Tri States Public Radio Staff
Fri September 4, 2009
Keokuk Eliminates More Traffic Signals
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council has started the process of removing more downtown traffic signals.
Aldermen have voted to remove the traffic signals at the intersections of 8th & Main and 9th & Main. Stop signs will be added at North and South 8th Streets and North and South 9th Streets.
3rd Ward Alderman Ron Payne was the only council member to vote against both proposals. 2nd Ward Alderman Scott Nichols voted against the plan to remove the traffic signal at 9th & Main.
The Keokuk City Council voted to remove the traffic signal at 3rd and Main last December and at 11th and 12th & Main last January.
Keokuk Police Chief Tom Crew does not believe the latest vote will impact public safety, based on how residents reacted to the first three signal removals.
"There really have been no traffic accidents or enforcement issues associated with it," says Crew, "we did have a problem with one stoplight that people tended to run after getting a boost. We put a patrol on it and after a few weeks it subsided. People are abiding by the signals that are there and it has been a good transition."
Public Works Director Gerald Moughler says it will be a couple of months before the signals at 8th & Main and 9th & Main are eliminated. He says various types of signs must be placed at the intersections to make sure people know what is going on.
The council will have to add the required stop signs through separate ordinances, so there should be opportunities for residents to weigh in on the latest traffic signal removals. No one spoke out about the proposals during the council meeting.
The panel tabled a measure to hire Mark Bousselot as an engineering technician in the Public Works Department. Bousselot is a graduate of WIU who has worked with the Illinois and Missouri Departments of Transportation. His salary would be $42,500. Mayor Dave Gudgel asked for the measure to be set aside so the city's personnel committee can review the hiring.
The council set Thursday, September 17 as the date for a public hearing on a pair of tobacco violation complaints. An employee at Beck Oil and another at Hy-Vee Food Store are each accused of selling tobacco to a minor.
Keokuk will apply for state funding to build sidewalks near Hawthorne Elementary School. They will run along Messenger Road, from Plank Road to Decatur Street, and along Decatur Street, from Messenger Road to Hawthorne Place. The city applied last year, but did not receive any state funding.
The panel also appointed Ray Milligan to the Park & Recreation Advisory Board and John Beaird to the Keokuk Municipal Water Works Board.