The push to create a safe driving and walking environment for the students and parents of Leesville first started years ago with the implementation of a four-way stop at O’Neal Road and Killarney Hope Drive.
Next, the Leesville community opted to add a three-way stop to the intersection of Pride Way and O’Neal last fall to make carpool and after school traffic move smoother than before.
Now, a new stoplight at Leesville Road and Fairbanks is joining the strive to safer roads in our community.
But will this new traffic regulation really help?
I’ve asked plenty of my student driver friends about the new stop light, and I have received many of responses. Some friends find it beneficial because it simplifies the turn onto Leesville from Fairbanks Road; others believe it will make trek towards Norwood Road after school slower. Most, however, have told me that a stoplight will not help the true problem on this stretch of Leesville road — the lack of a turn lane.
There have been tons of wrecks on just this strip of Leesville road because of the turn lane issue. The lack of the turn lane completely stops traffic on Leesville because people need to either turn into Food Lyon, Gym Carolina, Catch the Fire Center, the Leesville Animal Hospital or into the Springdale Estates.
To make things worse, Leesville is so hilly that unsuspecting drivers easily — and regularly — come up on stopped cars over a hill, slam on their breaks, barely avoid a fender bender, and pray the person behind them won’t ram into their car.
Now I do believe that the new stop light will decrease the heavy congestion during times with heavy traffic but a true solution would be to add a turn lane. There is a small turn lane for drivers entering Springdale Estates, but it should be extended towards Westgate road for those who need to turn into the businesses.