(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Crash after crash has led the city to take action at an iconic Colorado Springs intersection. Effective immediately, there will be no more left turns onto Nevada Avenue at its intersection with Platte Avenue.

This intersection is where the giant bronze statue of the city’s founder General William J. Palmer sits upon his trusty steed. People driving east and westbound on Platte Ave can no longer turn left onto Nevada Ave.

‘No Left Turn’ signs were installed at the intersection on Wednesday, Sept. 6 as a safety measure, according to the city. The city says this comes after data showed that the intersection had double the amount of crashes than expected.

According to the city’s traffic engineer, Todd Frisbie, from 2015 to 2019, there were 21 crashes involving that left turn, which resulted in 12 injuries. Frisbie points a finger at Gen. Palmer as to why this intersection is especially dangerous.

“That statue in the middle of the intersection makes it an awkward movement for left turns. Drivers aren’t accustomed to that, and I think what we are seeing in the data is that they are making that error and then getting involved in crashes,” said Frisbie.

While some motorists may initially find the new restrictions inconvenient, city officials emphasize the importance of prioritizing safety.

“I think it’s going to be terrific. It’s going to cause a little upheaval for the next probably month or two until people get used to it,” said Keith Lake, who has lived in Colorado Springs for over 10 years, and frequently hears accidents at this intersection from his loft downtown.

Despite the presence of five “No Left Turn” signs leading up to the intersection, the police officer stationed at the intersection on Thursday afternoon reported that he pulled over eight drivers in just two and a half hours for left turns.

City officials are advising drivers seeking alternative left turns at Weber Street to the east and Tejon Street to the west.

It’s important to note, that drivers traveling north or southbound on Nevada can still make left turns onto Platte. This distinction is based on accident data, which indicates that the majority of left-turn accidents occurred in the east-west direction, while north-south turns have not presented the same level of concern.

Even though Nevada has a left turn lane, while FOX21 observed the intersection, motorists taking the left onto Platte still found themselves struggling. This bringing people back to a quintessential question: Why is there a giant bronze statue in the middle of the road?

“I honestly think they should take the statue out, so they could continue to do the left turn. The statue’s actually in the way because it’s too big, and people can’t see from either direction,” said Maria Austin, who has lived in Colorado Springs for six years.

The statue’s placement has always been a controversy within the city. In an earlier interview with FOX21, the director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Matt Mayberry said a movement to move the Palmer statue seems to come up every 10 years.

In order to remove the statue, Frisbie clarified that it would require a vote of the people, just as it required a vote to put it up, back in the 1920s.

Frisbie is unsure if this will be a permanent solution, and is waiting to see the results of this left-turn restriction to gauge whether to take further action. He did mention that a roundabout would be a great option, but that it would take time and planning to implement.

For now, Gen. Palmer’s presence remains unshaken, while left turns onto Nevada are now a thing of the past.

FOX21 will be speaking with the city about the safety measures later today and will have continued coverage of this in our 5 and 6:30 p.m. broadcasts.