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Regional Boards => Central States => Topic started by: Bobby5280 on October 14, 2021, 09:19:23 PM

Title: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 14, 2021, 09:19:23 PM
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?
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: triplemultiplex on October 18, 2021, 03:46:43 PM
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:
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 18, 2021, 04:18:58 PM
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.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: 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.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Rothman on October 21, 2021, 01:21:00 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.

NY's experience with Fort Drum goes against this idea of military bases being accommodating.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 21, 2021, 07:58:54 PM
Quote from: Rothman
NY's experience with Fort Drum goes against this idea of military bases being accommodating.

What did the US Army do in regards to blocking highway development in relation to Fort Drum? I was under the impression the US Army pushed for I-781 to be built from I-81 directly to the Fort Drum main gate, even under the threat of closing Fort Drum and relocating the post's missions elsewhere if that short freeway wasn't built.

Quite a few other military bases have substantial super highway access. Fort Bliss in El Paso is one example. I-H3 goes from Honolulu through the mountains directly to the main gate of the Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps base. I-185 in Columbus continues inside of Fort Benning as a freeway.

I don't see any evidence of the military being against super highways, particularly since one of the original purposes of the Interstate Highway System was to allow efficient, rapid ground movement of military hardware within the US.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Rothman on October 21, 2021, 11:15:26 PM
I just don't see them giving up ROW.  See also the history of I-77 in Columbia, SC.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Plutonic Panda on October 21, 2021, 11:38:07 PM
I just don't see them giving up ROW.  See also the history of I-77 in Columbia, SC.
You didnít answer his question!
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 22, 2021, 12:45:43 PM
Quote from: Rothman
I just don't see them giving up ROW.

Based on what specifically? The Army is a US government agency, not a community of private home owners like what exists on the South edge of Rogers Lane. The Army and US DOT are organizations under the same umbrella. If Rogers Lane was widened into a freeway it would be infinitely easier (and cheaper) to do by using a little vacant land on the very South edge of Fort Sill rather than buying and demolishing dozens of homes on the North edge of Lawton.

Further, there is zero land along the North side of Rogers Lane that is operationally important to Fort Sill. It is barren, un-used land. The South edge of actual live-fire range land on Fort Sill is roughly a mile North of Rogers Lane.  The only property that could be affected at all by a freeway upgrade to Rogers Lane is the trap/skeet range on Fort Sill just West of Sheridan Road. A freeway with frontage roads could squeeze through there without affecting the skeet range and range building. It's likely the access road to the skeet range would have to be re-configured. But that's pretty small potatoes.

Quote from: Rothman
See also the history of I-77 in Columbia, SC.

I-77 runs along the West edge of Fort Jackson. It doesn't go inside of the Army post at all. I'm not aware of the US Army ever trying to block that section of freeway that was built there. By contrast, I-44 goes right through the middle of Fort Sill, dividing the East and West Range halves of the post.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2021, 12:56:51 PM
Quote from: Rothman
I just don't see them giving up ROW.

Quote from: Rothman
See also the history of I-77 in Columbia, SC.

I-77 runs along the West edge of Fort Jackson. It doesn't go inside of the Army post at all. I'm not aware of the US Army ever trying to block that section of freeway that was built there. By contrast, I-44 goes right through the middle of Fort Sill, dividing the East and West Range halves of the post.

Baloney, regarding I-77.  Negotiating with Fort Jackson for the I-20 to I-26 section lasted years, since DOD's probably the most selfish federal department out there in terms of property.  Heck, I visited Columbia during those years when I-77 sat there, unfinished.

Back to I-781: So, sure, they were all for I-781 leading up to their gate, but remember that the deal was a threat that would have devastated the North Country:  Build it or we close.  Had it been an upgrade to NY 12 coming from the request of the State or local communities or the like, my bet is they would object voiciferously, claiming national security and whatever else.

The idea that since DOT and DOD are both federal that they are in some sort of cooperative happyland goes in the face of decades of research on how federal government actually operates.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 22, 2021, 09:21:57 PM
Quote from: Rothman
Baloney, regarding I-77.  Negotiating with Fort Jackson for the I-20 to I-26 section lasted years, since DOD's probably the most selfish federal department out there in terms of property.  Heck, I visited Columbia during those years when I-77 sat there, unfinished.

Exactly what Interstate highway corridor doesn't take years to plan, secure ROW and build? I-77 got finished pretty damn fast compared to freeway projects today -which are now taking many decades to get anything done.

Quote from: Rothman
Back to I-781: So, sure, they were all for I-781 leading up to their gate, but remember that the deal was a threat that would have devastated the North Country:  Build it or we close.

That is still not an example of the Army blocking the building of a freeway. It's more of an example of the Army forcing NY State and US DOT to give them a fancy high dollar Interstate quality access road.

Quote from: Rothman
Had it been an upgrade to NY 12 coming from the request of the State or local communities or the like, my bet is they would object voiciferously, claiming national security and whatever else.

That's pure speculation. And I'm not sure what upgrades could be applied to NY-12 through Watertown that are realistically practical at all. I don't think Watertown is a big enough town to justify a freeway loop or bypass. I was pretty surprised when I first learned I-781 was being built off I-81 to Fort Drum. But it is pretty modest, even minimal, compared to other freeway spurs.

Quote from: Rothman
The idea that since DOT and DOD are both federal that they are in some sort of cooperative happyland goes in the face of decades of research on how federal government actually operates.

I never said the Army and US DOT have some kind of "happyland" relationship. Nevertheless, the US military has indeed given up property to make way for expanded highways. In the case of Rogers Lane between Lawton and Fort Sill it is an infinitely EASY choice on where to slice off extra territory for a highway's expanded ROW.

If you think the Army would raise hell over some vacant unused land on the edge of their boundary road that's nothing compared to the kind of hell thousands of people in Lawton would raise over getting their property seized to expand Rogers Lane Southward. The neighborhood between Fort Sill Blvd and Sheridan Road is called "Zone 1," which is mostly a lower income, minority neighborhood. It wouldn't look so good politically to displace dozens of those residents. Matters would get worse farther West as the existing homes get more and more expensive. Over past 67th there are mansion-size homes on the edge of Rogers Lane. Those home owners sure as hell wouldn't put up with the government coming along and wanting to give them "fair market value" for their property to move. Some of those home owners are well-connected too.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2021, 09:41:56 PM
Quote from: Rothman
Baloney, regarding I-77.  Negotiating with Fort Jackson for the I-20 to I-26 section lasted years, since DOD's probably the most selfish federal department out there in terms of property.  Heck, I visited Columbia during those years when I-77 sat there, unfinished.

Exactly what Interstate highway corridor doesn't take years to plan, secure ROW and build? I-77 got finished pretty damn fast compared to freeway projects today -which are now taking many decades to get anything done.

Quote from: Rothman
Back to I-781: So, sure, they were all for I-781 leading up to their gate, but remember that the deal was a threat that would have devastated the North Country:  Build it or we close.

That is still not an example of the Army blocking the building of a freeway. It's more of an example of the Army forcing NY State and US DOT to give them a fancy high dollar Interstate quality access road.

Quote from: Rothman
Had it been an upgrade to NY 12 coming from the request of the State or local communities or the like, my bet is they would object voiciferously, claiming national security and whatever else.

That's pure speculation. And I'm not sure what upgrades could be applied to NY-12 through Watertown that are realistically practical at all. I don't think Watertown is a big enough town to justify a freeway loop or bypass. I was pretty surprised when I first learned I-781 was being built off I-81 to Fort Drum. But it is pretty modest, even minimal, compared to other freeway spurs.

Quote from: Rothman
The idea that since DOT and DOD are both federal that they are in some sort of cooperative happyland goes in the face of decades of research on how federal government actually operates.

I never said the Army and US DOT have some kind of "happyland" relationship. Nevertheless, the US military has indeed given up property to make way for expanded highways. In the case of Rogers Lane between Lawton and Fort Sill it is an infinitely EASY choice on where to slice off extra territory for a highway's expanded ROW.

If you think the Army would raise hell over some vacant unused land on the edge of their boundary road that's nothing compared to the kind of hell thousands of people in Lawton would raise over getting their property seized to expand Rogers Lane Southward. The neighborhood between Fort Sill Blvd and Sheridan Road is called "Zone 1," which is mostly a lower income, minority neighborhood. It wouldn't look so good politically to displace dozens of those residents. Matters would get worse farther West as the existing homes get more and more expensive. Over past 67th there are mansion-size homes on the edge of Rogers Lane. Those home owners sure as hell wouldn't put up with the government coming along and wanting to give them "fair market value" for their property to move. Some of those home owners are well-connected too.
We'll see what happens.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Bobby5280 on October 24, 2021, 01:03:43 AM
Quote from: Rothman
We'll see what happens.

What's going to happen is nothing.

ODOT and Oklahoma State Lawmakers will let this worsening safety situation on Rogers Lane continue its decline for as many years as they can get away with the neglect. After all, Lawton is just only Lawton. They'll only get forced to do something about the situation when some multi-car fatal accidents occur and manage to attract a lot of press attention. It's not enough for multi-car fender benders to take place on a regular basis.

I'll be kind of surprised if they actually succeed at getting Goodyear Blvd extended up to a new freeway exit on US-62 in the 2025-26 time frame. Once it does happen the situation on Rogers Lane will indeed be more dangerous for all the extra trucks that will be added into the mix of traffic.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Scott5114 on October 24, 2021, 01:13:51 AM
I mean, you're not wrong that Lawton isn't a priority...but ODOT designs work zones within miles of the Capitol building that cause regular multi-car fenderbenders as well, so it's not like they're just getting away with it because it's Lawton.
Title: Re: Rogers Lane (US-62) in Lawton - Deteriorating Safety Issues
Post by: Rothman on October 24, 2021, 08:57:39 AM


Quote from: Rothman
We'll see what happens.

What's going to happen is nothing.


Ok, then.