Thursday, August 31, 2023

Update on the Fernwood Rd and Democracy Blvd intersection improvements


After a burst of activity at the beginning of the month, construction on the Fernwood Rd and Democracy Blvd intersection has been quiet for the last week or so.  There is clearly still work to be done, but now's a good time to check on the intersection construction.

The median between the two sides of Fernwood Road south of Democracy Blvd has been moved to the left a couple of feet. This gives the northbound lanes a little more space which is important since they are converting the two lanes to three lanes (two left turn only and one right turn only).

The median was also pulled back several feet to be further from the intersection.


In a few places they had to tear up the sidewalk. Most places they put blacktop down as a temporary patch, but here they jut filled it in with dirt and put a traffic barrel over it.  Not pedestrian friendly at all.


S.E. Corner of Fernwood and Democracy

At the Southeast corner, they removed the traffic island that used to be here, you can still see the outline of where it was and traffic barrels block cars from using it.

S.W. Corner of Fernwood and Democracy
At the Southwest corner, they also removed the traffic island.  The patching job wasn't as good and there is a deep pothole on the right side of where the island was.  They also redid the curb here.

N.W. Corner of Fernwood and Democracy

Moving to the Northwest corner, they have mostly removed the traffic island. since the traffic signal is here they have left it with a bit of grass. There are trafic barrels and caution tape around it.

Also worth noting, they removed the "push button for walk signal" to cross Democracy Blvd and you don't automatically get a walk signal when the lights change so you are basically at the mercy of turning traffic when you cross here.  Very pedestrian unfriendly.


Median at the North side of Fernwood
The median on the North side of Democracy Blvd was also pulled back several feet. This eliminates the pedestrian refuge so you can't go halfway across the road then have a safe space to stand in.  They do this a lot and I don't like it, I find it much more pedestrian friendly to have the crosswalk go through the median (in an accessible way, of course).

N.E. Corner of Fernwood and Democracy
On the Northeast corner the sidewalk was redone, you can't really see the impact from here, but a different photo will make it more clear. They also have left the island at the turn, I believe this will remain.

N.E. Corner of Fernwood and Democracy

Another view of the Northeast corner, from here, you can see the sidewalk was pulled way back and a concrete area that is slightly raised was put in as a mountable curb for trucks that can't make the turn.

Stop here on Red

Somewhat amusingly, there is a "Stop here on Red" sign where there is no traffic light (and never was). This is at the Northwest corner of Fernwood and Democracy

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