By Alyssa Schnugg
The Mississippi Department of Transportation has listened to the concerns of more than 6,000 people who signed a petition recently to make changes to the Highway 6/F.D. Buddy East Parkway intersection.
The modifications follow safety assessments in the wake of a fatal crash in March, where Oxford resident Matt Ellington and his two children were killed when a Panola County garbage truck collided with their vehicle.
A petition calling for changes on Highway 6 East near the F.D. “Buddy” East Parkway intersection with more than 6,000 signatures was presented to the Board of Aldermen recently by Oxford resident Carrie Long.
The Aldermen and Mayor Robyn Tannehill approved sending a letter to MDOT calling for the changes to be made.
Since then MDOT has extended the existing 55 mph speed zone through the intersection. Prior, the speed zone ended west of F. D. Buddy East and increased to 65 mph through the intersection.
Crews will also modified traffic signals to provide a protected-only left-turn phase for westbound traffic during Lafayette County School’s pick-up and drop-off hours.
During the protected-only phase, westbound left-turns will only be allowed on a green light, and eastbound traffic will see red lights.
Outside of school traffic hours, signals will return to regular operation with a flashing-yellow phase for left-turns. During flashing-yellow phases, left-turning traffic in both directions must yield to oncoming traffic.
“While engineers determined that signals and lanes were functioning well as designed, the public’s calls for action prompted a fresh look at possible changes,” stated a press release from MDOT.