Marion council seeking public input on traffic flow

Marion City Council is requesting the public?s input regarding traffic signs at streets intersecting South Freeborn and South Roosevelt.

According to Chief of Police Tyler Mermis, if the council passes a proposed traffic ordinance it would mean a two-way stop for Weldon, Nickerson, Welch, Maple and Denver streets when they intersect South Freeborn.

It would also affect Melvin, Weldon, Nickerson, Welch, Maple and Melvin intersecting Roosevelt.

In addition, a one-way stop sign would be used at First and Water streets.

?By putting a sign at Denver and Freeborn, it would slow traffic movement down,? he said.

These signs are also on routes to St. Luke Hospital, he said. Mermis said the use of stop signs would assign right-of-way at these intersections.

Stop signs for east/west traffic at South Freeborn and South Roosevelt would also be a way to stop traffic completely.

?Motorists would have to look and then go,? Mermis said.

The problem at First and Water, he said, is complaints of people almost getting hit.

?They just don?t yield,??Mermis said. ?We could put up a couple of yield signs there, but (motorists) don?t yield.?

The idea of adding the traffic ordinance, he said, would be to stop accidents and make people a bit more aware.

?We don?t have to put the signs up all at once, as long as we just get something set up,? he said.

Councilor Jerry Dieter said he was in favor of receiving citizen input.

?I know there are a couple of streets on Freeborn and Roosevelt that motorists go east and west pretty fast on them,? he said.

One area Dieter pointed out was around the hospital and on Weldon.

Mermis said the streets needing stop signs the most are east/west.

?The thing to look at is the ambulance in an emergency situation,? he said.

Dieter said he wasn?t arguing about emergency vehicles, but he said he thinks it is ?overkill? on cross streets by using too many signs.

?I think only two or three streets really need stop signs,? he said.

Jeremiah Lange, a resident on South Freeborn, said he is concerned about children in that area.

Signs would slow the traffic, Mermis said, but Dieter added it wouldn?t slow north/south traffic much.

?There are other things I would like to put in play,? Mermis said.

One of those things would be adding signs that read: ?Children at Play,? or ?Children in the Area.?

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said he didn?t think it was a bad idea to allow time for public input.

?We would definitely hear from those not happy, but hopefully we can hear comments on the recommendations,? he said.

Councilor Chad Adkins said he would like to hear more from the public, too.

The ordinance was tabled until the next regular meeting May 12.

Other business

The council, in other business:

— approved the 2014-15 annual appointments of Susan Robson as city attorney, Roger Holter as city administrator, Woodrow Crawshaw as city clerk; Rebecca Makovec as assistant city clerk/treasurer; Randall Pankratz as municipal judge; Tyler Mermis as police chief, and Mike Regnier as fire chief.

— approved a draw request for the Jex project.

— approved payment request from Hett Construc?tion.

— approved extension to the city?s audit contract with Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd.

— went into a 30-minute executive session regarding initial property discussion.

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