Photo by The North Platte Bulletin
At Fifth and Jeffers
Stoplights were taken down bright and early Thursday morning at two downtown intersections on Jeffers St. -- at Third and at Fifth streets.
The Nebraska Department of Roads ordered the lights to be taken out, North Platte City Administrator Jim Hawks said. The state roads department oversees Jeffers and most of Dewey St. through North Platte because it is a U.S. Highway -- U.S. 83.
The lights were removed around 8 a.m. by a crew from the North Platte Public Services department.
The Nebraska Department of Roads agrees with recommendations to remove downtown traffic signals on Jeffers St. at Third and Fifth.
The lights have been a flashing mode for three months.
Employees at the Lincoln County Courthouse and the Sheriff's office have expressed concerns about the loss of a safe pedestrian crossing at the corner of Third. Likewise, Sharon and Marty Owen at A to Z had the same concerns.
Motorists have also said that buildings on both corners block a safe view of oncoming traffic for cars waiting to enter Jeffers from Third and from Fifth.
Mayor Dwight Livingston told the Bulletin a week ago that he would not protest the removal.
“I was concerned in the beginning on this but as time went by I came to agree with the engineers," Livingston said. "I also have talked with local and county law enforcement and have found that they agree with the change.”
Department of Road District 6 Engineer Gary Thayer said, “We have gotten a lot of feedback from the public and it’s running almost even positive to negative.”
City officials are also considering three stop lights at other downtown intersections on East Fourth – the three corners of Dewey, Bailey and Chestnut.
The lights are on city streets, so the city will make that decision.