Yesterday’s Crash at East Orange, North, and Mill Streets

Some progress has been made at the intersection of East Orange, North, and Mill Streets, but it’s still too dangerous for drivers and especially pedestrians.

I’d been working on a follow-up post to my analysis of the intersection at Orange north and Mill Street. I stopped to watch traffic a few times and take video of some of what I’ve seen since July, when the village made some changes. The conclusion I reached so far is that – while cutting back the overgrowth at the northeast corner has improved visibility for drivers and walkers – driver behavior has not really changed for the better. Many drivers are still speeding through this area, not using turn signals, not stopping at the sign, and rolling straight into the crosswalk. All four of these videos were during a five-minute period around lunch time. Only one driver came to a complete stop, and from what I’ve seen I believe it only gets worse during rush periods.

Most drivers are still ignoring the stop sign entirely

And then yesterday, before I had a chance to finish my post, there was a collision at that intersection. Thankfully no pedestrians were involved, although based on descriptions I’ve heard from people who were there a woman did cross in the crosswalk shortly before the crash.

I still think this intersection needs a redesign, but I’m not convinced that signals or an all-way stop is the answer. I’d hate to see another intersection built-up with more infrastructure for cars, and the stop sign we have has already proven ineffective.

I think we should be looking at changing the layout to narrow the lanes and decrease the turning raduises to slow traffic. Looking at it now, I don’t even think my proposed redesign (below) did enough to create a real “corner” between East Orange and North Streets. It should probably look more like the historical configuration seen in the map below.

I also don’t think the village should wait for the Main Street Bridge project or count on a temporary traffic signal to address these issues. A lot could be accomplished with just paint and reflective bollards, and a lot could be learned before making any changes permanent in cement and asphalt.