Bush-Beeline Intersection Needs Change

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Dear Rim Country residents:

Thank you for your kindness and patience since our rollover accident on Labor Day, Sept. 5.

I'm thankful to be here writing this.

At this writing, I wish to express thanks to so many of you, to encourage safety before your need, and to encourage us as a community to do our best to affect change at the Beeline-Bush Highway intersection.

Safety first. We invested in solid, yet easy to adjust, child seats. They are more expensive, but rated highly for securely restraining our sons should there be a need. We had that emergency need arise -- we slid and rolled for 90 yards. Now I'm glad we invested that extra amount, and extra time, to use those two (Brighton) seats properly. Our two sons were kept securely in place -- in part because the car seats were tightly and properly used.

While Margaret and I were also tightly belted in, yet injured, we would not be here today if we were not securely in our seats.

Several items about the Beeline-Bush intersection should be reconsidered. I know that many attempts have been made in the past, including checkpoints to stop drivers under the influence.

I suggest that the intersection itself be changed. I recommend we, as a community, propose at least two or three possible designs to Maricopa County officials that would be safer and better.

The current design no longer works well. A busy highway full of recreational opportunities where cars tow boats and trailers, including four-wheelers, feeds into a four-lane freeway.

Those headed northbound have a merging lane, although short, given many of the vehicles are hauling things. Those headed southbound with these vehicles first must cross two lanes of highway traffic to get in a median area not wide enough for many cars, cross traffic turning onto Bush Highway, then merge from the middle to the right in a very short lane.

The vehicles, some towing recreational equipment, and traffic patterns no longer support such an intersection. In addition, the hills compromise visibility there. I submit that an overpass with better, longer merging lanes be considered. We all have too much we care about to allow this to go unchanged.

Thirdly, my wife, family and I wish to say thanks. Thanks to forward-thinking Metro Police. When DPS officers were so busy, they went to that intersection to help before our accident occurred.

Thanks to EMS crews who had helicopters take me out -- the first decision that helped my vision. Thanks to civilians, people willing to stop and help. Thanks to trauma personnel and Drs. Vasquez and Davis; then Dr. Metzel who cared for us quickly and effectively. Thanks to Dr. Hunt who coordinated our initial recovery. Thanks to the Lius, Dr. Ressler, Chris Wolf and Barbara Brewer who gave us early encouragement. Thanks to the Peytons and my sisters Kelly and Helen who are helping us care for our boys while we can't lift. Thanks to scores of others for meals, cards, calls and encouragement.

Thanks to God for more opportunities for us all.

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