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Traffic flow

Congestion addressed at North 9th Avenue

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City and school officials were set to meet Wednesday to address traffic flow concerns on North 9th Avenue around the elementary school.

City manager Dale Bunn announced the planned meeting during a city council meeting October 7.

A study by Traffic Engineering Consultants Inc., presented the city with options to improve traffic flow on the street, particularly at times parents are picking up children from the elementary and intermediate schools.

The initial report by the firm cites an “overabundance of signs directing vehicles on where to go.”

TECUSA engineer B.J. Hawkins reported the problem is centered on two areas – limited queuing availability and drop-off/pick-up procedure.

Writing of signage, Hawkins noted the existing signage could be cleaned up by removing unnecessary, old and broken signs.

“We could explore the use of solar LED signs if we really want to get the drivers’ attention,” Hawkins reported, adding based on the road’s layout he sees little opportunity to modify the current circulation patterns.

“There were complaints about vehicles queuing beyond the library exit and vehicles exiting the library drive,” the report continued.

Hawkins also noted that one of the most glaring issues was some parents using the loop in front of the school, while others parked on Harrison Street or the gravel parking area east of the school.

“This inconsistent ... procedure leads to delays and more hazardous conditions with students and parents outside their vehicles around moving traffic. ... Ideally, the elementary school would implement a policy where each vehicle utilizes the loop and possibly top parking area and waits in their vehicle while staff helps to load and unload students,” he concluded.

The planned meeting, Bunn said, will be a study session and will be closed to the public.

The council also heard a resident’s concerns about traffic safety concerns in school zones and neighborhoods.

Kyla Wilson, 415 N. 4th Ave., told the council she wanted to see speed bumps installed on city streets to slow motorists.

In other business, the council:

  • awarded a $247,994.02 contract for furnishings for the new Purcell hospital to John A. Marshall Co.;
  • approved a $41,586.79 change order on the new hospital to add an additional layer of gyp to the ceiling;
  • accepted bids totaling $434,984.92 for stretchers, x-ray equipment, an EKG machine and other equipment for the new hospital; and
  • approved a $34,202.76 purchase of a new tractor and implements for the Parks and Recreation Department.

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