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Fewer crashes at hazardous intersection

Police have issued 115 citations at the Pick ‘n Save exit to West Fulton since the new turning restrictions took effect.

Police Chief Tim Goke long recognized that West Fulton Street exit from the Pick ‘n Save and Walgreen’s was the most dangerous intersection in the city of Waupaca.

Over a period of two years, 26 crashes occurred at this location with more than half of those resulting in serious injuries, in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage.

A study found that more than 75 percent of the crashes were a result of vehicles turning left or going straight across four lanes of traffic when exiting the parking lot.

“Due to the nature of traffic at that location, it was merely a matter of time before a fatality occurred,” Goke told city officials and the managers of that property.

In an attempt to reduce or eliminate the crash and injury rate, the city began allowing only right turns onto West Fulton Street from that intersection.

In July, city workers installed a restrictive concrete island along with signage and pavement markings making it “right turn only.” The area was marked with four traffic signs and orange flags alerting drivers to the restriction.

Since enforcement began, police have issued 115 citations to motorists who ignored the signs.

A majority of motorists cited said they aware of the restriction but decided to turn or go straight anyway. The rest report not seeing the raised concrete turn restrictive barrier, multiple traffic signs, flags and pavement markings allowing a right turn only.

The fine for failure to obey official traffic sign is $175.

Since this project was put into place, the police department has seen a dramatic drop in traffic crashes at that intersection.

Goke said only one crash has occurred at that location since enforcement began. The crash was caused by a motorist who turned left into the path of an oncoming car in violation of the turn restriction.

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