|
|
Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Would stop sign ease traffic congestion?

  • St. Mary’s Avenue, at Pleasant Street, at U.S. 61.

    At certain times of the day, it’s arguably the most congested traffic area in the city of Hannibal. And while many locals know to avoid the area, it still proves to be a patience-testing spot for many.
    • email print
      Comment
  • St. Mary’s Avenue, at Pleasant Street, at U.S. 61.
    At certain times of the day, it’s arguably the most congested traffic area in the city of Hannibal. And while many locals know to avoid the area, it still proves to be a patience-testing spot for many.
    Wesley Knapp, who resides at 3520 St. Mary’s Ave., has a ringside seat for the backups. “My daily observations have proven to me that the improvements to McMaster’s and Pleasant have done little or nothing to alleviate the problems at the St. Mary’s/Pleasant intersection,” wrote Knapp in a letter to the city’s Traffic Committee. “Due to the very short green light for westbound Pleasant traffic, a serious bottleneck ensues on St. Mary’s. Those drivers in line waiting to turn right (eastbound on Pleasant) are added to the bottleneck, making it even worse.
    “The only time the bottleneck is broken is when some courteous westbound Pleasant drivers stop and allows those that have been waiting on St. Mary’s to go ahead and come out onto westbound Pleasant.”
    One potential solution is to make the green light at U.S. 61 longer for westbound traffic on Pleasant Street. But the Missouri Department of Transportation isn’t likely to make such a change, said City Manager Jeff LaGarce during the recent meeting of the Traffic Committee.
    “The odds of them lengthening the Pleasant Street signal are very slim,” he said, noting that overall traffic flow down Pleasant had not changed in 2013 when it was last checked. “Their (MoDOT’s) priority traffic is U.S. 61 and they do not want traffic backing up under the (U.S. 36) viaduct. It’s conceivable that traffic could back up through two stop lights and then you would be in trouble.”
    Knapp’s suggestion to ease the traffic congestion is to install a stop sign on westbound Pleasant at the point where St. Mary’s meets Pleasant, giving St. Mary’s drivers an opportunity to make a left-hand turn onto Pleasant, rather than either having to wait on the generosity of westbound drivers on Pleasant or for westbound traffic on Pleasant to completely clear.
    “My stop sign suggestion would serve the public and the flow of traffic well,” wrote Knapp, noting that 12-minute waits are not uncommon for motorists on St. Mary’s.
    Members of the Traffic Committee were concerned what impact there might be by placing a stop sign so close to an intersection with traffic lights.
    “If the light is green (for westbound traffic on Pleasant), will people be so focused on making the light that they won’t stop at the stop sign?” asked LaGarce. “I just don’t know if a stop sign ahead of a signal will work.”
    Page 2 of 2 - “It (stop sign) would need to be a bigger one, possibly with a flashing light,” said Lt. John Zerbonia of the Hannibal Police Department, adding that if motorists would exercise some “common courtesy” there would be less of an issue.
    Traffic Committee member Susan Osterhout, who acknowledged that at certain times of the day she will avoid St. Mary’s at Pleasant, didn’t see a simple fix for that area’s traffic congestion.
    “The options we have won’t solve the situation,” she said.
     
     
     

        calendar