FOLEY – City officials are talking to residents and experts in an effort to make Foley streets safer.

Foley is developing a Safety Action Plan to improve travel around the community. The city held a public meeting Monday, Nov. 6, to discuss the plan.

“We’re having an open forum to take an input on dangerous road intersections in the city.
Wayne Dyess, Foley executive director for infrastructure and development, said. “They’re going to be doing a plan that will provide feedback to us and also help us with some grant opportunities for that.”

Information at the meeting included data on the location and severity of traffic accidents around the city.

In the five years from 2018 to 2022, 5,218 traffic accidents occurred in Foley. People died or were seriously injured in 136 of those accidents.

Most of the accidents, 97.5%, involved cars or trucks, with motorcycles being in 1.8%, pedestrians in 0.5% and bicycles in 0.3%. However, motorcycles and pedestrians were much more likely to be seriously injured or killed in accidents.

A total of 23.5% of fatalities involved motorcycles and 17.6% involved pedestrians.

Other safety factors found in accidents included the improper use of safety equipment, such as safety belts, in 25 crashes, aggressive driving in 21 wrecks, distracted, intoxicated or tired drivers in 17, older drivers in 14 and teenage drivers in 14.

Studies presented at the meeting found that some intersections had a higher density of accidents. Some intersections with high accident density include along Alabama 59 at the points where the highway meets Baldwin County 20, Pride Drive and Orange Avenue. On the Foley Beach Express, the intersections of East Section Avenue – U.S. 98, and Baldwin County 20 also had a higher accident density.

During the plan meeting, participants were asked their opinions about road conditions in the area. Some comments stated that turn lanes were too long, allowing cars to use the center sections as a fifth lane, and that drivers disregarded red lights and speed limits. Other comments included statements that traffic lights changed too quickly, traffic was too heavy during summer tourist months and that roads were not safe for pedestrians.

Participants were also asked what they would like to see done to improve safety. Some suggestions included more local access roads, placing dividers or plantings between lanes and more sidewalks, golf cart paths and walkways.

CIty officials will use the information collected during the meeting and studies to develop plans to improve traffic flow and safety.