Unpopular Plano Intersection Design Prevents Crashes

City decides to keep median left turn design at Legacy Drive and Preston Road

By Catherine Ross
|  Thursday, Jul 26, 2012  |  Updated 12:03 AM CDT
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At the intersection of Legacy Drive and Preston Road drivers have an extra stoplight at an intersection designed to cut down the risk of fender benders.

Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter

At the intersection of Legacy Drive and Preston Road drivers have an extra stoplight at an intersection designed to cut down the risk of fender benders.

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A new study shows that a new design cut crashes at a busy Plano intersection in half.

In July 2010, the city adopted a median left turn at Legacy Drive and Preston Road.

But a Texas Transportation Institute study shows that crashes in the area were down 50 percent in the two years since the intersection was redesigned, the Public Works Department told the City Council this week.

The intersection is the first of its kind in Texas, but it often confuses drivers.

"Most people I talk to do not like it," Kristin Click said.

Drivers trying to head south on Preston Road at the Legacy Drive intersection must make a right in order to go left. Instead of heading north on Preston Road, they get into the median turn lane and waiting at another stoplight before turning south.

"Even when it's safe to turn left, you have to wait until the light turns green," said Joy Cruse, of Frisco.

But she said the study offers a compelling point.

"Maybe if it cuts down on 50 percent of accidents, maybe it is [worth it]," she said.

The City Council discussed the unpopular design Monday night but decided to keep it in part because of the crash statistics.

The Public Works Department has been looking at putting in similar intersections in other areas of the city, such as at Plano Parkway and Preston Road, but has no immediate plans to proceed with construction.

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