The intersection of Randolph Avenue and California Street in Huntsville is nearly always active. Drivers on Randolph already have to be careful when they try to enter busy California Street, but there’s a definite complicating factor–traffic approaching from the left, is hard to see.
Drivers travelling west on California can bear to the left as the street passes Randolph, or they can bear to the right, and essentially go straight. This already sounds complicated, but add drivers on Randolph who have to inch their way right to the edge of California to see oncoming traffic, and you have a real problem. They might inch too far.
The whole situation is complicated by the white-painted line on Randolph as it connects with California. The line is an indicator for where traffic should stop before turning. The problem is, the line is too far from the actual intersection to be of any use. Drivers routinely pull past it, so they can see to their left. There is no practical frame of reference for drivers on Randolph as to how far forward they can safely drive, before there impinging on the right of way for drivers on California.
“You just got to be careful,” says Sheila Swett. She adds, “You’ve got to watch from every direction and just kind of inch your way out.” Andrea Prescott lives right next to the intersection. “I’ve seen it from inside my house, people who creep out. I’ve heard lots of honks and screeches of tires,” says Andrea. Andrea says, “I think there needs to be some adjustments to this intersection.”
Obviously the white line on the road’s surface is not in the right spot. It causes drivers to have to estimate just how far forward they can safely pull toward California Street. With drivers approaching down a hill on California, and with the option of bearing to the right, this is a dangerous situation.
We are taking action, and discussing the problem with Huntsville Traffic Engineers. This intersection needs help, not to be perfect, but to be the safest it can be.