HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The intersection of Memorial Highway and Hillsborough Avenue has some people concerned for their safety.
“It’s just loaded with traffic,” said concerned driver Diane Russo.
“It’s a very dangerous intersection, especially in the evening. I’ve seen many accidents,” she added.
Russo drives through the area often.
“You have cars making lefts, cars making rights, then you have cars from Memorial Highway turning in and out of the strip malls in addition to making U-turns,” said Russo.
People passing through experience serious congestion, especially at peak traffic hours.
“I’m nervous about getting into an accident,” said Russo.
“In the evening, I try not to leave if I can. I try not to come this way. I saw a truck last week jump the median just to make a left turn,” she added.
There’s one turn in particular that Russo is most worried about.
It’s in the parking lot near the Dollar Tree on Memorial Highway. There’s a sign there at the parking lot exit telling drivers not to turn left between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
“But people do it anyway,” she said.
Russo grew up in the area and told ABC Action News that the traffic has only gotten worse.
“There’s been a high increase of stores, of homes. So I think there has to be a study of the traffic pattern to see if there’s a safer way that cars can get around, especially in this area,” said Russo.
ABC Action News reached out to the Florida Department of Transportation to get answers and to see if there’s a possible solution.
FDOT shared this statement:
“This intersection is operating over capacity during the peak periods of the day. Volumes are high, with major northbound and southbound left and eastbound right turn movements. The intersection is also large in area, given the skew, which results in long pedestrian crossing times and vehicular clearance times. The operation of the signals is also complicated by the signal on Hillsborough at Lagoon, just west of the main intersection. As a result, there is a lot of recurring congestion and delay.
We are going to review the signal timings to see if we can make any tweaks but essentially, there is just a lot of volume at this intersection.”
Until there are improvements, drivers like Russo will continue to find alternate routes.
“I go the extra mile to go around this intersection, go through Hillsborough because this area is so dangerous,” said Russo.