|Fourth Street Signal Bagged|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 02 January 2013 00:00|
A 90-day study will determine the fate of the traffic signal at Main and Fourth streets.
Following the study the signal, one of four along Main Street downtown, will either be removed or replaced as part of next year’s downtown utilities project.
During the study, the Main and Fourth streets signal will be bagged and stop signs placed for traffic on Fourth Street. Signs stating, “signal under study for removal” will be placed in the area of the intersection.
City Manager Jon Crusey and City Engineer Scott Vagedes outlined the study and events leading to the study Dec. 17 for Tipp City Council.
The city planned to update the downtown traffic signals with a more than $500,000 grant a few years ago.
It had to return the money, however, after a traffic control signal warrant study found none of the intersections handle enough traffic to meet minimum traffic control device requirements. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) sets those requirements.
Despite the return of funds, the signals need to be addressed, Vagedes said. The city has difficulty obtaining replacement parts for the signals, which were obtained used by the city more than 35 years ago, and the strain poles are learning and need attention, he said.
Replacing the signals at First, Second and Third streets has been recommended by city staff with the cost estimated at $145,000 to $150,000 per intersection. The electric fund has $480,000 in construction funds available.
Vagedes said the Fourth Street signal was recommended for removal because the intersection has the least amount of traffic. Second Street has the most pedestrian traffic.
The bagging of the Main and Fourth streets signal is recommended to begin in January, Vagedes said. Input on having stop signs versus a traffic signal there will be collected from police, city staff and residents and considered before making the decision on having a light there, he said. The reconstructed intersections would have a side street trip for the traffic lights and pedestrians would have access to crosswalk buttons.
Once information is compiled, council will be asked to decide whether to place a new signal at Fourth and Main streets.
Councilman Mike McDermott said that people downtown “have made it known … they don’t want the signal out.”
Police Sgt. Eric Burris said there is a history of rear end auto accidents near the intersection. Removal of the light would help that situation, he said.
Crusey said traffic signals help slow traffic down, as do the railroad tracks to the west of the Main and Fourth intersection.
Council agreed to the 90-day study. “I have some concerns, but I think the trial will tell us,” Mayor Dee Gillis said.