Brennan Station is a hotspot for Leesville students seeking a quick bite. Some of the restaurants included are Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Moe’s, Five Guys, and Jersey Mike’s. The plazas are packed during lunch time everyday, school day or not. Due to the congestion of the area and the awful design of the parking lot, accidents are bound to occur daily.
Exiting the two plazas (plaza A: Duck Donuts, plaza B: Tropical) at Brennan Station is difficult and dangerous. In plaza A, it is easier to exit near Chow, but when attempting to exit near the Walgreens, onto Strickland Road, there is some risk involved. The right hand turn lane off of Strickland onto Creedmoor intersects with the Walgreens exit in plaza A. In order for drivers to see the whole road and cars coming from each direction, they must pull forward so part of their car is in the right turn lane. By entering, slightly, into oncoming traffic, the driver places themselves in danger and others around.
I avoid this exit totally when in the plaza. More times than not, when I have pulled forward, a car is merging into the right turn lane almost colliding with my front bumper. The driver has the right of way, but drivers in a situation similar to mine are placed in uncomfortable situations at their risk, and others as well, to see the full road.
Although plaza B is unsafe, plaza A is even more. Whereas plaza B solely has its problem with its exit on Strickland, plaza A has a treacherous parking lot and an exit full of blind spots. There are two exits, similar to B, at plaza A. One exit disperses drivers straight onto Creedmoor Road, but it is only a right hand turn which is inconvenient. This exit is rarely used because of its limited options. From cars entering from both left and right turns off of Creedmoor and coming from the neighborhood exiting into the intersection, drivers must be on their toes even more than they already are controlling a two ton vehicle.The second outlet is equivalent to a shot in the dark.
In attempt to escape the dangers of the intersection, many drivers pass behind the buildings where parking is designated for employees. This strip is the lesser of two evils when it comes to exiting plaza A. Although it is narrow and has speed bumps similar to the ones at the student parking lot at Leesville, it leads drivers to a safer exit farther down the road, closer to the neighborhood, eliminating some of the blind spots created at the intersection.
Along with the the dangerous and inconvenient exits in plaza A, the parking lot is terrible as well. The streets are slim creating tension and stressful situations between drivers. The shrubbery and plants used as decorations in the parking lots are a bit too elaborate and cause problems for drivers. The plants are both tall and wide in the islands making it difficult to see other cars coming from either direction. Due to the plants interference with vision, drivers have to pull into the parking lot’s intersection in order to see oncoming cars.
The buildings are all grey and black, so understandably the brightly colored plants are added to the plaza for visual appeal. I am all for adding greenery to Brennan Station, but when it interferes with the safety of the public, that is where I draw the line. Due to the interference of the plants, similar to the exit in plaza B, other drivers have to right of way, and I am left shaking after Brennan Station when all I wanted is a delicious smoothie from Tropical or some nachos from Moe’s.
Although it is difficult to reconfigure a pretty permanent complex, something needs to be done to eliminate the stress placed on drivers. First of all, plaza A can still be an inviting place if a different landscaping plan is put into action. Second, for plaza B’s exit, drivers are placed in dangerous situations by pulling into the right turn lane to see oncoming traffic. Expanding the road is a option to eliminate this problem. Third, construction and owners of the property should look into creating another exit in a more appropriate area. It would be difficult to fix the already placed exits. This is not too much to ask when the safety of the public is at stake.