Traffic patterns in Fayetteville just got a little bit faster and more intricate. The city unveiled a new east-west road connection that extends a mile from Gregg Avenue to Arkansas 112. The extension to Van Asche Drive brings together two highly used shopping areas – The Northwest Arkansas Mall and an area North of Sam’s Club.
With the new road, traffic flow will be able to travel directly between the two areas of Fayetteville. Previously, drivers were forced to wind their way along several two-lane roads in order to switch between the north and south directional sides of I-49.
The new road is four lanes wide (two on each side). This should optimize traffic flow for both drivers looking to change sides on the interstate and also drivers moving between the two mall areas.
Mayor Lioneld Jordan spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony in April of 2014 when the city first unveiled the project at the southeast corner of Van Asche Drive and Garland Avenue. And on September 23rd, city officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to help open the new road. The project is all part of Mayor Jordan’s plan for traffic box connections throughout the city, which should help motorists travel more easily through Fayetteville.
Increased Traffic With The New Van Asche Connection
Now that the construction is complete, there should be increased vehicle traffic in the area. This means more drivers travelling at higher rates of speed. So although the $4.6 million dollar project certainly helps businesses and drivers in the area, citizens can expect the potential for more car accidents at faster speeds on the new four lane road.
In general, studies have shown that increased road sizes actually make traffic worse and lead to uncertain traffic patterns and more accidents. This concept is known as induced demand, which means increasing the supply of something concurrently increases demand. Traffic engineers have dealt with this concept throughout the years, as an increased supply through a boost in road development typically leads to even a higher concentration of traffic.
More Roads Lead To More Car Accidents
We have a situation in Fayetteville where city officials wanted to make travelling within the city easier. Although the new road connection certainly helps drivers, it increases the amount of points at which an impact can occur.
Essentially, because of the new connection, drivers have more options in turning and speeding. Before the connection, drivers were forced to travel on a winding road that had a slower speed limit and did not allows for two-lane driving. Now, any accident that might occur will certainly be at a higher speed.
If I Am in a Car Accident, What Should I Do?
If you are in a car accident, the first thing you should do is move to a safe area as soon as possible. Many accidents have subsequent impacts, and drivers are not always safe staying in their vehicles (especially on a highway). If you are seriously injured or cannot exit your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
If there are any injuries to you or other drivers, call 911. Time may be of the essence, so it is really important to reach medical personnel as soon as possible.
You also want to call police to the scene. A police accident report may be necessary when dealing with car insurance companies and other drivers. The police will be able to assess the accident and objectively judge who was at fault.
It is also extremely important to gather as much information as possible from the scene of the accident and other drivers. Taking pictures of the scene can be a great way to document what truly happened in the accident. Crucial information includes:
- Driver and passenger names.
- License plate numbers.
- Insurance information.
- Make and model of each vehicle involved in the accident.
- Accident location.
- Contact information of any possible witnesses.
In many cases, three different individuals involved in an accident will see the events that transpired in three different ways. This is why it is so important to document and gather evidence.
If necessary, hire an attorney to help you in the aftermath of your accident. Sometimes, insurance companies dispute a claim in an accident even when another driver is at fault. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident, contacting a personal injury lawyer is crucial to understanding your rights going forward.
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