Council discusses street lights

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Washington City Council member Kathryn Salazar said the feedback she has received on the flashing street lights at East Main Street and Second Avenue in Washington indicate most people support the current setup and that most of the people giving the feedback have almost had an accident at the intersection.

For two months, the stop lights at the intersection have been set to flash.

The north-south lights continuously flash yellow and the east-west light continuously flash red. In a memo to the council, city administrator Brent Hinson reported the feedback from the change has been mixed, with some happy not to have to stop from one direction, while others say the setup is confusing.

The council also discussed the parking spaces in the area possibly creating a sight problem at the intersection. Most council members agreed the feedback they had heard indicated people liked the new setup, but safety and a blind spot needed to be addressed.

?My thought is why are we overcomplicating this?? council member Jaron Rosien said. ?Why don?t we leave it as it is, fix the blind spot by adjusting parking spaces, and see how that works for two months??

The council ended up directing the city staff to determine the best course of action for moving ahead with a project at the intersection. City administrator Brent Hinson said he would bring a recommendation back to the council. He also said earlier in the meeting the easy solution would be to make the stoplights flashing red from all four directions.

In the council packet, Hinson had recommended having a traffic engineer review the intersection and offer recommendations. Rosien commented that he hoped not to pay an engineer to gather information the council already seemed to have.

Hinson said some problems with possible solutions include people runing stop signs, if signage is determined to be used, as well as snow removal. He also said that parking in that area is at a premium and removal of parking spaces is not desirable.