Since improvements were made in the Broadway and Harrison intersection, there has been a marked reduction in accidents, according to statistics presented to the Great Bend City Council this week. But there is still a need for the signal, according to a dissenting member of the council.
City Engineer Robert Winiecke presented his findings to the council Monday night.
Discussing the study that covers the eight months since the intersection was revamped to include a westbound left turn lane and other improvements, his report noted: “Improvements at this intersection included the removal of two existing large trees, that fell within the visibility sight triangle, at the northwest and southwest corners of the intersection, the removal of the first median island located immediately to the east of the intersection, the placement of new seven-inch think Portland Cement Concrete Pavement and the restriping of pavement markings.
“These improvements were performed by the city Public Works Department and were completed at the beginning of June, 2011.”
The report also included information about collisions at the intersection.
“It is worth noting that there were two reported crashes at the intersection during 2011, both of which occurred prior to the completion of the intersection improvements.”
Winiecke explained that since the improvements, there have been no wrecks there. “Since the completion of the intersection improvements, there has not been a recorded accident at the intersection.”
And the report concluded: “At this time there is insufficient evidence dictating the need for the installation of a traffic signal at this intersection. The intersection’s current configuration allows motorists at (or) approaching the intersection better sight distance resulting in a reasonable amount of time for the motorist to gauge if an adequate spacing gap exists in the flow of traffic to safely traverse the intersection.
“Therefore, it is the opinion of the City Engineering Department that the intersection be allowed to function in its current configuration for an additional time period of not less than 18 months.”
The report calls for the performance to again be evaluated at that time.
Councilman Randy Myers, who was the only vote against accepting the report, suggested it would not cost the $200,000 that had been reported for the installation of a set of traffic signals.
He also said there are still times when some drivers on Harrison have to wait for traffic on Broadway, and he called for the placement of the signals, though no action was taken on that suggestion.
The city would have to pay the full cost of installing traffic signals at the intersection because it does not meet the warrant requirements under Kansas Department of Transportation regulations, it was reported earlier.