Two wrecks in less than a week at the corner of Luther Road and SH 66 have some wondering whether it’s time to talk about a stoplight at the busy intersection.
Betty Sharp has a front row seat to the action on that corner. She operates Sonic just south of this intersection and says while there were two wrecks recently, there are many near misses every day.
She has started a conversation and action to try to do something about it. Sharp said whether it’s a stop light, a flashing light or reduced speed limits from the east and west, something should be done.
Getting something done starts at the local government level according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
“The general answer on traffic signals is that municipalities or counties own and maintain them. If a local entity is interested in a traffic signal, they would start the process with the department to study traffic patterns at the intersection and determine what safety measures not already in place might be warranted,” said Lisa Shearer-Salim, ODOT Public Information Manager.
Sharp is ready to get something done out of concern that the next wreck could cause serious injury or worse. “it sounds like I need to go to the next town meeting and get on the speaking list. Then I’ll research how to start a petition to request a stoplight and do a poll of how many people would sign it to present to the town council. I have seen so many accidents and close calls its not funny. There are at least 3 – 5 a week,” said Sharp.
Luther Police Chief David Randall, on behalf of Trustee LeaAnn Jackson, has been working with ODOT about changing the speed limit west of Luther Road. Currently, the speed limit is 55 mph around Peebly and doesn’t reduce to 45 mph until about the bridge over the Deep Fork River.
In a recent Town Board Meeting, Jackson had concerns about eastbound 66 motorists reducing speed coming toward town and the heavy traffic around The Chicken Shack, Jarvis Liquor and the Conoco, and then at Luther Road. Chief Randall said he has consulted with ODOT and a traffic study is being planned.