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Hampton Cove Intersection In Huntsville Needs A Speed Change

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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.


  • Rich

    More appropriate speed limits, more speed and other traffic laws enforcement, and more lawful as well as considerate behavior by drivers are all required to prevent more tragedies.

  • Bill

    Why does it take someone being killed to fix this type of problem!!! This part of Old 431 has to many entry points to have a speed limit of 55. From New 431 to the Hampton Cove subdivision entrance, the speed limit should be 35mph.

    • Justin Bz

      rwcraftjr, I completely agree it should only be a left turn arrow only. Traffic heading westbound on Highway 431 would pile up on the left lane. But, it is the safest solution, and lower the speed to 50 MPH for just that short section.

  • Rnp

    It is a highway with a proper traffic signal. The only problem here is a driver not paying attention. The speed limit is not a problem, inattention is the problem. I have lived there for 20 years and have had no issues at all

    • Justin Bz

      RNP, My mother has live in Hampton Cove for 10 years and this traffic signal is truly not a problem.

  • Bill Key

    Once again, Huntsville/Madison County is going to take an artery and try to turn it into a vein.

    The problem isn’t excessive vehicle speed on a 4 lane highway carrying sometimes VERY high volumes of traffic. The problem is that the planning commission caved to the real estate interests and provided easy access to the Hampton Cove subdivision of Owens Crossroads from what was planned to be a high speed traffic artery.

    Those interests Wanted the easy access provided by such a highway but, MOST CERTAINLY didn’t want to have to pay for creating access roads and on/off ramps for the people who would live and work there. This is just one more example of the “invisible hand” of the free market taking from the people and giving to the vested interests and calling it “helping grow progress”.

    When they change the speed limit signs, the powers that be should just go ahead and change the name of the road to “East University Drive” or “Alternate Highway 72 East”.

    Again, the Madison County/Huntsville traffic planning process has proven that it isn’t…it should be better referred to as a “traffic planning reaction”.

  • KB

    Changing the speed limit won’t do anything. People will still speed. THEY are more important than everyone else and could care less if they kill anyone as long as they get to where THEY need to be fast. Sad but true.

  • Charlene Ecko

    I live on a very busy street where the speed limit is 35mph. Nearly all drivers on this road are going at least 50mph around a blind curve, all day every day.

    My point is, you can lower the speed limit, but if HPD is not there every minute of every day nothing will change.

    People think they are invincible.

  • Michelle Jones

    We need a HPD satellite station over in our area and more police presence not just for the speeding and traffic but for a faster response time for accidents and burglaries.

  • D Smith

    I am very aware of the history of this intersection, as I have lived near it since 1996. The homeowners on Audobon and the adjoining area did not want this entry way, nor did the Homeowners Association. The homeowners where sold their property based on the fact they would be living on a quite cul-de-sac, not a major access road into the subdivision. However, the city said it was needed to allow emergency vehicles access to Deford Mill subdivision in case the waterfall entrance became to difficult to drive on in snowy or icy weather. In addition, the area around the intersection was developed into a preschool and eventually a strip mall even though it was a small and awkward piece of property. These caused the intersection to be difficult to navigate. The entire thing was not well planned, and was done in an ad hoc manor. So, terribly sorry for the Brown family. May God be with them.

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