With growth in the area, turning left onto the highway can be challenging during peak times, but crash data does not indicate this is the hardest or least safe movement. The data shows that drivers have more issues turning off the highway rather than turning onto it, resulting in several serious and fatal injuries that prompted the expansion of the highway.
Speed limits are safest when set at the speed most drivers naturally travel at; when limits are artificially reduced, it can result in more crashes as some drivers will follow the posted limit while others will travel at speeds comfortable to them. Drivers trying to turn face a greater challenge when vehicles in different lanes are not moving at consistent rates of speed.
Adding signals to SH-53 would not only compromise the mobility of the route, it could create a greater hazard. Signals are placed in locations for a variety of reasons, usually the number of turning movements, and are not warranted within project limits. Placing signals where they are not warranted, or where they are not expected along a signal-free route in a rural setting, could lead to more crashes.
Acceleration lanes are designed to help traffic get onto a high-speed route. They do not address the primary safety issue of leaving the high-speed route. They could help commercial traffic, but given the lack of industrial areas near Rathdrum and Hauser, most trucks are not accessing the highway from county or city roads.
Turn lanes are the appropriate safety solution for the corridor, and the construction of the Pleasant View interchange will facilitate safer movements onto the highway than currently exist at Beck Road/Prairie Avenue and McGuire Road.