The city is getting more than $1.5 million in state funding to realign the Alabama 67-Upper River Road intersection, but at least one city councilman opposes the plan because it would involve adding another traffic light on the state highway.

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(3) comments

Chesley Hughes

There are a couple of points were highlighting here:

This particular intersection was deemed to be the most dangerous across all of Decatur in an independent study done on behalf of the city by Skipper Traffic consultants. At that time city officials acknowledged that changes needed to be made. The fact that it took 7 years and the voice of concerned citizens to bring this known hazard to the forefront is just another example of good intentions i.e identify gaps, issues, problems (through the use of consultants) and poor or even less execution. Everyone acknowledges that the city has a history of spending significant dollars with relation to various consulting contracts. The reality is these consultants have generated a wealth of valuable, meaningful and extremely useful data over recent years, unfortunately it seems that instead of leveraging the information and recognizing the value in making key decisions city officials rely on their personal opinions or feelings.

With all due respect to the council and mayor none of them have the professional experience to rely on their gut feeling when making key decisions like this one. They weren’t elected to be subject matter experts as they have seemed to become, their role is to ensure prudence and due diligence based on the information laid out before them. In this particular case I agree with Carlton that safety is paramount but on the same token prior years studies supported by actual data recognized that special consideration should be given to minimize congestion. The excerpt below was readily available through the city’s online document repository. Yes it is important that council approvals are handled as expeditiously as possible but entirely too many lack any level of upfront due dilgence.

Four corridors within the City limits were identified in the MPO’s 2040 LRTP as having “unacceptable levels of service” as of 2015. Level of service is a way to measure the typical flow of traffic through a corridor with “A” being free flow and no delays, and “F” being stop-and-go traffic. Individual areas of the City have been studied due to isolated transportation needs in the past. Two corridor plans, for Wilson Street and Red Bank Road/Upper River Road, address special capacity or accessibility issues associated with each area. Corridor Extents Level of Service Though many of these are maintained by the State of Alabama, the City has a major interest in the design and operations of all regional roadways that carry traffic to and from destinations in Decatur. Funding Challenges Funding has repeatedly been a major constraint for roadway projects in Decatur. Recently, plans for a new river crossing were declared infeasible by the state, while long-standing hopes for a southern bypass around the City were removed from the state’s future plans due to a lack of funding. Management, Maintenance, and Connectivity Local streets in older neighborhoods surrounding downtown are mostly aligned on a grid network, with the network becoming less dense and more curvilinear farther out. The railroad is a major barrier in Decatur that creates a disconnection between neighborhoods, causing mobility issues for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Additional connections between neighborhoods are needed to improve traffic flow and reduce barriers to accessing community resources, as well as additional connections to regional destinations. The City maintains all local roadways that are not part of a state or federal highway. Currently, local officials identify individual streets for yearly improvements based on a political system, but the City is moving toward a needbased pavement management system. Heavy truck traffic in certain parts of the City causes high wear and tear on local roads, and street maintenance is a major concern among Decatur residents. US 31/State Route 20 Bridge Church Street to State Route 20 in Limestone County F 6th Avenue Moulton Street to 4th Avenue NE E 8th Street 6th Avenue to Central Parkway SW E State Route 67 Country Club Road SE to Upper River Road E

earl dilley

if you have to put a light in the city of decatur needs to the new concept of COMPUTER CONTROLLED TRAFFIC LIGHTS

Chuck Johns

5 years ago, the idea was to stop drivers from turning left. Nothing was ever done. I agree with Ladner. No traffic light needed or wanted!! Only a person with a death wish would attempt to turn left here! if you want to prevent accidents, how about putting blinking yellow left turn signals at the lights on Moadus Rd and Glen St on the Beltline. Traffic backs up at both these lights because drivers are sometimes impeding traffic in left lane because they have no other choice if they want to turn left. I'm really surprised that there have not been more accidents. Just a matter of time.

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