Reduce Highway Fatalities and Serious Injuries in West Memphis, Arkansas
- Arkansas Highway Transportation Division
- United States of America
Years ago the Arkansas's East and West bound access roads in West Memphis were two way roads that had "Do Not Enter" signs at the end of "Off" ramps.
I have been told that when the access roads were changed to one way roads, the "Do Not Enter" signs were removed. It was the State of Arkansas's belief that the signs were no longer needed because the traffic flow was not going in the opposite direction.
However, this approach left no room for error, creating unacceptable fatalities along with countless accidents. Drivers not familiar with this traffic flow, which appears to be different than in other jurisdictions, are put in harms way.
Recently: Due to construction, the State of Arkansas changed another on/off ramp without posting permanent signs. The on/off ramp (which you would take a left) from Airport Road in West Memphis, Arkansas leading to I40 has been changed to a two lane "off" ramp. Without directional signs, you now have to take a right onto the access road and then take a left onto I40. (Signage has been corrected for this exit)
On April 10, 2006 my twenty-three year old son, Jeffrey Charles Magee was involved in a fatal accident at 5:37am off Exit 278 in West Memphis, Arkansas.
My son was unfamiliar with the roads in West Memphis and unfortunately made a horrible mistake by taking a left turn out of a gas station on the west bound access road, merged onto Exit 278 off ramp and ended up on the west bound highway going east. This was all done in a very short distance and surprisingly very easy, with no signs indicating that he was going the wrong way.
I truly believe that had there been signs (Wrong Way, Do Not Enter) to alert my son that he was going the wrong way, he would have realized his mistake before it cost him his life.
According to local businesses in the area, there have been 25 fatalities in the past 20 years, and in addition to these unacceptable fatalities there have been and continue to be countless accidents week after week with drivers merging onto Exit 278 off ramp as well as other off ramps in West Memphis.
In November 2006 The State of Arkansas respectfully agreed with our concerns regarding proper signage on the off-ramps leading to the one-way access/service roads in West Memphis, Arkansas. Wrong-Way and Do Not Enter signs were replaced on the Exit 278 off-ramp. Although this was encouraging and heartwarming to know that my son's mistake will not cost another life, there are several other off-ramps (both East and West) in the area that need the same attention. We are continuing this petition until the proper signage has been corrected on "all" off-ramps.
Petition Signatures: Thank you for your continued support.
We, the undersigned, call on Arkansas Highway Transportation Division to take action to reduce highway fatalities.
The Reduce Highway Fatalities and Serious Injuries in West Memphis, Arkansas petition to Arkansas Highway Transportation Division was written by Sharon Magee and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.