From: Paul Duncan
I am sure I’m not alone in expressing my condolences to the family of the young lady who died in the wreck on Deaver Road on Tuesday.
As those of us who travel Deaver Road between State Road 11 and the new REMC building every day know all too well, this tragedy points out just how dangerous Deaver Road can be and how much worse it has recently become. In the 20 years I have lived in the area, there have been at least three accidents resulting in death and many more that could have on that short stretch of road.
The road is too narrow; there are no shoulders, and the ground area directly to the south side of the road surface drops sharply into a drainage ditch, with the north side of the road only slightly better. The road surface rises and falls, making cars bounce as they travel along it.
Many can attest to just how easy it is to get too close to the side of the road to avoid oncoming traffic, causing your wheels to leave the road, which according to the report in the paper is what started the tragic accident Tuesday. When this happens, it is difficult for someone with years of experience to keep control of your car. It is understandable how many people overcorrect and lose control.
Over the past five or six years, there has been a big increase in the number of cars that use Deaver Road from Woodside Industrial Park and the housing additions in the area, but neither the county nor city has made any improvements. This has also led to the intersection of Deaver Road and State Road 11 to become the site of many accidents and near misses.
Although the speed limit is posted at 45 along Deaver Road, it is often ignored, with cars racing on a daily basis. Dump trucks, semis and REMC vehicles use it all the time, which makes the already narrow road seem all that much more dangerous. When the weather conditions deteriorate, all of these problems are amplified.
I have called and talked to the county and city officials on different occasions about Deaver Road. The city said it falls under the county’s responsibility. The county said that it is on its radar and that a study would be done. I was told once that Deaver Road was a secondary county road and didn’t have the traffic volume to justify the capital investment.
Deaver Road at one time was a quiet, lightly used county road, but that was 30 years ago and is no longer. It is a major traffic route for those coming and going from Woodside Industrial Park and the housing additions in the area. Deaver has the same traffic volume as Carr Hill Road and should receive the same attention and improvements. It is unsafe, plain and simple.
Bartholomew County and Columbus city officials, for the safety of the taxpayers who use it every day, please fix that stretch of Deaver Road.