On Monday of this week the board that oversees the Oklahoma Department of Transportation voted to take action on an important traffic concern facing many residents of south Logan and north Oklahoma counties.
Anyone who travels Waterloo Road as it crosses under Interstate 35 around 8 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. should be able to attest to the need for a solution to the gridlock created by the increased traffic burden at this intersection. In the morning westbound traffic backs up towards Pine and commuters are forced to wait for access to the southbound on-ramp. In the evenings the I-35 off-ramp backs up and those traveling home from work are forced to wait for access onto Waterloo road.
This traffic jam causes some drivers to avoid the intersection altogether by traveling county maintained side roads. This extra traffic places an additional burden on our county roadways.
As a candidate and an office holder I have been approached by residents of this area who have indicated that the problems created by the intersection have caused serious traffic-related concerns. Those who are forced to traverse this intersection have been clear in their desire for a solution to the problem.
I believe that the ultimate solution would be the creation of a new on and off ramp at Charter Oak Road and I-35. However, in the short term it has been made clear that the exchange at I-35 and Waterloo Road should be re-worked.
Earlier this year I asked ODOT officials to check into the situation. Based on their study of the problems created by traffic at the Waterloo Road/I-35 overpass they have recommended re-working the flow of traffic under the underpass. The recommendation includes the placement of two three-way stops on each side of the interstate. This solution would give those who are traveling from the east clear access to enter I-35 going south. It would also provide direct access to Waterloo Road for those exiting off of I-35.
Since receiving word of the ODOT recommendation I have requested the input of a number of individuals who commute through this intersection. Their feedback has been mixed. Some feel the addition of the new stop signs will simply slow traffic down and create more congestion. Others feel that the signage will allow quicker access and as such provide a solution.
On Monday the Transportation Commission officially approved the recommendation. Thus, the new signage should be in place shortly. I respectfully request your input and feedback on how you feel this solution affects the flow of traffic either positively or negatively. If the desired solution is not realized there are certainly other options that could be explored including the placement of traffic lights and possibly the widening of lanes.
I am always happy to assist constituents with traffic-related concerns. Please do not hesitate to inform me of other areas in Logan and Oklahoma counties where there is a need for a similar solution.