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Officials: Intersection less accident prone

Staff writer

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What was once the most accident-prone intersection in the state has seen a drastic drop in accident rates since 2012, according to City of Clovis officials.

Police Chief Steve Sanders said 12 vehicle accidents have taken place at the intersection of Commerce Way and Prince Street from January 2013 to the Staff photo: Joshua Lucero

Despite the decrease in the number of accidents at the intersection of Commerce Way and Prince Street, residents say it is still a problem area for Clovis traffic.

There were 47 accidents in the intersection in 2012 alone.

Clovis City Engineer Justin Howalt said most of the accidents in the intersection have been “fender benders.”

He said the city has done several things to improve the intersection over the last 10 years, such as installing the median on Prince Street between the Commerce Way and 21st Street intersections and extending the left turn lanes at the Prince and 21st Street intersection.

Howalt said just within the last three years, other improvements have been added to those.

He said the 21st and Prince lights are now coordinated with each other and when the new Allsup’s was built on 21st and Prince, it was constructed with less entrance and exit points so vehicles would not be turning into traffic in as many places as before.

“So there’s a few things that have been done,” Howalt said. “Things that are, in my world, small things to do, but they have been paying off, according to the crash numbers.”

But despite these several changes to better the intersection, some Clovis residents feel that the intersection is still one of the worst intersections in town.

“It would be nicer if they made more improvements,” said Amber Starbuck, who drives through the intersection often due to working near by. “I think they should have someone (such as police) monitor it more often.”

Starbuck said drivers do not pay attention to what they are doing at the intersection and often still cut across the Allsup’s parking lot as a means to get through the intersection quicker.

“It does get really stopped up sometimes,” said Clovis resident Amanda Hernandez, adding that she often gets stuck at a red light when trying to turn left on 21st Street from Prince.

Howalt said a traffic study was completed and presented to the public in October but there were no public comments given at the time.

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