City Council votes to table the issue until a future meeting
With a group of concerned residents from the Park Drive area looking on, Union City Council voted to table the issue of installing traffic calming devices on Park Drive. Council member Greg Addison brought up the issue, which was included on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. He stated that speeding is a problem on the road that runs between Main Street and Arthur Boulevard. There are a number of children that live on and around that road. Addison said that was a major issue that was brought up to him while he was campaigning, and said he was going to push for them to get the traffic calming devices, because he was elected to represent the people of his district.
City Administrator Joe Nichols stated that a petition had been signed and submitted by residents, and the city had done the filing work with the DOT, which stated the project met all the criteria for installing such devices. He said the next steps would be to get an engineer to design the devices for the area, submit the design to the DOT, put it out to bid, construct it, stripe it, and then the city would own it, would assume liability for it, and would have to maintain it for the life of the devices. Nichols stated all that could cost around $40,000-$50,000. He said normally that would be a budgeted item and if it were to be paid from general fund money, it would have to come as a budget amendment. Nichols said he was also concerned that others on other roads would want the same thing done in their neighborhoods, and where would the city stop? The possibility of using C-Fund money was discussed, and Nichols said that could be an option, but the city gets a limited amount, and using it for speed bumps would take money away from paving roads. Raising taxes was another possibility.
Addison said the issue should have been taken up in previous budget cycles, as a resident had already gathered signatures several years prior and submitted them, but nothing was done.
Several temporary fixes were discussed, one of which was installing a four-way stop at the intersection of Park Drive, Pine Street, and Douglas Heights. Addison said he didn’t think that would help much, because that comes toward the end of Park Drive and leaves a long stretch from that point to Main Street where people could still speed. Other possibilities discussed included having the Main Street officer or other officers come to the area to run radar from time to time. Another possibility was to move a camera or install a camera in the area.
Nichols said he could try and pursue C-Funds for the project and possibly go into the budget process next year for inclusion, if council wanted to pursue it.
In an exchange between council members Addison and Pamela Garner Sloss, the topics of child safety, district representation, and future requests were brought up:
(audio below story)
We’ll have more from Tuesday’s meeting in tomorrow’s newscast.