intersection

’Nightmare’ intersection in Catasauqua, a known problem for decades, gets green light for improvements

It’s been said by many a public official and resident that turning left onto Race Street from Lehigh Street in Catasauqua is like “taking your life into your hands.”



a car driving down a busy street: Traffic begins to back up along Lehigh Street attempting, to exit onto Race Street Wednesday in Catasauqua. Borough officials voted narrowly to allow PennDOT to move forward with improvements to the Race and Lehigh Street intersection, long the bane of residents and commuters.


© Rick Kintzel/The Morning Call/The Morning Call/TNS
Traffic begins to back up along Lehigh Street attempting, to exit onto Race Street Wednesday in Catasauqua. Borough officials voted narrowly to allow PennDOT to move forward with improvements to the Race and Lehigh Street intersection, long the bane of residents and commuters.

Living in a house near the three-point intersection, Joshua Fritz has a prime-time view of its traffic woes, the bane of residents and commuters for decades. During rush hour, he said, he witnesses close calls almost every other day.

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It’s always dicey to escape his driveway as cars coming from the opposite direction make similar quick escapes during breaks in traffic.

“For me to get out of here, I have to drive like I’m in New York City,” he said.

The intersection was the subject of a PennDOT traffic signal study in 1979. It’s been called a “nightmare” intersection in newspaper articles since the 1990s. Regional planners started drawing up improvement concepts as early as 2000.

Generations later on Monday night, Catasauqua officials signed the official resolutions necessary to allow PennDOT’s proposed $12 million to $14 million improvement project to move forward, which involves widening roads and installing three traffic signals at Race Street’s intersections with Lehigh, Front and Second Streets. Race Street is a state road, and the Federal Highway Administration and PennDOT are funding the improvements.



a car parked on the side of the street: Traffic begins to back up along Lehigh Street attempting to exit onto Race Street Wednesday in Catasauqua. Borough officials voted narrowly to allow PennDOT to move forward with improvements to the Race and Lehigh Street intersection, long the bane of residents and commuters.


© Rick Kintzel/The Morning Call/The Morning Call/TNS
Traffic begins to back up along Lehigh Street attempting to exit onto Race Street Wednesday in Catasauqua. Borough officials voted narrowly to allow PennDOT to move forward with improvements to the Race and Lehigh

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Call for safety improvements at intersection near Viola follows crash that killed mother, 4 children



a fire hydrant in the middle of a field: A memorial in Sedgwick County marks the intersection where a mother and four children died in a crash Friday (Sept. 25, 2020).


© Provided by Wichita-Hutchinson Plus KWCH-DT
A memorial in Sedgwick County marks the intersection where a mother and four children died in a crash Friday (Sept. 25, 2020).

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office on Monday provided an update to its investigation into a Friday afternoon crash near Viola that killed four children and their mother.

The sheriff’s office said the family’s SUV was traveling southbound on 263rd Street West when the driver of a grain truck, traveling east on 71st Street South, failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection. The intersection of 263rd Street West and 71st Street South is where the SUV hit the rear of the grain truck’s trailer after the truck’s driver ran the sign, deputies said.

Sedgwick County is looking to make changes to the intersection with the goal of preventing another tragedy at the spot north of Viola in southwest Sedgwick County. The sheriff’s office, county engineers, and Public Works returned to the intersection Monday to see what they could implement. Some who live near 263rd West and 71st South say the intersection is not safe.

On Friday (Sept. 25), sheriff’s deputies and other emergency crews responded to two crashes at the intersection north of Viola, reported within hours of each other. The second crash fatally injured the mother and her four children. In both cases, the sheriff’s office said drivers failed to stop at a stop sign. Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis is among those saying there needs to be a change at the intersection.

“There will be two investigations, one by the sheriff’s department and then one by our director of public works, with our traffic safety engineer. But with an accident this significant, we need to get something to happen sooner rather than later,”

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