Raising awareness of dangerous intersection

Published: Nov. 14, 2017 at 8:17 PM CST
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The intersection at 52nd and Northwest Radial Highway poses problems for drivers and especially pedestrians. It's a high volume area and a quick route between northwest Omaha and downtown but it's also dangerous. Ann Gordon sees it all from the BP gas station at 52nd and Northwest Radial.

“I see the worst accidents I've ever see I've watched from here,” said Ann. “This intersection's been here my whole life and they've always had the issues.”

It’s where speeding cars and jaywalking pedestrians make a dangerous mix.

“I see kids cross where they're not supposed to walk – jaywalking all day and I see people that don't slow down. They're in a hurry to go to the next stop light,” said Ann.

Scott Blake lives down the street; he says some safety concerns are a quick fix.

“From a pedestrians point of view, I think this is an intersection that needs some tender loving care,” he said. “The first thing they could do is paint the crosswalk.”

Pedestrian signals for crossing 52nd Street are automatic, but for those crossing Northwest Radial, you need to push a button. Blake says that sends mixed messages to pedestrians.

With three schools, a park and apartment buildings nearby, there's a lot of foot traffic. Shawntez Simms says crossing the street legally with increased traffic flows is difficult.

“It’s horrible, they need to fix it,” said Simms. “You got a lot of traffic going through here, even a city bus, there's too many things that come through here, man.”

“I personally watched a three-car pileup at that intersection,” said Sarah Johnson of Mode Shift Omaha.

Johnson says it’s time to raise awareness about the intersection.

“It's a problem intersection but anyone else that you talk to just on the street recognizes that it is so it would be nice if the city could acknowledge something needs to be done,” she said.

A pedestrian underpass was filled in a few years ago which brought everyone to the surface and, neighbors say, it's created more potential dangers.

Some suggestions from people 6 News spoke with include a yellow caution light west of the intersection heading eastbound where there's a bend in the highway.

Another suggestion schools offering classes on how to safely use the crosswalks.