Traffic study supports Omaha woman’s claim of dicey intersection

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha woman’s claim of a potentially dangerous intersection has been backed up by a recent study done by city traffic engineers.

Annette Bland has lived on the corner of 20th and Grace streets for two decades.

Tuesday morning, an accident in the intersection, where a car failed to stop at the stop sign according to Omaha police, led to both cars crashing into her home.

This is nothing new to her, either.

“There is an accident on this corner at least once every three months. At least,” says Bland.

Burnice Conway, Bland’s neighbor, says seeing the crash when she woke up was nothing shocking.

“No, I wasn’t surprised, I wasn’t surprised at all,” says Conway.

Bland says her home has been hit by cars before this, too. She says it’s been about a year since it last happened.

But as recently as this summer, both women say they’ve had cars end up in their front yards.

Homeowners near the intersection of 20th and Grace streets are frustrated with the dangers of the intersection as two cars crashed into her home on Tuesday morn

“I mean it makes you feel like you want to move.,” Conway says. “You want to stay and have somebody put in some speedbumps and lower the speed limit.”

Conway and Bland say between people running the stop signs, blind spots, and the constant speeding, something needs to change.

A study done by Omaha’s traffic engineering office shows can help that, according to Jeff Riesselman, the traffic engineer for the city.

Riesselman says the number of cars speeding through the intersection is higher than normal. Because of that, the intersection does qualify for consideration of a speed adjustment of some sort, but does not qualify for traffic lights and does not see enough traffic for all-way stop signs.

“We need speedbumps, the street over, to the east of us, they have speedbumps, why can’t we have speedbumps? It’s desperately needed, we as residents deserve it because we want our children to be safe,” Bland says.

Information from Riesselman shows that on average, 20th street has 2,250 cars per day, and Grace street has less than 600. For these numbers, Riesselman says the crash rate is higher than other similar intersections where a major road connects with a local one.

Numbers show that there were spikes in crashes in both 2018 and 2020. So far in 2021, the only reported crash so far was Tuesday morning’s.

“If we slow the traffic down on 20th street, that will help eliminate, it might not eliminate all the accidents, but it will help eliminate some of the problems,” Bland says.

Riesselman says there’s no active petition in the area to begin the process of a potential speed adjustment in that area, but says that residents who are interested should contact the Public works office to get started.

More information on traffic and speed adjustments through the traffic engineering’s office can be found on their website.

View Omaha’s Traffic engineering study below.

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