Curb Issues N. Woodward and 141 Centre Ferris Rd.

Dear Budd. While I was walking this morning, I decided to change my route so that I would not have my back to traffic at the dangerous corner at the intersection of Centre Rd and North Woodward. As I turned right onto North Woodward from Centre Rd, I saw a Deldot pickup also turning right.  I stopped him to see if he was coming to address the safety issues and remove the still impaled sign [he was actually there on other business]. I learned that he was on the painting crew that "fixed" the problem a few weeks ago with additional striping, and I needed to talk with the Engineering group to address my concerns.

While we were talking, we heard a loud bang, and saw a sudden slowdown of cars as they funneled through the one lane road at the corner. A car was stopped 100 feet ahead just beyond the impaled sign, and the owner was rolling back a tire that had broken off and traveled another 100 feet. Turns out he had hit the curb with the side of his wheel and the aluminum casting had broken at all the spokes, so his disk brake rotor was now sitting on the road. He was pretty shaken, and insisted he was not speeding, though clearly he was not attentive to the loss of the lane.  I waited with him for 45 minutes, as his cell phone had no reception, while he called to get a tow truck and his wife to pick him up.  The car is a brand new VW with 500 miles, and hopefully there is no damage beyond the tire and the destroyed aluminum wheel.

While waiting, we saw two more cars nearly hit the same curb area as they tried to avoid the end of the turning lane area. An occupant at 2809 Centre Rd immediately next to the damaged VW arrived home at the time, and said another car had also hit the curb yesterday at 5 PM and had blown a tire, He said that every day there is another event like this.

I had been thinking about this issue for some time and recommend, first of all, the Route 2 sign that keeps getting knocked down should not be replaced, as it serves no purpose. Now we know it can be a lethal weapon when it is hit, in addition to causing unnecessary property damage to cars. Today's and yesterday's events show that the Route 2 sign is not the cause of the confusion, and the current warning signs and striping are inadequate to prevent future collisions.

One possibility is to remove the new curb, sidewalk and grass area, and reconnect the turning lane with the open lane in front of 2809 Centre Rd, which is now occasionally used for parking. However, this approach seriously encroaches on the property on the house at the corner of N. Woodward and Centre Rd.

I was wondering if another possible fix is to install a series of rubber posts in the road similar to what are used at the turning intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Berkeley Rd in Westover Hills. A physical obstruction may be helpful, or may prove to be a headache if it is frequently hit, but may be worth a try.

I am happy to meet and any time with Deldot engineers, who if they take a few minutes to monitor this dangerous intersection may come up with a much better solution. Otherwise, it is just a matter of time until there is a serious injury or fatality, as numerous families with young children walk this route from the Woodland Apartments to Prices Corner.

Regards, Steve Beare

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