Tragedy struck Amarillo earlier this year when a head-on collision took the lives of three people and injured a child. The accident that took place on Grand St. near Southeast 48th on January 11, 2024 shook the community and had them calling for changes to be made to the roads.

I can completely understand where the community is coming from, and 100% side with them. That stretch of Grand St. is in really rough shape. Potholes, rough roads, etc. do cause some issues where you can easily lose control of your vehicle if you hit a pothole, even going the speed limit or below.

I'm not sure that the roads being fixed in this particular accident was going help anything in this particular accident, but it could have. The reason I say that was the person that lost control of their car was traveling at 100 mph down the road.

It doesn't matter if that's on the highway or a county road, that's entirely too fast and there's a reason we don't see speed limits get that high. It becomes very easy to lose control of your car at that rate of speed. Just a slight jerk of the steering wheel could send you careening towards another car or ditch.

Taking that out of the equation though, I don't disagree that the attention paid to the roads in the city is questionable. We all drive these roads, and we all know what that look and feel like, and that goes for the city leaders. Rough roads, potholes, etc. can cause damage to cars and not because of an accident.

With the accident and the outcry from the community, the city has mentioned that they are looking at widening that area to five lanes. It is currently only two lanes. Would widening the road help? In theory it could because they'll have to re-do the entire stretch of road there, which would remedy the issues with the current one, but also not make it so tight to drive along.

This isn't just something being discussed in passing, as interim City Manager Andrew Freeman sent a letter to Mayor Cole Stanley discussing this exact thing, complete with the cost of widening the road.

Now, this won't bring back the people that were lost in this tragic incident, but it could be a step in the right direction of making the roads better in the city. However, they shouldn't just focus on this one particular area because of a tragedy, we should be looking at ALL the roads in the city.

There are more areas that have the same problems with the pavement, and some of these are high traffic areas and will cause issues as we go along. The only way to truly get this right is to do a complete survey of the roads in the city, and get to work on fixing ALL of the ones that need it, not just one stretch.

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