Making left-hand turns gets easier at local intersection

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By Jesef Williams

Toby Shute is glad that one particular junction in Lancaster now has a turning signal. Every day there was a disaster waiting to happen, he said.

The Lancaster resident said he dodged nearly 20 separate vehicle collisions while at the S.C. 9 Bypass and Clinton Avenue intersection. McDonald's, Hardee's and CVS pharmacy are at the intersection.

The main issue was the difficulty in making a left turn from either side of Clinton Avenue. Only the westbound traffic on the bypass had a left-turn signal, and it was routine to see multiple vehicles stuck in the middle of the intersection trying to turn after the light had turned red.

Shute said he often avoided making left turns there or just avoided that intersection altogether.

"I've seen multiple accidents there," Shute said. "That's the worst intersection in Lancaster County."

Earlier this year, Shute told Lancaster Police Chief Hugh White about his concern.

White then made a request for the S.C. Department of Transportation to look at the situation.

The Department of Transportation installed left turn signals on both sides of the Clinton Avenue intersection and reworked the timing on the lights as well as one for eastbound traffic on the bypass.

Now, there's a left-turn signal for motorists coming from all directions at the intersection.

Pedestrian signal heads were also installed at the intersection.

White said people have complained about that intersection for years.

The problem has worsened with the continued growth in the area.

A study showed that 20,000 vehicles go through that intersection every day, White said.

"The main thing was installing the left-turn signal," White said. "I appreciate citizens bringing situations like that to our attention. It goes to show that citizens can have a voice in getting changes made."

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152