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Archive for Tuesday, October 4, 1994

INTERSECTION NEEDS SIGN, COMMISSIONERS DECIDE

October 4, 1994

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A stop sign should be installed on New Hampshire Street at 11th Street, traffic safety commissioners recommended Monday night.

In a unanimous vote, commissioners decided a stop sign would be the best way to improve safety at the intersection, even though the number of accidents there isn't alarming, said Randy Osburn, the commission's chair.

The sign would make the intersection formally safe, he said.

"It should help," he said. "We're trying to encourage and keep people coming downtown. I'm very proud of our downtown here. I think it's a good place to go, and other people do, too."

And most people already expect to stop at the intersection anyway, Osburn said. A recent traffic study indicated traffic headed south on New Hampshire had to slow to 6 mph to safely see around the corner, toward Massachusetts Street.

The safe threshold for not having a stop sign is at least 10 mph.

"Most people come to a complete stop there anyway," said David Woosley, the city's traffic engineer. "It's not really going to affect traffic flow that much."

Commissioners also recommended painting two crosswalks at the "T" intersection, which is north of the courtyard between the Douglas County Courthouse and the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

Jim Chappell, a county commissioner who asked for the sign and crosswalks, often traverses 11th on foot.

"People don't stop for you," he said. "Because there's no crosswalk, they think they can drive around you. Maybe this will help."

Before anything gets installed -- likely by the beginning of November -- the recommendation must be approved by the Lawrence City Commission. City commissioners will take up the issue later this month.

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