It’s been three weeks since the new section of Stardust Drive, from Head Lane to Veterans Road in Hannibal, was opened to traffic. While the prospect of speeding on the roadway has been a major concern for the city since its plans were first drawn up, thus far those fears have proven unfounded.
“So far we haven’t had much of an issue with speeding,” said Lt. John Zerbonia of the HPD.
According to Zerbonia, police have paid special attention to the area, both on the new section west from Head Lane, and east from Head Lane to Munger Lane through a residential area.
“The first week we had the traffic trailer up there as a deterrent to let people know what was going on,” he said. “Normally we always have a heavy presence out there anyway.”
At city hall, Engineer Mark Rees reports hearing no complaints thus far.
“I haven’t gotten any feedback from out there,” he said. “It seems everything is running smooth right now to me.”
Possibly helping slow motorists has been the creation of four-way stops along Stardust at Head Lane and Clover Road. Thus far Zerbonia says there have been no problems with people adjusting to the new intersections, especially on the heavily-traveled Head Lane. Zerbonia acknowledged that as time passes, and people become more accustomed to the four-way stops, the likelihood of motorists failing to stop should decrease.
Plans are still in the works which would see “speed tables” installed at a handful of yet-to-be-determined locations along Stardust. Those devices will take the form of flat-topped speed humps, similar to what was installed late this summer on Maple Street, between Church Street and Broadway, by Holy Family School.
City officials have indicated that it is likely the installation of speed tables will not occur until next spring.
“Traffic calming is still proposed, but if there isn’t a big bunch of difficulty out there we might rethink that, I don’t know. That would have to go back to the Traffic Committee on someone’s initiative,” said Rees, noting that Stardust is still in an “evaluation period.”
Concerns about traffic volume and driving speeds on the new road may have been overestimated, according to Rees.
“If they visualize this monster turnpike opening up, that’s now what it is. It’s another surface street. It happens to be designated a collector so it’s built to move traffic, but that doesn’t mean that on day one when you open it that it’s going to be moving a lot of traffic. It will give everybody another route to get from one side of Hannibal to another,” he said.