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More changes in store for busy corner on base

Posted 8/10/2011   Updated 8/10/2011 Email story   Print story


375th AMW Safety Office

8/10/2011 - Scott Air Force Base, Ill. -- It's been 10 years since Headquarters U.S. Transportation Command was constructed at the corner of Scott Drive and West Winters Street. In that short time, the complexion of West Winters Street has changed dramatically. Today, nearly 6,500 cars and 1,700 pedestrians travel on or across the 800-foot stretch of road in front of the Commissary every day. Unfortunately, the dramatic increase in traffic volume has led to five mishaps between automobiles and pedestrians in the last five years--three of those occurring in the last two months.

No one holds the safety of those who live and work at Scott Air Force Base more dearly than the 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander, Col. Mike Hornitschek. Last month, he commissioned a team of base experts to develop a solution for reducing vehicle/pedestrian accidents using the eight-step problem solving method. The team was composed of experts from the 375th AMW, USTRANSCOM, and Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

The team determined that both automobile drivers and pedestrians did not have the tools to properly assess and react to the complexities of West Winters Street. Accordingly, they developed countermeasures to help eliminate future mishaps on both Scott Drive and West Winters Street. One of those countermeasures is already in place--the "No Right Turn on Red" signs in front of USTRANSCOM--and that's just the beginning.

Over the next month several more countermeasures will be implemented. The 375th AMW Safety Office will soon install rumble strips on West Winters Street that will help remind drivers to slow down, but more importantly alert pedestrians to oncoming vehicles. The safety office will also install a "No Left Turn" sign exiting the commissary across from the new Surface Deployment and Distribution Command facility. The inability to turn left will not only simplify pedestrian crossings, but inherently makes it safer. It will also expedite the flow of traffic departing the commissary.

The team will then assess these countermeasures over the next several months to validate their effectiveness. Some may be modified to enhance effectiveness, and others may be benchmarked for implementation elsewhere on base or at other military installations.

Engineering solutions alone will not prevent accidents. These countermeasures are an integral part of the solution, but require everyone's active participation to prevent future mishaps. Drive and walk with increased vigilance, and continue to pay each other the appropriate courtesies.

8/18/2011 4:26:24 PM ET
The no left turn out of the commissary will not expidite traffic especially out during afternoon rush hours. Traffic already build back to the second Winters Street commissary exit during rush hour making it almost impossible to make a right turn. If forcing everyone to make a right turn this will be exacerbated. Also those that normally make a left turn will now turn left and go through the north parking lot alongside the commissary making it much more difficult to pull out of parking without getting hit. Too many people already use this as a thouroughfare since it was built as a straight shot. Maybe putting rumble strips on that portion of the parkinglot will at least ehlp keep the speed down.
8/16/2011 4:30:15 PM ET
A Pedestrian Overpass between the new SDDC building and the Commissary would go a long way towards reducing accidents. Has anyone looked at this option
Robert Riddell, SAFB
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