State transportation officials met Wednesday to discuss one of the deadliest intersections in Iowa. In the past 11 years, the intersection near the Dubuque-Delaware County line has been the site of 15 crashes resulting in six deaths. Sam Shea is a planner with the Iowa Department of Transportation.
“Any time there’s a fatality, you know, one death is one too many,” Shea said. “We’ve made a number of attempts at safety to keep that intersection open with yellow signs with flashing lights and the addition of some turn lanes.” Those efforts haven’t seemed to help. Now, the DOT is trying to determine if it’s feasible to add an interchange in the area.
Shea says most of the accidents happen when drivers attempt to make a left turn across traffic. Doctor Robert Meisch has witnessed several of those accidents. His chiropractic office is located at the intersections of Highway 20 and 7th Street near Dyersville. “There are a number of people that live in town that will not drive on the highway to come to the office.
They’ll drive through town because they don’t want to deal with the busy intersection,” Meisch said. This week, a KCRG-TV reporter counted 138 vehicles passing through the intersection in a ten minute period.
Contributed by Katie Wiedemann, KCRG, Cedar Rapids
A study finds tens of thousands of dogs and cats are being euthanized in Iowa every year because of too few adoptions. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, says more than three-million potential pets are being put to death nationally, including 50,000 a year in Iowa.
“Both numbers are just absolutely unacceptable,” Pacelle says. “We can do better as a society than to kill so many animals that just want a chance at life. There are 2,800 animals available for adoption right now in Iowa.” Due to misperceptions, Pacelle says many Iowans avoid getting their pets from shelters.
Pacelle says, “The animals in shelters end up there not through any fault of their own but typically because of a human problem, a foreclosure crisis, some other economic crisis in their lives, they’re moving to a place, they may have an allergy.” He says only about 20% of people adopt animals from shelters or rescue groups. The rest go through friends, neighbors, pet stores, the Internet, breeders and other sources. Pacelle says people think shelter animals are somehow damaged or they’ve been bad.
“That’s very, very far from the truth and 80% of animals are now acquired through other sources, not shelters or rescue groups,” Pacelle says. “If we could just get that number up to 35% or even 40%, we could eliminate the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals, not just in Iowa and Nebraska, but in every state in the country.”
The Humane Society is launching a campaign, called The Shelter Pet Project, to encourage people to make shelters and rescue groups their first choice for acquiring companion animals. The website “www.theshelterpetproject.org” includes a tool to help match owners with suitable pets in local shelters.