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State agrees with downtown stoplight removalsTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
Fifth and Jeffers, looking east into the core downtown.
Courtesy Photo­Image
Third and Jeffers, looking west at the jail and sheriff's office
Courtesy Photo­Image
Roundabout diagram

The Nebraska Department of Roads agrees with recommendations to remove downtown traffic signals on Jeffers St. at Third and Fifth.

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Schemmer Architects of Lincoln studied major intersections in October and presented recommendations to the city council on Tuesday.

In the study, several downtown intersections were listed where signals could be removed. The other downtown intersections are on East Fourth St. – the three corners of Dewey, Bailey and Chestnut.

Also, the study recommends removing the signal at Ninth and Willow, west of Lincoln Elementary.

NDOR District Engineer Gary Thayer said Friday that he expects the council to approve the removal on Jeffers St./U.S. Highway 83, but it remains to be seen.

If the council approves the signal at Jeffers and Third would be placed into a flashing state for 90 days. During that period, the Department of Roads will accept public comments.

The lights at Fifth and Jeffers would be next, Thayer said.

At the end of the 90 days NDOR would review the intersections with regard to safety and mobility.


West A and Buffalo

The traffic study also suggests a roundabout be created at the four-way-stop sign intersection of West A and Buffalo Bill Ave.

It is only a suggestion at this point and at the last council meeting there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm from the members.

The study said the average wait at that intersection is 15 seconds during peak times, not enough to warrant automated traffic lights. But the consultant said a roundabout is another option.

A roundabout slows traffic but oftentimes motorists won’t have to stop.

A roundabout is circular. Traffic flows continuously around the center island with exits into intersecting streets. Incoming traffic must always yield to motorists already in the circle.

Roundabouts eliminate t-bone crashes and pedestrians are routed away from the intersection to separate crosswalks located at least one car length outside of the intersection, where they have refuge between lanes of traffic, according to the U.S. Office of Highway Safety.

Pedestrians only have to cope with traffic from one direction at a time that is traveling slowly, so drivers easily see and can defer to pedestrians.


Comments

Comments about the West A and Buffalo intersection should be made to city council reprenstatives. To submit comments about the traffic signals at Third and Fifth, see the state Department of Roads website HERE.

Or mail the Nebraska Department of Roads, c/o Communication Division, 1500 Hwy 2, PO Box 94759, Lincoln, NE 68509-4759.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/8/2013
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