This is yet another video of an accident at NW 36th Street and Curtiss Parkway. In this case a motorcycle is heading westbound on NW 36th Street entering Virginia Gardens. That’s when an eastbound vehicle making a left hand turn from NW 36th Street onto Curtiss Parkway cuts off the motorcycle. The motorcycle appears to reduce his speed but cannot avoid the collision. As a result, the driver of the motorcycle can be seen hurdling over the vehicle as the motorcyclist flips several times before landing on the pavement. The vehicle making the left turn is hit with such force that it spins 180 degrees and ends up facing the opposite direction. This latest accident occurred in the pre-dawn hours of April 13th.
As you know, there have been too many dangerous accidents at the intersection of NW 36th Street and Curtiss Parkway. As a result, the Mayor of Virginia Gardens, Spencer Deno, requested that the left turn signal on the eastbound lanes of NW 36th street be switched to a left turn only on the green arrow and stop the ability to make a left on solid green while there’s moving westbound traffic. The idea is to prevent left turns while there’s still oncoming traffic and prevent more people from getting hurt at this intersection.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has issued an initial draft report that agrees with Mayor Deno’s assessment. Here are the recommendations from FDOT:
- Modify the eastbound left-turn movement from protected/permissive operations to protected only operations. Implementing protected only operations is expected to reduce the number of left-turn crashes at the study intersection. This modification in signal operation is not expected to significantly impact the overall intersection level of service. Traffic operations are expected to remain as LOS D during peak periods – similar to existing conditions.
- Install signal head backplates with reflectors on the eastbound and westbound approaches. This will improve visibility of traffic signals for approaching drivers.
- Install temporary speed feedback signs on the westbound approach on SR 948/NW 36th Street. This will discourage excessive speeding through the intersection and thereby reduce crash risk and severity.
- Conduct a follow up intersection study to evaluate the feasibility of adding one additional eastbound left-turn lane resulting in dual left-turn lanes under protected only conditions. This will provide additional storage for eastbound left-turn queues and improve safety by reducing the risk of queue spillback into the eastbound through lanes.
- Lastly, it is recommended that FDOT continue to monitor crashes at the intersection following the proposed modifications and note any changes in crash patterns and/or frequency.