Deadly Canadian Co. intersection to become 4-way stop this week

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CANADIAN CO., Okla. (KFOR) - The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) is changing the intersection of Banner Road and State Highway 66 into a 4-way stop this week. 

ODOT says stop signs will be added by Wednesday, which is a change drivers are happy to see. 

"About every other morning, I come down this way, and there's always traffic a mile long,” Ryan Cummings told News 4.  “There's normally an accident about every couple of days out there.  To hear this is being changed to a four-way-stop is actually very exciting for me."

Not only is ODOT making the intersection a 4-way-stop, but it's also narrowing the highway down to one lane in each direction at Banner Road throughout 2020. 

The county is also taking steps to help drivers adjust. 

"We've put some speed limit sign reductions, up and downstream, north and south on our county road,” County Commissioner Marc Hader said.  “We'll also be putting perimeter flashing stop ahead signs coming there too."

The 4-way stop is only a temporary solution. 

Hader says the county and ODOT hope to have a round-a-bout built at the intersection within the year. 

Officials insist the round-a-bout will be safer than a traditional traffic light, but not everyone that drives the intersection is sold on the idea. 

"I do see where a round-a-bout is going to slow people down, and it is going to be safer, I do agree with that,” General Managers of the Banner Coop David Bonds said.  “The traffic volume is the thing I am concerned about."

Bonds works right down the street from the intersection, so he has seen his fair share of wrecks, and knows just how dangerous the intersection can be. 

He says he's happy to see something finally being done, but he wants to see another traffic study and a video of how a round-a-bout can work in such a high traffic area. 

"I want this to be done right the first time,” Bonds told News 4.  “I don't want this to back up and create a problem from what we already have."

Candy Davis-Schwarz, the daughter of Ray Davis, the motorcyclist killed in an accident at the intersection back in November was skeptical of a round-a-bout at first but tells News 4 she is now on board with the idea after meeting with ODOT. 

“It will be large in size to accommodate the semi-trucks, school buses, and traffic,” Candy said.  “I expressed concerns regarding the present plan being downgraded to be less expensive but was assured by Trenton [with ODOT] safety and the efficient follow of traffic are their main concerns.”

Officials say it’s ultimately up to all drivers to make sure they are doing their part to keep accidents from happening. 

"About the only way we could probably stop there ever being accidents here would be to completely close the intersection, and that's not feasible,” Hader said.  “People have to be very defensive in their driving, all of us."

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