really has folks up in arms.
"I go about a mile out of my way to go home, to keep from having to get on Hillside Road," said Virgie Cook, The Bell Hillside Shopping Center Owner.
Cook says her merchants at The Bell Hillside Shopping Center are losing customers because of the repairs.
"Most of my merchants are doing less than half their usual amount of business".
So for now, drivers will remain frustrated as the city undergoes what officials say are some much needed road repairs.
But they do advise you to slow down, pay closer attention to the road, and allow yourself more time to get where you're going.
For speeders, know this, a ticket in a construction zone, with workers present, doubles and can carry a maximum fine of $1,000.