Local residents of the Summerwinds neighborhood are urging city officials to find a solution to a dangerous view obstruction coming out of their neighborhood and onto major traffic. Due to the obstructive positioning of the oncoming median and turning lane, drivers are suffering accidents on a regular basis. In one instance, a car was hit at such a strong impact and high speed at this location that the vehicle flipped entirely upside down. Last week, another accident happened at the same spot and a woman had to be pulled out from her vehicle by several firemen and transported to the hospital by ambulance. Sharing this major road is Jupiter Hospital, giving the people of Jupiter even more of a need to be able to navigate this area safely. One resident who has experienced an accident at this location herself pointed out a stop light that is currently in place here with a connection for a turn signal, but the signal has never been installed. If you or someone you know are a concerned citizen of Jupiter, Florida, continue reading below to find out more information regarding how to request help for such view obstructions.
PALM BEACH COUNTY’S WEBSITE OFFERS Q&A FOR TRAFFIC CONCERNS
How does Palm Beach County decide to install a traffic signal?
Palm Beach County’s Traffic Engineering Division has a policy that defines the minimum factors to be considered when evaluating the need for new traffic signals. They include:
- Confirmation that the requested location is within Palm Beach County’s traffic control jurisdiction. For intersections not within the County’s jurisdiction, such as Boca Raton and the Town of Palm Beach, requests for traffic signals are deferred to the agency with jurisdiction.
- If the location is within Palm Beach County’s traffic control jurisdiction, an engineering study of traffic conditions, pedestrian characteristics and physical characteristics of the location is conducted to determine if any of the Federal Highway Administration’s, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) warrants are met. The MUTCD establishes minimum conditions under which a signal installation should be considered. A traffic signal should not be installed unless at least one warrant is met. The satisfaction of a traffic signal warrant or warrants does not in itself require the installation of a traffic signal. Warrants should be viewed as guidelines, not as absolute values. Engineering judgment should be exercised in making the final determination.
- Special consideration is given to communities with elderly drivers by reducing the volume thresholds for the minor streets.
- Florida Department of Transportation policies for installing traffic signals are also reviewed for consideration of a traffic signal.
How do I request a new traffic signal?
Please submit your request to ENG-TrafficDivision@pbcgov.org for evaluation.
How does Palm Beach County consider requests for a left turn arrow, also known as a protected left turn phase?
The Traffic Engineering Division has established guidelines for reviewing requests for a protected left turn phase that are based on practices established by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and other professional organizations. These guidelines consider current and projected traffic volumes, delay, and the location’s crash history. If these guidelines are not met, a protected left turn phase will not be installed because of the delay this phase will add to the intersection. In order to provide a protected left turn or green arrow, an extra phase is added to the traffic signal timing plan’s cycle, taking green time from other movements.
WHO IS AT FAULT FOR AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY A VIEW OBSTRUCTION
If you are involved in an accident that is caused by a view obstruction, the legal process takes on a different aspect because the blame will probably now fall on a multitude of parties. To determine who is at fault, you may need the services of an accident reconstructionist, an expert who can recreate the accident to determine what factors may have caused or contributed to the accident. After going through this process, if it is determined that the view obstruction caused or contributed to the accident, then whoever is in charge of that view obstruction could be held legally responsible for the incident.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN AN ACCIDENT BECAUSE OF A VIEW OBSTRUCTION?
Immediately call 911 and seek the medical help you may need for yourself or your passengers. If you are physically able to, use your cell phone to take pictures of the immediate damage to your vehicle. Also, include pictures of all injuries you sustained. Then, contact an experienced attorney at Keller Melchiorre & Walsh. We are well-versed in personal injury law, and we will gladly take you through the entire legal process to help you get the compensation you deserve for this experience. Establishing fault for an accident caused by a view obstruction can be tricky for most, but the team at Keller Melchiorre & Walsh thrive on such challenges. Reach out today and let us help you build the best case possible.