Stop signs installed at FM 1497 and Loop 286 intersection

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PARIS, TX-- After several fatal accidents, and an outcry from concerned Lamar County residents, TxDOT is taking action to make a dangerous Paris intersection safer.

Tuesday, TxDOT narrowed the crossover at the intersection of FM 1497 and Loop 286, and replaced the yield signs with two new stop signs.

"Well what were doing out there is changing the striping at that cross over and we're also installing stop signs with flashing beacon lights," said TxDOT Public Information Officer Tim McAlavy.

Paris Police say the intersection has been the scene of 40 accidents, including 40 injuries and seven fatalities since 1995. The most recent accident last week, killed two Texas A&M Commerce women's basketball players, and injured two others.

Assistant police chief and traffic commission liaison, Randy Tuttle, says TxDOT has been studying the intersection and hopes the new stop signs will help save lives.

"Putting the stop signs in that cross over with a beacon on the stop sign will make the drivers be more aware that there is a stop sign, and I do need to stop instead of yielding," said Tuttle.

Paris Resident Susan Baldwin heard the crash last Tuesday and was one of the first on the scene. She says putting up the stop signs is a start, but more needs to be done.

"I just hate so many people had to have lost their lives and they are just putting up stop signs, that's not enough," said Baldwin.

TxDOT says they will continue to work with the city of Paris to find ways to improve the safety of that crossover.

"Planning and safety efforts are ongoing, but we have to address these concerns as they come up," said McAlavy.

Residents with concerns are encouraged to contact TxDOT.