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Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues

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As much as I gripe about Rogers Lane in Lawton the topic could have already had its own thread. I'm starting this thread due to what appears to be a significantly worsening safety situation. For anyone not already familiar, Rogers Lane is a highway (US-62) dressed up to look like a 4-lane freeway, but its functions are no better than an ordinary city street. In certain respects its functions might be worse.

Late this afternoon (Thursday 10/14/21) a six-car pile-up happened on Rogers Lane just East of the 38th Street intersection. This is the second six-car pile-up in less than a month. Another occurred on Sept 22 in the same location. There have been many more 2-car and 3-car fender benders.

One of the big problems with the intersection at 38th Street and Rogers Lane is the intersection is literally built over the top of Wolf Creek. The location is down in a mini-valley. There are rises East and West of the intersection sharp enough to create blind spots. One peak on Rogers Lane is at NW 34th Street; if you're East of that going Westbound you can't see the 38th Street intersection until you get over the crest. The other peak is at NW 45th Street; if you're West of that and going Eastbound the 38th Street intersection is hidden from view.

Why is this a problem? Traffic back-ups are common at the 38th Street & Rogers Lane intersection. The back-ups can extend thousands of feet East and West of the intersection and up those rises. Many people drive on Rogers Lane with the mindset of it being a freeway. The speed limit is 50mph. But most drive faster, sometimes a lot faster. If you're driving freeway speed and cresting over a hill you might not be expecting to see traffic at a dead stop on the other side. You come over the hill and BLAM!

It's hard enough to avoid @$$-ending someone in that location even when you're paying attention to the road. Anyone playing with his phone while driving is not going to have a chance to react.

Rogers Lane needs a LOT of safety improvements. The street has no shoulders; there is no place to pull over if you break down or get stopped by the police. The median separating the two directions of traffic is very minimal, easy for an out-of-control vehicle to hop and go into on-coming traffic. The outlets onto Rogers Lane from NW 45th Place and NW 46th Street are dangerous. Multi-car accidents have happened there; in 2019 Rogers Lane had to be shut down completely for hours due to one incident. Vehicles entering Rogers Lane at the NW 67th Street can't see on-coming Eastbound Rogers Lane traffic clearly due to sound walls partially blocking the view. The intersection at 82nd Street has its own visibility issues. The list can go on and on. Out of all those problems, I think it's very clear the intersection with 38th Street and Rogers Lane needs to be converted into a limited access exit. The traffic light at 38th Street has got to go.

The situation with Rogers Lane has the potential to become far more dangerous. ODOT has a $16 million project to extend Goodyear Blvd to the Quanah Parker Trailway (US-62) freeway West of Lawton, set for FY 2025. When that project is completed a whole lot more trucks will suddenly be on Rogers Lane. Big rig trucks cannot stop as fast as a car when suddenly facing a traffic jam over the crest of a hill. If you add heavy trucks into the mix with the multi-car accidents that have been happening on Rogers Lane you'll end up with fatalities.

In ODOT's new 8-year plan they have $5 million in "safety improvements" set for Rogers Lane in FY 2027. What is that going to be? A few more big green reflective signs?

I've often looked at Rogers Lane on aerials and thought to myself that the best solution would be to take a strip of land from Ft. Sill to build a new freeway up against the existing road. One could use pieces of the existing EB carriageway as a frontage road.  I'm sure that's extra red tape but there's nothing adjacent to the corridor on base.  And it's not like it'd be punching deep into the place, just have to push the perimeter back a couple hundred feet to accommodate a freeway and its interchanges.

That'd give plenty of room to trench down and keep all the surface streets at about the same level they currently are.  Hell, with the amount of money the military pisses away, you could probably get DoD to pay for it.  Drop in the ocean. For the price of one F-35, you could get a complete Rogers Lane Freeway with full access system interchange at I-44 and enough left over to modernize that other shitty interchange there in Lawton with the left exits and junk. :-P

<edit> somehow typed "Tulsa" instead of "Lawton" in there.  :spin:

A conversion of Rogers Lane into an Interstate quality freeway would do just as much to benefit Fort Sill as it would benefit the city of Lawton. Fort Sill should be just as vested in getting improvements made to Rogers Lane, not to mention improvements to I-44 where it passes Key Gate. That's a very sub-standard segment of Interstate highway. The current version of Rogers Lane is roughly 30 years old. That street is in very serious need of upgrades, starting with the 38th Street intersection.

It's not going to hurt Fort Sill at all to provide some ROW to allow Rogers Lane to be widened. It has been about 15 years since Fort Sill tore down a lot of old housing units in the "Artillery Village" neighborhood that was next to Rogers Lane between Sheridan Road and Fort Sill Blvd. Those demolished houses are why the sound wall was originally built on the North side of the street. It's kind of interesting how the neighborhood on the South side of the street wasn't good enough to get a sound wall. Going West of Sheridan Road there's nothing next to Rogers Lane except for a few cheap billboard structures.

An upgrade to Rogers Lane could happen in phases. The first phase would be clearing ROW, which would include moving security fences and the sound wall between Fort Sill Blvd and Sheridan Rd. That would make room for a new Westbound frontage road. The existing Eastbound lanes could be retained as an Eastbound frontage road. Down the middle of a new median the freeway main lanes could be built. The existing exits with Fort Sill Blvd and Sheridan Rd would only need modest modifications unless a new freeway was going to be built with 6 lanes rather than 4.

Plutonic Panda:
Yeah I would think that Fort sill would be more than accommodating to give a little bit of land up for some right away if it results in a new interstate loop around Lawton. X44.


--- Quote from: Plutonic Panda on October 21, 2021, 12:54:29 PM ---Yeah I would think that Fort sill would be more than accommodating to give a little bit of land up for some right away if it results in a new interstate loop around Lawton. X44.

--- End quote ---

NY's experience with Fort Drum goes against this idea of military bases being accommodating.


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