A popular shortcut through the Hannibal-LaGrange University campus has been cut off. On Tuesday night, the City Council accepted the recommendation of the city’s Traffic Committee to close access to HLGU via Muir Street.
As of Wednesday morning, a concrete barrier along with a “road closed” barricade had been placed on Muir Street, just east of Pulliam.
Former Hannibal Police Chief Al Higdon, who is now director of public safety for the university, went before the Traffic Committee at its February meeting to explain the safety issue. Despite the fact the university has “No Thru Traffic” signs up, a number of motorists continue to cut through the campus in an effort to miss the Palmyra Road intersection at U.S. 61 and the traffic lights at U.S. 61 and Route 168.
“We get a lot of through traffic,” said Higdon.
Frequently motorists are passing through the campus at speeds in excess of the posted speed limit.
“Speeding is another issue to address,” said Higdon, acknowledging that police can’t be expected to monitor the area.
This is not the first time steps have been taken to deter motorists. According to Higdon, some time ago temporary barricades were installed in an effort to change driving habits. It wasn’t long before those barricades had been destroyed. Reportedly, other motorists simply drove around the barricades.
The possibility of closing the street for a “few weeks” until habits had changed, or during certain times of the day, was discussed. Leon Wallace, street superintendent, proposed using a concrete barrier on a “trial basis before going to a lot of expense.”
While not installed on Wednesday, the city reportedly intends to install a “Dead End” sign on the east end of Muir Street.
The Traffic Committee vote to cut off Muir Street was not unanimous. Mark Rees, city engineer, voted against the proposal on the grounds that it creates a cul de sac.