Traffic lights coming to dangerous La Grange intersection

LA GRANGE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Red stop signs line the road while red lights flash overhead at the intersection of Kentucky 53 and Kentucky 146 in downtown La Grange, Kentucky, as cars whiz by from all directions.

"People, they don't pay attention and they just pull up and they don't stop," said Toni Frierson, a resident of La Grange who works next to the busy intersection. "They just tend to roll through the intersection."

"I think a lot of them get confused," La Grange Mayor Joe Davenport said. "I know when I go through the intersection, it seems like they don't know who's supposed to go first."

For years, the intersection has been home to a four-way stop, but that has not stopped the accidents from coming. Early last year, a La Grange woman was walking across the intersection when she was struck and killed by a truck.

"It's heartbreaking, especially close to home where we know the people," Davenport said.

"I got three daughters that go to school here and a wife," La Grange resident Harry Gaines said. "Everybody needs to be safe, be careful and cautious."

Gaines said he has seen the dangers posed by these roads. He said his stepfather was involved in a crash in the area 17 years ago.

"He went through the window of a car through the driver side and all the way through," he said.

"The first priority is safety for our citizens, and that's the main thing," Davenport said.

Davenport said changes will be coming to the intersection. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will be installing four traffic lights, and while Davenport said there have been several complaints that the lights will cause more traffic issues, he said he is willing to make that tradeoff to promote safety on the road.

"It's going to be something people have got to get used to," he said. "It's a change, and a lot of times we don't like changes, but when you look at the reason the change is there, that's what we look at. It's safety."

Davenport said La Grange and Oldham County will each put in $10,000 for the project to get decorative posts for the lights that fit in with the historic part of town.

Davenport said the traffic lights will be installed by the end of summer. He said the project could finish as early as within the next 60 days.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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