CRESTVIEW — Residents of Shoal Terrace, Stonebridge, Cherokee Bend and other southeast Crestview neighborhoods find it easier to turn onto John King Road, the access road to their subdivisions, following a county effort.
"We actually had a resident contact us and expressed a concern about the signal timing," Okaloosa County Roads Division Manager Clay Simmons said. "We went in and looked at it and agreed. We were able to make that adjustment and improve the traffic situation for drivers."
The turn lane from southbound State Road 85 had frequently filled up at peak travel periods. Turning vehicles unable to fit in the turn lane would block the S.R. 85 fast lane until they could move into the turn lane.
Traffic often stacked up as far back as the Wendy's fast food restaurant, residents said.
That was before resident Jimmy Wrye wrote a letter to the News Bulletin editor criticizing the situation.
Wrye expressed gratitude for the county’s swift response.
“I thank the county man ... for contacting me personally by telephone one day after my letter appeared,” he said on crestviewbulletin.com. “I have noticed a big difference in the number of vehicles that are able to turn left onto John King Road. I am very grateful to this person from the county and to the Crestview News Bulletin for publishing my letter.”
Another motorist noticed improvement.
"It got a little better," Carl Kiser said Wednesday while waiting to make the turn. "You can still see cars backed up at rush hour, though. Only eight or nine cars get through" during a turn cycle.
"We are constantly working on our transportation system and signal timings and we are always monitoring those," Simmons said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.