Volume No. 15 Issue No. 9 September 2018  

  Problem intersections in Falcon – Part 7
  By Lindsey Harrison

     In March, “The New Falcon Herald” began a series on problem intersections in the Falcon area. The first in the series focused on the intersection of Meridian Road and Londonderry Drive; the second focused on the intersection of Flower Road and Meridian Road and the intersection of Bent Grass Meadows Drive and Meridian Road; the third focused on the intersection of Highway 24 and Garrett Road; the fourth focused on the intersection of McLaughlin Road and Old Meridian Road; the fifth focused on the intersection of Rex Road and Meridian Road; and the last focused on the intersection of Meridian Road and Woodmen Road.
   According to those articles, failure to yield right-of-way and inattentive driving were the leading causes of accidents at each intersection.
   This month, the NFH focused on the intersection of Stapleton Drive and Highway 24.
   According to the Colorado State Patrol’s statistics team, 10 accidents occurred at that intersection between 2015 and June 2018. Half of the reported accidents resulted in injuries, and six of the 10 were caused by a failure to yield right-of-way. No fatal accidents occurred at this intersection.
   Just east of the intersection, however, a double-fatal accident occurred on July 24. The accident involved three vehicles, one of which was driven by a deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
   According to a press release from the CSP, Quinlan Linebaugh, the EPC sheriff’s deputy, has been charged with two counts of careless driving causing death and two counts of careless driving causing bodily injury as a result of the accident.
   Kenneth Wuerfele and Dorothy Wuerfele, the two victims killed in the accident, were from Peyton.
   Michelle Peulen, Colorado Department of Transportation communications manager for southeast Colorado, said a two-lane highway like this portion of Highway 24 can result in safety concerns based on a driver’s behavior. “On a two-lane roadway with a 55 mph speed limit, obviously we want you to be extra cautious,” she said. “If you can wait to pass until there’s a passing lane, do that. If you choose to pass, make sure you have a clear line of sight.”
   Peulen said CDOT has a proposed project that would make Highway 24 a four-lane highway from Garrett Road to Stapleton Drive, but there is no funding to pay for it. CDOT wanted to have the project ready to go in case funding can be procured, specifically from a measure that will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, she said.
   “Every intersection in that area would have improvements, including acceleration and deceleration lanes and turn lanes,” Peulen said.
   Until that project can be completed, Peulen said it is imperative that people on any roadway wear seat belts, do not drive distracted, do not drive impaired, know the rules of the road and follow them.
   “It is almost alarming sometimes that there are folks out there who don’t understand the rules of the road,” she said. “Double yellow lines mean you cannot pass, even if you are stuck behind a slow truck. A dotted yellow line means it is OK to pass as long as it is safe to do so.”
This view is looking south across Highway 24 from Stapleton Drive. Photo by Lindsey Harrison
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