Thousands of drivers travel Highway 72 between Madison and Athens everyday. All along 72 there are numerous median cut-throughs. One of them is at Newby Road in Limestone County. “At certain times of the day, traffic backs up there. You can have three or four cars waiting their turn to turn left. The speed limit on 72 is 60-miles an hour. One of us sitting there is going to get slammed into,” says Erin Patrick.
Erin one of several people who asked WHNT News 19 to take action, and help them with a safety problem. They say Highway 72 is always busy, and at certain times of the day, so is there median cut-through. “I’m actually praying usually, that I can get across safely,” says Andi Spears. She says sitting stopped on Highway 72 is scary.
The neighbors served by the Newby Road cut-through say they’ve asked the state and been told the accident statistics don’t warrant any changes to the median arrangement that’s there now. “Naturally, you like to look at statistics, but sometimes statistics lie. They don’t show the near misses. They don’t show the near accidents,” says Ron Kline.
They also don’t show multiple growing neighborhoods that are served by the cut-through. It’s no exaggeration to say that the traffic volume that uses the turn will increase by hundreds in the near future. “Let’s not wait till all of us get hit,” says Erin Patrick.
Karen Hurst makes the problem even more personal.. “I have a teenage driver, so this really became an issue when she started driving. I usually make her go to Mooresville where there’s a light and a turning lane and make her goal the way around and comeback to our neighborhood, because I’m concerned for her,” says Karen.
No, the median cut-through isn’t busy all the time, but when it is, drivers are scared. We’re taking action to help them. We’re discussing the situation with ALDOT officials and asking them to take another look, considering how busy the cut-through is likely to become.