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Preventing I-380 Crashes

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – (CBS2/FOX28)  Wolves run in packs and on Interstate-380 between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City so do cars. State Troopers say it’s one of the factors for a crash that tied up traffic for hours in the northbound lanes on Tuesday morning.

Investigators say it appears a semi driver didn’t notice the pack of cars ahead of him slowing down.  After clipping a car, the truck and trailer ended up flipped over in the median.  The driver suffered injuries, but should recover. 

Commuters who frequently make the drive on I-380 say there are times of day when it’s like being in a parking lot that’s speeding along at 70 miles an hour, you can’t move, you can’t pass and you may find yourself white-knuckling it amid the same bunch of vehicles for miles.

The congestion that can lead to accidents is part of the motivation for Iowa’s Park and Ride. It’s a plan to build parking lots at some interchanges, where commuters could park to carpool or be picked up by a van or bus. 

The DOT’s Craig Markley says it has the potential to pull a lot of cars off the road, “ When you can go from one person per vehicle to three or four persons per vehicle it’s definitely going to help with that commute. “ 

Markley says you’ve probably notice some of the lots in more rural areas, usually created to park construction vehicles during road building projects.  He says people asked if they could use them for carpooling and there’s potential now for the program to be expanded with possible sites for parking near I-380 and Wright Brothers Boulevard and along Highway 100. 

Until projects like that might help with the congestion, The Iowa State Patrol says there are steps we can all take right now to stay safe.  Trooper Bob Conrad says, as in the case of the Tuesday morning crash, prevention is pretty simple, “ It’s not just  the speed.  We get the following too close, we get the distracted drivers, we get the people thinking about everything else but driving.  There’s no secret, we know how to drive safely, we just need to do it. “ 

Charges are pending in the crash.  The IDOT hopes to hear more feedback from commuters at a meeting October 2nd from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the North Liberty Public Library.

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