KILLEEN, Texas — The intersection of Rosewood Drive and I-14 in Killeen has seen 27 crashes in 2020 and more than 70 crashes since January of 2017. On August 18, Killeen Spokeswoman Hilary Shine said the city hired an engineering firm to study the intersection.
The City of Killeen released the study, conducted by engineering firm Kimley Horn, last week. 6 News reached out to the City of Killeen Monday morning to get additional information about the report. The Killeen Engineering Department did not respond.
Fortunately, a thorough read of the report does provide some specific recommendations that could reduce crashes based on issues Killeen drivers have been reporting about the Rosewood Drive intersection at I-14.
Preventing last-minute lane changes
One complaint about crashes shared on Facebook stated that drivers approaching the intersection on the access road would realize, at the last second, that they are in the turning lane which only goes under the overpass. If the driver tried to change lanes at the last second. An accident could result.
The study recommends adding directional lane assignment signs to all approaches of the interchange to make the lanes clearer for drivers, as well as adding yellow vertical retroreflective flexible posts in the yellow striped areas which help designate turning lanes to make them more visible.
Adding protected-only turns for southbound rosewood traffic
Viewers also stated that traffic turning from Rosewood onto the access road must pay special attention to their green light, as the light would turn green but would not offer a protected left turn for several seconds and would force drivers to make a judgment about oncoming traffic. When 6 News drove the intersection again Sunday and Monday, we noticed the timing of the protected turns in the intersection seemed inconsistent.
The study suggests the southbound left-turn lane along Rosewood should offer protected-only turns which would help solve the issue.
Adding duel protected left turns northbound
Still, other viewers said drivers would attempt to turn left from the middle lane of northbound Rosewood under the intersections. The signals and lanes at the intersection do not currently allow for such turns even though the intersection itself has enough room to accommodate them. The study recommends changing the lights and timing to accommodate duel protected left turns for northbound traffic, which would be similar to some other intersections in the Killeen area.
Changing timings to better handle heavy traffic
According to engineering firm Kimley Horn, the traffic lights at I-14 and Rosewood Drive are programmed, but their timing does not include any adjustments for changing traffic conditions based on the time of day.
The traffic pattern is also different than that of other nearby intersections at Stan Schlueter Loop and Knight’s Way. The report suggested the lights be reprogrammed with different timings based on the time of day and follow a pattern more closely resembling other nearby intersections.
The report stated in one section, "To alleviate queuing observed in both peak hours for the NBL movement at the interchange, it is recommended that the interchange converts from a 3-phase diamond interchange operation to a TTI 4-phase diamond interchange such that the northbound left can accommodate a single left and a shared through left lane configuration. This phasing and lane assignment will mirror adjacent interchanges along CTE at FM 3470 (Stan Schlueter Loop) and FM 2410 (Knight’s Way) and aid driver predictability."
The report recommends extending the signal cycle length between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. It says that cycle length would be 100 seconds when previous times had it vary between 60 and 80 seconds. The study also stated the change could reduce traffic back-up by as much as half of the timing changes were implemented.
The City of Killeen has not indicated whether it will be following the recommendations at this time. Shine said it would take several months, and TxDOT approval, to make those changes if the city chose to do so.