(Updated with another wreck on Bold Springs Road on Wednesday afternoon)
The section of Highway 78 at the intersection of Troy Smith and Rowe Road has been a bone of contention for several years. There are regularly accidents at that location, resulting in calls for at the very least a traffic signal. The last accident on May 30, the third one at that location in just a few days, again prompted calls for a traffic signal along with some social media comments that Walton County, either the Board of Commissioners or the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, should do something about it. However, with it being a state road, outside of letting the Georgia Department of Transportation know that it is an ongoing problem, there is little that the county can do about. There is some good news though. According to Katie Strickland, District One communications officer with the Georgia DOT, engineers are taking another look at that intersection.
“Apparently the department evaluated this location September 2015 and it did not meet signal warrant requirements then, but we are re-evaluating it at this time,” Strickland said, adding that there is no information to give out on the study at this time as no data has yet been collected. “I also would tell you that there is a “Bible” for traffic control devices called the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.”
Strickland provided a link to the chapter that gives the requirements for justifying a traffic signal. Click or tap on this link for that information. It notes that there are very specific “warrants” that need to be met in order to justify a traffic signal, and even then there are no guarantees. But at least officials are taking a second look.
However, public safety officials and many of the people commenting on social media believe that until the problem of distracted drivers also is addressed, a traffic signal may help, but is not going to solve the problem. Another area of concern lately in Walton County is the number of wrecks on Bold Springs Road, especially close to where the new roundabout is being constructed by the Georgia DOT. But there again public safety officials believe that distracted driving is often the problem. There have been complaints about a drop off on the road, but there are road construction warnings and drivers are urged to use caution when passing through that area.
(Update: Officials with Walton County Fire Rescue say there was a single vehicle accident on Wednesday afternoon on Bold Spring Road near Loth Wages Road. Battalion Chief Craig League said the vehicle overturned. The injuries, however, appear to be minor.
Editor’s Note: The Georgia Department of Transportation has said it will give us an update once the evaluation has been completed and we will pass that information along.