Something can be done

Published 12:39 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

Longtime residents of this area know that serious and even fatal crashes on Whaleyville Boulevard are an all-too-familiar story.

Route 13 has been the location of a number of these crashes over the years. In many ways, the road is rendered unsafe by some of the same issues that plague Route 460, which we also wrote about recently.

Route 13 is only two lanes. Traffic travels on it at high speeds, separated only by yellow lines that are essentially meaningless when it comes to preventing wrecks. And it carries a large number of tractor-trailers each day.


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Somehow, most of the worst crashes seem to happen during the night and early-morning hours, when shipyard workers commuting from North Carolina add traffic to what would otherwise be just another dark country road.

Add driver inattention into the mix, and you’ve got a deadly combination — little room for error and humans, who are prone to error.

Last week, a 23-year-old North Carolina man lost his life when his vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer on Whaleyville Boulevard. The crash in which Teric A. Moody died happened about 6:08 a.m.

The crash is still being investigated, so there’s no way at this point of knowing what the main cause was or what contributing factors might have worsened it.

However, it’s safe to say that the road could use some safety improvements similar to what has been proposed for Route 460.

City leaders recently approved an application for funding that would fix many of the things that have made Route 460 so deadly over the years. The funding would provide an 8-foot shoulder on both sides, 12-foot driving lanes, a 5-foot median and a 2-foot median barrier.

In other words: a little more room for error, and a barrier just in case.

The solutions for Whaleyville Boulevard will necessarily be different, but we’re sure there’s something that can be done.

Whatever the solution, we hope it is found before more lives are lost.