If you drive the intersection where Audubon Lane comes into Old 431 in Huntsville's Hampton Cove area, you understand just how busy it is. The intersection allows traffic to access a neighborhood, two schools and a pre-school. Needless to say, during peak school traffic hours the intersection is jammed.
The congestion does seem to do one good thing. There are so many drivers trying to go in so many directions that no one can go too fast. It actually makes the intersection safer. In other traffic times, cars and trucks on Old 431 are able to get up to speed. A dad who takes his kids to school on Audubon Lane says he didn't realize, just how fast traffic was going. "I was totally surprised. Me and my wife talked about it. It was 55 through there, because that's a pretty high-speed and people making turns," says Brad McGee.
There are people making left turns from Old 431 on to Audubon Lane. There is a traffic light, but for many drivers in non-peak hours, the signal indicates that turning drivers yield to oncoming traffic. Our radar gun showed that traffic is often travelling in excess of the speed limit, sometimes more than ten miles an hour faster.
"I think the speeds should be slower there, because even if somebody does make a mistake making that turn. If the speeds are slower, in my opinion, you'd have a better chance to stop, or something like that," says Brad McGee.
As far as those who live in the neighborhood served by Audubon Lane, there seems to be agreement, 55-miles per hour on Old 431 is too fast for the busy intersection. They should lower the speed limit, bottom line," says neighbor Shannon Sullivan.
And that was the bottom line for several drivers we talked to who use the intersection daily. We're taking action and taking their concerns to city and state traffic engineers. The consensus seems to be, this intersection needs help.