The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So, two dead in the GAP, and guess who doesn't want to change the deadly traffic pattern. Yup. Bob Fisher.

8 year old Hunter Smith and his dad are dead
because the way traffic flows through the gap
in Rapid City is "an accident waiting to happen."
Has been for years.

But there are some big, heavenly profitable
businesses along that little strip of traffic hell,
and God forbid the city does anything to mess
with that.

Some excerpts:

Eight-year-old Hunter Smith died Saturday at Rapid City Regional Hospital, a day after the accident on West Main Street that killed his father and diverted area traffic for more than four hours. The tragic toll is more serious evidence that the city needs to do something about traffic flow through the Gap, said Mike Cummings, owner of The Rooster.

“It’s so unfortunate someone has to die,” Cummings said. “We’re very angry.”


Crashes should outweigh costs, Cummings said, which is why he has repeatedly asked the city not to allow Jackson Boulevard drivers stopped at red lights to take right-hand turns on to West Main Street. It’s dangerous for drivers, and it’s dangerous for pedestrians because drivers “have to drive like maniacs” to get in and out of businesses, he said. “There’s never a break in the traffic,” he said. “There are never any gaps, and it’s an accident waiting to happen.” City engineers have said the problem with not allowing people to turn is that it creates a bottleneck on the boulevard.


Bob Fischer, owner of Fischer Furniture, said traffic through the Gap has stabilized during the past five to 10 years because of the expansion of the Omaha corridor. The Fischer family business has been on Main since 1949 and at its current location since 1954. Omaha “is fast and wide and moves a great flow of traffic and has really helped traffic on West Main,” Fischer said. He still understands safety concerns. “You have to be on your guard and alert in the Gap,” he said. He would be opposed to construction of raised medians on West Main. “It would be a terrible thing, because our businesses need good access from both sides of the street,” he said. “I hope they don’t do that.”


Well? Thoughts?


Michael Sanborn said...

Those two people were already born. You can't carry furniture on a motorcycle. Why should he care?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sanborn,

I am a thirty-year Black Hills resident; drove through the Gap every day for ten years, a year and a half in a tractor/trailer delivering product for Deadwood-based, Twin City Fruit.

This idea has been rolling around in my head for about 25 years:

Omaha St. from West Blvd. becomes westbound to at least Mountain View served by a continuous flow left lane onto the left lane of Mountain View.

Mountain View should be westbound to West Main (left lane continuous flow onto eastbound West Main) then to Jackson Blvd where it would divide to serve an eastbound Jackson Blvd. and a continuous flow right lane.

West Main becomes eastbound from at least Mountain View; Jackson Blvd. eastbound from Mountain View with a continuous flow right lane. Divide West Main/St. Joe around the Learning Center island to meet a splitting East Main; direct left-hand traffic to northbound West Blvd.

Cross St. could be improved to accommodate a Deadwood Ave-bound Jackson Blvd. left lane crossing West Main. Sheridan Lake Rd. should go through to West Chicago.

Wonder if you'd be okay with putting it up.