WASHINGTON — Safety on East Washington Street was a topic of conversation for the Washington City Council Tuesday night.
During a workshop session, the council discussed the possibility of adding a light at the intersection by South 12th Avenue and East Washington Street, across from the United Presbyterian Home and Immanuel Lutheran Church. City Administrator Brent Hinson said a study was done by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as required when considering a change to the roads. The result of the study justified that a stoplight could be placed there if the city chose.
Mayor Jaron Rosien said the cost to add a traffic light at that intersection could range from $250,000-350,000 and would be entirely the responsibility of the city. For that reason, he did not foresee this project being completed in the near future. The council still is in the discussion phase.
Hinson suggested the council consider converting East Washington Street from a four lane road to a three lane. A similar change was made to West Madison Street a number of years ago and was successful.
If the council chooses to go with the three lane option, DOT will pay for the cost of re-striping the roads. Councilman Fran Stigers said he was in favor of the three lane option with a stop sign at the South 12th Avenue and East Washington Street intersection because he felt it would help prevent people from speeding all the way down the road to Walmart where the next light is. Hinson agreed, saying by taking the lanes from four to three, it would potentially create a safer environment for those who are using the new sidewalks. If the roads are re-striped there will be more room on the shoulder between the sidewalk and passing cars.