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River Heights council OK’s better road signs in Riverdale area

March 10th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Tyson Thorpe

RIVER HEIGHTS–Signs will be installed on 500 South in the Riverdale area in order to decrease non-resident traffic, the City Council decided Tuesday.

The issue was on the agenda for the evening but received some public comment beforehand in the form of a letter written by Cindy Johnson. Her husband, Mike Jablonski, presented the letter to the council and said that he fully agreed with her comments.

Johnson’s letter gave her suggestions and preferences for addressing the issue of traffic along 500 South between 100 and 400 East. When the road joins with 400 East it is called Riverdale Avenue.

Jablonski said the road is a 16-foot-wide, pothole-ridden, dirt road. It is only wide enough for one car to travel down at a time, he said.

“When two cars are going through there, one of them’s gotta give,” Jablonski said.

In her letter, Johnson suggested making most of the road one-way and that the traffic should flow from east to west.

“That would minimize the number of vehicles trying to turn onto 400 East from Riverdale Avenue at the more dangerous intersection,” Johnson wrote.

Johnson wrote in her letter that she would like to see signs designating the road as one-way, for local traffic only, and a non-maintained road.

Council members agreed that signs were needed to resolve traffic issues on the road, but disagreed with Johnson’s letter that the road should become one-way.

Councilman Blake Wright said that section of 500 South should not be designated as one-way until another access was created. Wright also said that there will not be another access installed until it is done by a developer.

Mayor Bill Baker suggested signs labeling the road for ‘Through traffic only’, ‘Not a through street’, and ‘Rough road’ would deter non-residents from using the avenue.

Councilwoman Francine Davis said she disagreed with using a sign saying ‘Not a Through Street’ because the street did go through. However, she said a sign saying ‘Rough road’ or ‘Non-maintained road’ would be acceptable.

Wright agreed with Davis. “I do like the idea of the ‘Non-maintained road’,” Wright said.

“We’d like to see ‘Rough, unmaintained road’ at both ends,” Baker said of the signs on the street.

Clayten Nelson, the city’s public works assistant, was assigned by Baker to find out how many words could fit on one sign before the council would make a final decision.

“That road has really deteriorated over the past few years,” Davis said.

Baker said the city is required to maintain the road, but not to improve it in any fashion.

“We will be fixing some of the potholes. We will not be improving the road,” Baker said.


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