Traffic Change Worries Neighbors

A lane change designed to make driving safer on a busy West Omaha street has some drivers saying "not so fast." A recent crash has neighbors asking if a traffic signal is needed.

Changing the inside into a fast lane is a turn for the worse if you ask neighbors along 168th north of Dodge.

Wayne Rasmussen says, “Ever since they changed it and took out the middle lane we've had accidents.”

One recent crash involved a driver rear-ended while stopped to turn into her neighborhood. Neighbors on the corner say it won't be the last accident they see at the intersection.

Rassmusen said, “You need to turn your blinker on way back so you can make sure no one will rear end you.”

The turn lane became the fast lane to ease backups on the West Dodge exit at 168th. City Engineer Todd Pfitzer told Fact Finders that last year.

Pfitzer says, “There are adequate gaps in the southbound movement on 168th so people can continue to make left turns into the neighborhood there if they need to.”

But since then neighbors have seen crashes and close calls involving left hand turns into their neighborhood.

The city engineer tells Fact Finders he'll take a look at whether a traffic signal is warranted. That involves comparing the number of accidents with traffic volume and left hand turns.

If a traffic signal isn't feasible then neighbors say more street lights are needed.

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