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City: Changes Could be Coming to Accident Prone Intersection

The city of Idaho Falls is considering changes to one of the city’s busiest intersections after neighbors complained about the number of accidents at 17th and Curtis.

“The City of Idaho Falls is currently looking into radar-activated speed limit signs that will warn drivers of the reduced speed limits in that area,” Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, City of Idaho Falls, said.

The announcement of possible changes comes after Local News 8 made a public records request asking about the number of accidents at the intersection. Neighbors say there have been nearly a dozen in a two week period.

“There were 8 in the last two weeks and counting the last one two weeks ago tomorrow,” Marcus Hime, who lived in the area, said. “I always come to this intersection. I always expect it now.”

Hime said he has witnessed several accidents within just a few hundred feet of the intersection in the years he has lived at the home. One of those accidents happened Friday evening when a vehicle headed east on 17th was hit by a car turning onto Curtis. Two people, including an infant, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Bridgette Niblack: “I called 911 and told them where the accident was and he said, again,” Bridgette Niblack, another neighbor told KIFI/KIDK.

Niblack, who works at the Conoco Gas Station, said she has witnessed several accidents in the area. Niblack told KIFI/KIDK she has asked the city for changes to the intersection, but feels her comments have went unanswered.

In a statement, the city of Idaho Falls says major changes, like a turn lane, are not possible. “Unfortunately, the road narrows in the area of 17th Street and Curtis, and the current design does not allow for the ideal fifth lane for turning.”

Several neighbors said speed is a factor. Our cameras captured a speeder swerving in and out of traffic while covering an accident at 17th and Curtis.

“Law enforcement will continue patrolling the area and would like to remind the community to obey laws, posted signs and speed limits; be alert and attentive; and use extra caution in areas of high traffic volume,” the city’s statement said.

KIFI/KIDK’s public records request to the city and Idaho Falls Police Department is still being gathered. The city says it takes part in ten other state-funded traffic enforcements throughout the year.

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