Traffic Fatality Near Certain at 500 Cartwright Rd in Mesquite
I have been writing in this space for more than a year now that a traffic fatality is going to happen at 500 W. Cartwright Road on the borders of Mesquite and Balch Springs. Thankfully, I’ve not been proven correct yet, but the past 48 hours have produced multiple opportunities for that to be true.
In the past 48 hours now, there have been two serious accidents with west-bound drivers who, when they have stopped spinning, have been facing back toward the east in the middle of this very dangerous intersection. The second one happened tonight, Friday, June 6, 2014 about 11:30 p.m. (See night photo)
At about 1 p.m. today, I video taped Mesquite ISD school bus 205 not only violate district policy by making a turn into this intersection during a red light (I don’t blame this driver for doing this, the light holds a ridiculous amount of time and people coming out of the complex probably honk. Problem is, this is a very dangerous intersection), the driver also basically ran the light. ( I had decided earlier in the day not to make an issue out of this, but, given there have been two significant accidents in this very intersection in the past 48 hours, it appears to me that showing how even an MISD bus driver disregarding the law in this intersection shows the other side of the problem.)
Last year, and over the past four years, there have been multiple accidents of drivers running into the phone poles and AT&T equipment in the southeast corner of the intersection. And the fencing along the road in the curve has been taken down because it kept getting plowed thru.
On at least three occasions this school year after dropping off my daughter at Mesquite High School, I’ve noted drivers going east on Cartwright have also disregarded the flashing red lights on the school bus as it has stopped to pick local kids up for school. They stopped at the complex just west of here, but then one day I saw at least five cars drive right past the bus while its red lights were flashing like crazy.
What is very likely to happen in this intersection, however, is that a resident(s) of Stoneleigh Apartments is/are going to be killed while waiting for the light to change and a vehicle that’s just gotten off Interstate 635 at the Bruton/Cartwright Rd exit flies into them at high speed heading east.
The timing of stop lights of many of the intersecting roads in Mesquite is ridiculous. If you’re not on a main road, good luck in not sitting at a light for an inordinate amount of time. The ones along Beltline between Galloway/Beltline and Mesquite High School for as long as three minutes.
But what happens either east-to-west, or west-to-east on Cartwright Road is that those coming off 635 headed east, or those going toward 635 from Cartwright and Beltline, often exceed the 40 mph posted speed limit and around the curve right at Stoneleigh they go. Those going east don’t realize the road curves to the northeast and they go flying into the AT&T cable and phone boxes and telephone polls,
or they come from the east going west and don’t realize the road curves and they go flying into the light poles in the median.
Either way, the city of Mesquite is poised for a good suing when someone finally winds up dead in this intersection. They have had ample time to realize this is a problem and Stoneleigh Apartments has pleaded with the city to do something about the timing of the traffic light in front of the apartments.
1) Strict enforcement needs to happen on Cartwright Road for those going over 40 mph in either direction.
2) The timing on the light at Stoneleigh needs to be further adjusted so that it is ABSOLUTELY impossible to go from Beltline to Stoneleigh, or from the two lights at 635 to Stoneleigh and make it thru that traffic light without having to stop. PERIOD.
3) There probably need to be some warning treads placed on Cartwright as one proceeds from west-to-east toward Stoneleigh at the apartment complexes just beforehand to alert drivers that something different is ahead. It’s going to one day become Deadman’s Curve if action isn’t taken. The same thing needs to happen in the curve after one has come across the bridge over the Butterfly Park Trail.
4) The portable “You’re Going This Fast” radar sign has not ever been located in this area of Cartwright Road. I’m not sure it will help, but it’d be one more step to help regular drivers realize there is an issue here.
5) When school starts up, Mesquite Police need to sit in the Stoneleigh Apartment parking lot a few mornings and wait for those to come by who are too important/busy/or dumb to stop when the bus is there picking up the kids and the red lights are flashing.
Even with these provisions, there’s still likely to be a problem. For the 11 years I’ve lived in the Mesquite/Balch Springs area, MPD has been running radar out on 635, operating one of the most active speed enforcement zones in North Texas, and on any given day, you an see them with multiple cars stopped or those who they miss just flying thru.
This is a major issue in the Balch Springs/Mesquite area. Someone, regrettably, is going to lose their life because of a driver going too fast in either direction of Cartwright. Mark it down. I dearly wish the city of Mesquite would take some serious immediate actions before it’s too late.