Construction on the dangerous Rolling Acres Road intersection in The Villages is scheduled to finish this week. The various complaints and accidents at the intersection — especially during snowbird season — highlighted the need for a safer intersection design near two of The Villages’ most popular shopping plazas.
Lake County Public Works Department stepped in to design and implement traffic calming measures to improve this busy intersection and make it safe.
“The improvement is based on an intersection analysis previously conducted following concerns expressed by residents regarding safety and congestion,” explained William K. White, a Lake County Public Works Department engineer, to Villages News.
The newly designed Rolling Acres Road intersection is a compilation of many traffic calming measures that are shown to mitigate dangerous car accidents. When residents of The Villages drive to Rolling Acres Plaza for their next shopping trip, they can expect to see some new traffic safety measures.
The biggest improvement for this dangerous intersection is the addition of a concrete median to prevent all left turns onto Rolling Acres Road.
Before the installation of the median, motorists had the option to cut across both directions of traffic to make a left turn. These intersection left turns are highly risky, as motorists often misjudge gaps between traffic, the speed of other drivers, or turn with a partially obstructed view, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s study on intersection-related crashes.
Now, motorists must either make a right turn onto Rolling Acres Road, or else exit through another of the Rolling Acres Plaza’s driveways, in order to prevent dangerous turns on Rolling Acres Road. Left turns from Rolling Acres Road into Rolling Acres Plaza or Villages Crossroads Plaza are facilitated safely by the concrete median, as well.
New Right-Turn Signs
New “Right Turn Only” signs will accompany the concrete median to signal to motorists that only right turns are permitted onto Rolling Acres Road. These signs are installed where drivers could previously turn left.
“Do Not Enter” signs will also be installed on the concrete median, furthering signaling to motorists that left turns are no longer permitted onto Rolling Acres Road.
So-called “delineator strips” will be placed along the newly installed concrete median to separate through-traffic from motorists using the left-turn lane to avoid collisions.
Delineators are beneficial in areas where traffic calming alignments may be unexpected or change suddenly. They are especially helpful at providing traffic guidance at night or during adverse weather — both conditions when the newly installed concrete median may not be as visible — according to the FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
New Separator Island
Lastly, a new concrete separator island will be installed to protect through-traffic from opposing left-turn traffic from Rolling Acres Road into Villages Crossroads Plaza.
Raised islands provide a physical barrier to prevent opposing directions of traffic from crossing and potentially getting into a dangerous accident. Median crossover head-on crashes are three times more severe than other types of highway crashes, according to a report by the FHWA.
With snowbird season around the corner, people here in The Villages hope these newly installed traffic calming measures will prevent risky motorist behavior and reduce the number of car accidents on the intersection.
Even with traffic calming measures, there’s always the risk of a car accident. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, read our accident information page. There, you will learn about the types of injuries one must sustain in order to file a lawsuit and how attorneys help with the lawsuit process, among other things. If you are ready to pursue a claim, fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.