As traffic increases on Confluence Drive in Delta, so does the number of accidents taking place at intersections. The intersection of 5th and Confluence is the most dangerous in Delta, according to accident statistics compiled by the Delta Police Department. Since Jan. 1, 2016, eight accidents have been reported at that intersection. Fortunately, none have been serious.
Pete Tarr was heading into town, driving east on 5th Street from his home on California Mesa, when he pulled out from the stop sign and collided with a car he never saw coming. He's given that accident a lot of thought. "I think a lot of accidents are occurring around 5:30, 6 p.m., as the sun goes down and traffic increases," he said. "There's a big shade tree there, and if you're looking up you don't see anyone coming because the car is in the shade.
"I looked to the left and didn't see anyone coming, but I should have checked a second or third time," said Tarr, who believes the red car simply blended into the shaded portion of the roadway.
"Of course, cars are coming pretty fast on that stretch of road -- 45 to 55 mph an hour."
Tarr was cited for failure to yield right-of-way, and since he was at fault, his insurance company had to pay for the damage. "I had the insurance to do that and it didn't have to come out of my pocket," quipped Tarr, a longtime insurance agent.
Delta Police Chief Luke Fedler agreed the alternate truck route is seeing a lot more use, and as drivers are becoming more familiar with the route, they're increasing their speed. "Drivers are a little more complacent," he observed. "Speed is certainly an issue, so we've been doing more traffic enforcement in that area."
Intersections with multiple collisions since Jan. 1, 2016, include:
5th/Confluence Dr 8
Hwy 50/92 5
Hwy 50/1600 Road 4
Hwy 50/Confluence Dr 4
Hwy 50/H38 Rd 4
Hwy 92/Stafford Ln 4
Hwy 50/Pioneer Rd 3
Hwy 348/Confluence Dr 3
Hwy 50/Gunnison River Dr 2
Until traffic conditions warrant a stoplight at that intersection, drivers might consider Tarr's suggestion to look once, then look again, before crossing the busy roadway.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.