Roadscapes Wednesday: Five Road Drawings To Solve The Leon Smith Parkway Problems

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

I have been profiling the major traffic problems on Leon Smith Parkway in Oxford around the Interstate 20 interchange and the Oxford Exchange area.  I mean, seeing pictures of traffic like this should make anyone shake their head and cringe.

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And yes, I even made a video showing you video footage of this as well!

So, as you can see there are some major problems with this area in Oxford Alabama.  This is what happens when you place everything in one small area!  So, on this Roadscapes post, I am going to feature five road drawings on what I want to see this area become.  I want to see more travel lanes, two right turn lanes turning onto Leon Smith Parkway from the Oxford Exchange, no more right turn yields coming off of I-20, and better traffic lights and signage!

Listen up ALDOT and the city of Oxford!  This is one of the worst traffic choke points in Alabama and the southeast.  And once the eastern bypass opens up later this year, the traffic will get a whole lot worse!  The road drawing sequence starts at the Leon Smith Parkway / Jimmy Hinton Drive intersection, and goes south towards the Oxford Exchange.

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Sunday Discussion: The Same Traffic Light Problems In Oxford

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The same traffic light problems are still occurring along Leon Smith Parkway at the Oxford Exchange.  I did this post and video in March about this problem.  View it below!

The traffic light at the Oxford Exchange / Oxford Commons intersection is working mostly properly.  The light needs to allow more time for traffic turning left into the Oxford Exchange.  Otherwise, the sensors are at least working.


But the big problem is the light at the Interstate 20 eastbound ramp, this one.


The light’s sensors are broken and will turn red even if no one is there to turn onto Leon Smith Parkway.  The left turn signal to turn onto Interstate 20 is staying green for a very long time.  And here’s the worst part, traffic going north on Leon Smith Parkway only gets around 20 seconds of green light time.  This is why so much traffic is backing up and blocking intersections.


A while back, there was a story in the Anniston Star saying these lights along Leon Smith Parkway would be re-timed.  Sadly, this is not the case!  If this light is not re-timed soon, Oxford is going to lose out on tax revenue as people quit going to the Oxford Exchange / Oxford Commons area so they don’t have to deal with the traffic.  I have talked about these lights since Summer 2012.  I would have thought these lights would be fixed by now.



Sunday Discussion: Traffic Light Problems in Anniston/Oxford

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NOTE: This post is being sent to all four TV stations in Birmingham.  This post is also being sent to The Anniston Star as well!  Enjoy video footage of the problems!

Last Saturday I experienced the worst traffic backup ever seen in Oxford!  Leon Smith Parkway at the new Publix and Oxford Exchange was filled with traffic jams.  It was so bad, traffic was backing up and blocking intersections!  I have talked about these traffic problems for a year now.  You think these traffic light problems are bad now, just wait until the Eastern Bypass opens!  Here’s a post talking about these issues from last December.

I will begin with some pictures of the massive traffic backup.  Just take a look!

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I have contacted The City of Oxford and ALDOT about these malfunctioning traffic lights for close to a year now.  But nothing has been done!  The new traffic light at the Oxford Exchange / Publix is on a timer.  There are sensors installed in the pavement but they are not working.  The eastbound I-20 light is a big problem.  It only has 20 seconds of green light time for traffic heading north into Anniston.  That is a big reason all of this traffic backup occurred.

As you can see in this picture, the traffic backup in the exchange went back a long distance!

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The big reason for all of this traffic is the eastbound I-20 traffic light.  The short green light time and broken sensors is causing a big problem!

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With the light malfunctioning at the Oxford Exchange intersection.  This is causing the intersection to be blocked and this almost causes accidents.  So dangerous!

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These traffic backups are causing problems at the next intersection down.  When traffic backs up, people will run the stop sign to get out!

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The sad thing is the other side of the interstate also has problems!  The traffic lights at the Jimmy Hinton Dr. and I-20 westbound intersections are also not timed properly.  Turning right onto Leon Smith Parkway from the I-20 westbound ramp is very dangerous.

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Also, The other problem is with Jimmy Hinton Dr.  When only one car wants to go straight and the others wants to go right.  It backs up so much traffic that it blocks access to other businesses.

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This has been an ongoing issue with traffic light and road problems in the Anniston / Oxford area.  Many traffic lights in Anniston and Oxford have broken sensors and malfunctioning ped signals.  Also, Anniston decided to drop the speed limit to 35 along Greenbrier Dear Rd.  No one is going to follow this!

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I have been shocked that neither the cities or ALDOT have fixed these problems!  I guess getting the TV media involved will be the only way to fix this!  Here are some videos showing some of the malfunctioning traffic lights in Anniston and Oxford.  I guess it’s going to take someone getting killed before something is done!

Roadscapes Wednesday: Old Boiling Springs Road Bridge

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

When the brand new Publix opened up, I got the chance to walk down Old Boiling Springs Road behind the store to take some pictures of the Old Boiling Springs Road bridge.  Before Leon Smith Parkway was built, all traffic had to go across this bridge.  This Pratt through truss bridge was built in 1930.  And was closed down in the 1990’s when the bypass was opened.  This old one-lane wooden bridge crosses Choccolocco Creek.  And yes it has seen better days!

Can you believe this bridge could also be haunted?  According to urban legend, if you walk on this bridge late into the night, and stop in the center, look over your shoulder and you will see the fiery Gates of Hell at the other end.  Another urban legend says that if you drive onto the bridge, turn off the lights, put the car in park, that one of the couple will enter your vehicle leaving a wet spot on the seat.

Enjoy the pictures from this very old bridge!  I don’t think this bridge will be around much longer.

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Roadscapes Wednesday: Leon Smith Parkway

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

Leon Smith Parkway in Oxford is part of the Anniston Eastern Bypass.  And lately the parkway around I-20 and the Oxford Exchange has been seeing traffic problems.  For one, the traffic light at the I-20 eastbound ramp is malfunctioning.

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This light will turn red even if no one is waiting to turn onto Leon Smith Parkway.  This causes major traffic backups that often reach past the other intersections at the Oxford Exchange.  Green light time for Leon Smith Parkway is only 35 seconds.  It is not enough time for all the backed up traffic to get through the light.  Plus some cars will run the red light to not get stopped again.  See what I mean by watching the video below.

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At another intersection at Leon Smith Parkway and Jimmy Hinton Dr.  The traffic light for cars turning left onto Jimmy Hinton Dr. is not long enough.  Numerous cars just keep turning left after the green arrow period ends.  And then traffic on Leon Smith Parkway gets the green light and almost crashes into cars still turning left.  This video will show you what happens often at this intersection.

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Often there is a backup of cars wanting to turn left onto Jimmy Hinton Dr. that they block the I-20 westbound intersection.

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At times some cars stop on red way beyond the white line.  Trucks turning left onto Leon Smith Parkway has a problem with this.

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Since the traffic lights at the Jimmy Hinton Dr. and I-20 westbound intersections are not timed properly.  Traffic often will get the green light at one intersection only to get the red light at the next intersection.

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I have two big problems that needs to be talked about.  One, if you want to turn right onto Leon Smith Parkway from the I-20 westbound ramp it’s very dangerous.  Cars often pull out in front of other traffic and have to sometimes quickly cross several lanes of traffic to get into the left turn lane for Jimmy Hinton Dr.santa 070santa 077

My solution to this is to make the right turn lane a part of the traffic light.  That way people driving will not have to look way over their shoulder to quickly cross over to the left turn lane.

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The other problem is with Jimmy Hinton Dr.  So much traffic goes through here it often causes big backups!  One, there is no paint lines on the road.  This road is wide enough for a center lane so cars can turn left without blocking others.

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And the other big problem, at the Leon Smith Parkway intersection the set up is one lane is for traffic turning left and the other lane is for traffic going straight or right.  When only one car wants to go straight and the others wants to go right.  It backs up so much traffic that it blocks access to other businesses.

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So here is my change.  Make the left lane for traffic turning left or to go straight.  And have the right lane for cars only turning right.  This would solve these traffic problems.

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All four traffic lights needs to be re-timed and these intersection changes needs to be made soon.  Because when the Anniston Eastern Bypass is finished, this area will become very dangerous!  Get on it ALDOT and the City of Oxford.