“First off, people familiar with the area, they know there is no U-turn there. Crestview is a travel area. People have tunnel vision and they don’t pay attention to the signage because they are using it as a travel way."

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CRESTVIEW — Residents are concerned about U-turns taking place throughout the city, particularly at the three-way intersection near the Tom Thumb gas station on PJ Adams Parkway.

“Is there any plan to do anything about all the illegal U-turns at PJ Adams next to Tom Thumb? I just witnessed three within a five-minute span and I never see any cops there. There has to be some kind of deterrence, there's eventually going to be a life-threatening wreck,” Christopher Root, a Crestview resident, said in a Facebook message to the News Bulletin. 

Some residents visiting the Tom Thumb shared Root’s sentiment. 

“It can be [scary]. You have to make a U-turn here if you are going north on 85,” said Crestview resident Ian Ellsworth, who made a pit stop at the Tom Thumb by the three-way intersection. “In the middle of rush hour, you have a bunch of people getting into the turn lane blocking people from getting into PJ Adams.”

On June 24, a Honda van with an out-of-state license plate allegedly crashed into two vehicles while making an illegal U-turn at the intersection where PJ Adams Parkway meets Tom Thumb, slowing traffic in the area for hours while the police conducted an investigation. 

“There is an illegal U-turn there; it’s very unsafe with that being a highly congested area, particularly in the morning and evening,” said Sgt. Josh Grace of the Crestview police department.  “It’s posted as a no U-turn, it's high on the lights.” 

Grace said that out-of-state drivers often ignore the signs in Crestview because it’s not their final destination. 

“First off, people familiar with the area, they know there is no U-turn there. Crestview is a travel area. People have tunnel vision and they don’t pay attention to the signage because they are using it as a travel way,” he said.

Another notably dangerous intersection, he said, is where Walmart Road intersects with 85. 

“Walmart Road and 85 is more of a problem,” he said.  “It’s more dangerous there because of the width of the road, there isn’t enough room to make a U-turn.” 

The problem for drivers at that intersection is that they need to make a three-point turn because the road isn’t quite wide enough to accommodate a smooth U-turn.

His advice to drivers?

“If you have to make a U-turn, go to a safe location with a turn lane, or drive a little out of the way. But, mainly, people need to pay attention.”