Safety is focus of SH-4 changes

Officials say they hope a change in how traffic is controlled on one of the county’s most dangerous roads will help improve safety.

Lisa Shearer-Salim, a public information manager for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, said that a flashing light at the intersection of State Highway 4 and Britton Road has been replaced with stop signs on both the east and west bound sides of the roadway.

Shearer-Salim said the stops signs have flashing LED lights to help warn drivers of the approaching stop signs. In addition, large warning signs have been placed in advance of the stop sign.

Shearer-Salim said the previous flashing lights were confusing. The north-south lights flashed yellow, while the east-west lights flashed red.

She said because of that, many people thought all four directions were to stop. As a result, several accidents occurred, including one last August that proved fatal to a Yukon High School senior.

Shearer-Salim said the change was the result of a traffic study requested by Oklahoma City officials following that accident. The area is in the Oklahoma City limits.

“These changes have been made with motorist safety in mind to give them more advance warning that this is a two-way stop and not a four-way stop,” she stated.

She said the study focused on site-distance issues, concerns about brush and trees reducing visibility and traffic flow.

“We looked at what could be done to make safety enhancements,” she said.

SH-4 has become a heavily traveled road with more homes and businesses being constructed in the area.

She said it is rural road that is becoming more urbanized.

She said the stop signs are just part of several projects planned in the area.

The City of Yukon plans to replace three bridges near Wilshire with a single, 1,500-foot span bridge, in the near future. Officials have said the plans are in place, and the city is in the process of acquiring the needed rights-of-way.

The plan also includes widening the roadway, as well as moving it to the west. It also will have improved shoulders.

Oklahoma City also has a project planned in the same area to improve the roadway north to Northwest Expressway.

Shearer-Salim said because the roadway is a state highway, there are no stop signs on the highway, only on the intersecting roadways.

“We have to do something different. The state corridor does not have stop signs. We cannot emphasize enough that drivers should use caution,” she said.

 

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