Businesses Plead for Northern Blvd. Changes

In the wake of a fatal accident Wednesday, business owners along the Northern Boulevard are pleading for help. They want changes in traffic patterns to try and avoid what happened to a Chatsworth, Georgia man.

While standing near the street talking with the General Manager of Harley Davidson, a car rushes by in the far turning lane. "Look at this car. See. There he goes. That's exactly what we're talking about. Watch. He'll go through all these intersections."

What businesses along the Northern Boulevard want changed is the turning lane. It's about a quarter of a mile long and most people don't turn until the end of it. The businesses believe that's what caused the fatal accident on Wednesday and it was at a time when traffic is at its worst. General Manager Calvin Nelson was at work here when the accident happened. "It was about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. The traffic is backing up at this light as it generally does."

That's when 60-year old Jerald Morrison and two friends on motorcycles tried to turn off the Northern Boulevard and into the Harley Davidson dealer's parking lot. "He was following the other two motorcycles and probably made the assumption that when they went - he could go."

But, he didn't make it. He did manage to pull safely out into the street while cars in two lanes stopped and beckoned for him to turn. When he did, a truck in the third lane didn't see him coming and the two collided. That's why businesses say the turning lane is much too long. While some drivers do use it to get to the businesses they want, most folks get in the turning lane way before its time to turn.

Another vehicle rushed by after getting in the turning lane a long way before the place where he wanted to turn. "This truck. What do you say about him? That's typical huh? That's typical."

An employee at a local business, Kevin Daniels, says there are far too many accidents on this road. "It seems like every afternoon you hear cars hitting, and skid marks and all kind of wrecks here. Every afternoon? It seems like every afternoon. At least three or four times a week."

Not only do the businesses there want that turning lane changed, they also want another traffic light to manage the traffic so motorists can turn left safely. The Department of Transportation says it usually takes requests like that from the city but says it is open to investigating any change that will make driving safer.