City studies deadly intersection
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - A month after a deadly pedestrian accident at Broadway and Rosemont, Tucson city workers are studying the area to see if the intersection warrants any changes. The warrant study is the first step to determine whether or not an additional traffic signal is needed in the intersection, after several residents raised questions about its safety after the accident.
36-year-old Tina Rieger was hit and killed while in the crosswalk last month, leaving behind 6 children. Many of her Tucson College classmates and local residents say the intersection needs a green turn arrow for cars turning left from Rosemont to Broadway.
Tucson city spokesperson Mike Graham says there are a lot of factors to consider before making any changes.
"We're taking a look at counting the number of left turns, the volume of traffic, the amount of delay," he said, "and then we look at some of the historical information, how many accidents have been at that intersection."
Looking at data from 2010 and 2011, Rieger's accident was the only fatality at the intersection. The number of other types of accidents in that intersection declined.
Other factors include wait times for cars. Graham says each intersection in the city has a 90-second wait time from one red light to another. Adding an arrow would mean taking green light time from one or more directions. Graham says that may detract from the amount of time a pedestrian gets to cross the street, or cause backups at nearby intersections.
"We have to balance not only the needs of the pedestrians but the needs of motorists," he said.
The last survey for this intersection was in 2006 and found no need for a green arrow. However, Graham says since then Tucson College moved into the building on Broadway, possibly changing traffic flow with an increased number of pedestrians and students.
Graham says only the numbers from Wednesday's study will determine whether or not they will change the intersection.
"We need to take a look at the afternoon traffic, crunch the numbers and give us about a week," he said, "and we'll see whether or not that left turn arrow is warranted."
If the study does find the intersection needs an additional light, Graham says they could have one installed in a matter of weeks.