The Intersection of Lowe Avenue and Madison Street is between the downtown area and Huntsville Hospital. Madison appears to be slightly busier than Lowe, while Lowe has the designated left hand turn lanes, and Madison doesn’t. On Madison all four lanes are for straight ahead traffic, while the left lanes also allow left hand turns. There are painted arrows on the road to let drivers know they’re allowed to do both, and that’s the problem. “People going straight don’t know if somebody is turning,” says Marydae Sneed.
The intersection does seem to cause confusion and hesitation. Drivers headed in both directions on Madison aren’t sure what drivers coming from the other direction are going to do. Not everyone uses their turn signal correctly, and drivers headed in one direction can’t see past the first vehicle in line. “I think it’s dangerous,” says Marydae. Watching multiple drivers making turns in front of vehicles that are going straight would seem to back up Marydae’s assessment.
Even when nothing dangerous happens, traffic on Madison sometimes bogs down, while worried drivers hesitate before turning, or even going straight. Marydae says the hospital brings drivers unfamiliar with the intersection, but she adds, even those familiar with it have problems. “With the hospital right down the street, that needs to be a clear intersection, where traffic can clearly understand what lanes are doing what, and what cars are doing,” says Marydae Sneed.
Marydae believes Madison St. at Lowe Avenue should be re-designed with designated turns lanes on Madison, just like there are on Lowe. We’re taking action and making sure city officials are aware of her concerns.