(This article is Part 1 of a 3 part series of articles on the most dangerous intersections undergoing major improvements in Davidson County.)
Madison is home to four of Davidson County’s 15 most dangerous intersections as identified by Mayor Megan Barry’s infrastructure plan to make them safer.
One of the highest priority projects is improving the intersection of Neely’s Bend Road and Cheyenne Boulevard, where a teenage girl was killed in a traffic accident three years ago. The site is near Neely’s Bend middle and elementary schools, which compounds congestion during morning commuting hours, and the intersection has only flashing traffic signal.
The other three spots in Madison the city considers the most dangerous are:
- Gallatin Pike and Shepherds Hill Drive, where the entrance to RiverGate Mall creates unsafe conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike
- Neely’s Bend and Randy Road
- Old Due West and West Due West
In addition to the four Madison intersections, Gallatin Road and West Eastland Avenue (East Nashville) is on the city’s target list.
The other 10 bad intersections will be featured in subsequent posts. I commend the city for identifying these dangerous spots and I hope the work progresses quickly. These projects are long overdue.
The improvements target roads where the city has jurisdiction, so the list does not include work on the interstates and on/off ramps. City road, safety and planning officials selected the 15 intersections because of disproportionately high crashes and accidents at them.
What is Planned for Dangerous Madison Intersections?
Each project is expected to cost between $500,000 and $1 million. Depending on the site, improvements could include improved safety measures such as road realignment, extended turn lanes, traffic signal upgrades, new sidewalks and pedestrian curb ramps, bike lanes and crosswalks.
Here’s a look at what is planned for three of city’s worst intersections:
Neely’s Bend Road and Cheyenne Boulevard
The design phase of this high-priority project has almost wrapped up. Plans call for:
- Installing a new traffic signal
- Extending turn lanes on Neely’s Bend Road
- Adding new pedestrian curb ramps at each corner to improve walking conditions
An additional proposed improvement could include realigning Neely’s Bend Circle with Neely’s Bend Road.
Gallatin Pike and Shepherds Drive
Shoppers getting to RiverGate Mall by foot, car or bus know the intersection of Gallatin Pike and Shepherd Hills Drive well. It is beyond busy, serving more than 38,000 vehicles each day plus considerable foot traffic.
Extensive changes are in the design phase:
- Install new sidewalks and shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists, including a sidewalk and crosswalks to Rivergate Drive
- Change signal timing to improve safety and efficiency
- Add new pedestrian signals with crosswalks and ramps
- Relocate bus stop and shelter and install lighting for the entire intersection
- Repave and restripe entire intersection
Neely’s Bend and Randy Road
Neely’s Bend Road has nearly 10,000 vehicles traveling it daily, plus another 8,000 people each month who ride MTA’s #76 Madison Connector each month. Among the plans:
- Revise signal timing to improve efficiency
- New extended sidewalk and pedestrian signals
- New curb ramps and crosswalks
- Repave and restripe entire intersection
- Analyze need for turn lanes
The location near Smithson-Craighead Academy adds to private vehicle, public transit and pedestrian traffic. The city is analyzing whether to include a southbound center turn lane on Randy Road and a westbound turn lane on Neely’s Bend Road to handle an expected increase in traffic congestion.
With the MTA the city also is evaluating whether to add a bus stop as part of this project as well.
Two More Dangerous Nashville Intersections and a Promise
The city is still in the data collection and early design phases for the other two intersections in this part of town, including where Old Due West and West Due West meet.
Geometry adds to the difficulty and danger at the other intersection, Gallatin Road and West Eastland Avenue. As the boom continues in East Nashville and Inglewood, this intersection sees consistent, troublesome congestion and frequent accidents.
West Eastland ends at Gallatin Road; it takes two turns in less than half a block for drivers to continue on Eastland, a left then a quick right. Together, more than 31,000 vehicles a day use Gallatin and West Eastland, an area with high pedestrian traffic as well. Metro Public Works and the Tennessee Department of Transportation are working together on a plan for this problem intersection.
So here’s my promise: If you or a loved one are injured in accidents at these intersections or any others in Nashville, my team and I will be your fiercest advocates. Reach out to us as soon as possible, even right from the scene, even if you think the injuries are minor.
Getting professional help is the smart move. Legal representation makes navigating the calls, reports, claims and medical care after an accident so much easier.