Study Shows Highway 153 & Hixson Pike Improvements - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Study Shows Highway 153 & Hixson Pike Improvements

Posted: Updated:

By Megan Boatwright
Channel 3 News Reporter

The intersection at Hixson Pike and Highway 153 used to be one of Chattanooga's most dangerous and accident prone intersections.  Today accident numbers have decreased dramatically. 

Before 2008 drivers traveling from Hwy 153 onto Hixson Pike were required to stop, then merge into traffic.  The intersection wasn't a hot spot for serious accidents, but congestion and fender benders were common place. 

Visit the intersections along both sides of the Hixson Pike today, and you'll noticed a marked difference.  Melody Rossing travels the area often and remembers the way traffic used to be,  "Most accidents were just fender benders because a car would start to pull out then stop suddenly."   

Rossing said traffic flows through much smoother now.  "You feel safer,' she said.  "People have more time to figure out whether or not they're going to merge."   

Rossing's observation is exactly what City Traffic Engineer, John Van Winkle, was going for when he set out to redesign the intersection.

"We extended the ramp so it would tie into the lane that turns into North Gate Mall," Van Winkle said.   

A recent survey conducted by the City of Chattanooga shows accidents have dropped from 60 per year to less than sixteen. 

Stuart Heights Baptist Church moved into a building right off Hwy 153 since the lanes were redesigned.  Senior Pastor, Gary Jarred, said he hasn't noticed a problem.

We've been here for two years and I haven't even seen any accidents," Jarred said.  According to Van Winkle the study results prove the project's success.

"There's less delay, congestion and conflict with drivers," the engineer said. 

Powered by Frankly