Blooming Grove Accident At 17M & Museum Village Road Adds To Tally
By Edie Johnson
On Saturday night, December 16, an accident at the 17M and Museum Village Road intersection joined a string of such accidents that have been steadily building as new businesses open on the South side of the highway. Rick Williams, who was helping direct a growing line of stopped vehicles and owns Crystal Pools located a couple hundred feet down the road, said it has always been a dangerous intersection, but he added “Lately there have been 2 or 3 accidents a week, and in the evening my manager who lives in the building says she hears frequent tire screeching.”
On this night this particular accident posed special problems. Alternating between light rain and drizzle that was beginning to freeze, the road was slick and a mounting length of cars trying to do U-turns to head back toward Chester patiently waited for each driver to make the tricky about-face. Williams said that in this instance the lady whose accident precipitated the hour or so road closure was lucky to escape with minor injuries. But he fears that there is worse to come in the future when a sprawling new business at the corner is expanding, and at least 3 new businesses are opening up along the same stretch of road as it continues toward Bull Mill Rd.
Williams feels that either a stoplight or caution light would not help the problem significantly, because of the speed zone and lack of site distance that drivers face, and that the best solution would be to make that stretch of Museum Village Rd. into a “One-Way” stretch until about a mile down the road where it intersects with Bull Mill Rd. A right turn would then bring the driver back to Bull Mill’s intersection with 17M, which has a much better site distance. Clearly, from his description of recent accidents there have been a lot of very lucky survivors, but the increasing frequency and logic say that this intersection is ‘a tragedy waiting to happen’.
After a call to Blooming Grove Supervisor, Bob Fromaget’s office and a description of the dangerous situation, he confirmed that he had also noticed it being a dangerous exit onto 17M from both ends of Old Mansion. He agreed that making Old Mansion one-way on the south side seemed like a reasonable solution, especially since new businesses are opening that could very well increase the traffic and subsequent collision risks. Williams also suggested that a technique he has seen in other police departments might be useful, to put a push pin on a town map when an accident occurs, and when it becomes a cluster it would become obvious that further action needs to be taken. Fromaget said he plans to make some notes to that effect and forward them to incoming Supervisor Rob Jeroloman.