Archived Story

Turning light brings hope of reduced accidents

Published 12:59am Saturday, October 17, 2009

Niles Daily Star

A sign of relief has come to the intersection in Niles Township, what has been of great concern.

A turning signal has been installed and is now in operation at the intersection of Chestnut and South 11th streets in Niles.

“It feels so tremendous, my heart swells,” said Richard Noble, township trustee.

Noble was just one of the township officials and many residents in the area who championed the addition of a turning signal at the crossroads where so many accidents have taken place.

Upon returning to Niles from a trip to South Bend this week, he observed at least eight cars make their way through the left turn signal.

“It was so beautiful,” he said.

Just recently, he added, two more accidents had taken place at the intersection prior to the installation of the signal – two more that would be added to a growing number of incidents.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced the approval of a turning signal at the intersection back in April after Noble had sent plenty of letters, information and requests to officials following reoccurring accidents.

Now the public is calling in with praise rather than concern.

Noble said he’s received several calls from the public that residents are happy to see the light put in.

Supervisor Jim Kidwell said he has gotten calls from the public with positive feedback as well.

“It’s going to be terrific,” he said. “We’re crossing our fingers and hoping that the traffic and accidents stop there.”

Asked if he though the light would improve the flow of traffic and reduce the number of incidents that were happening at the intersection, Noble said “I hope so.”

He added that he’d noticed a significant slow down in traffic since the light went in.

Niles Township officials are still waiting on findings from a speed study that was conducted of South 11th Street by MDOT.

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