The street described as having the second highest incidents of mid-block collisions will now have a raised, landscaped median to protect against accidents.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the city council approved the construction project which will be located on Lyons Avenue from Interstate 5 to approximately 800 feet east.
City Manager Ken Pulskamp told the council members that the city has reviewed the collision history of that part of Lyons Avenue.
“We’ve had 49 mid-block collisions that have occurred over a 4 year period. Which is approximately twice the number we should have and it represents the second highest incidents of mid-block collisions in the city,” Pulskamp said.
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The city describes numerous driveways in close proximity to each other within the project limits. Additionally, the Interstate 5 northbound on- and off-ramps include a free flow right turn onto eastbound Lyons Avenue.
The heavy left-turn movement in and out of these driveways combined with a traffic volume in excess of 38,000 vehicles per day on Lyons Avenue has created a high-conflict area. And that has resulted in a record number of collisions the city says.
“The unsafe left turns in and out of the driveways were generally the most common cause of those accidents,” said Pulskamp.
The proposed raised median is a traffic safety measure meant to reduce the traffic collisions in the area
Representatives of the Randall Trust properties (operators of the Wendy’s restaurant and 76 gas station located in the area) have expressed their opposition to the project and cited that the left-turn restrictions will negatively impact their businesses.
The Chevron gas station and Summerhill Villa senior facility have expressed their support for the project to the city.
Mr. David Wurts, property owner and business owner of Burger King restaurant, expressed his opposition to the project in the past when it was initially discussed a few years ago.
Pulskamp told the council that Mr. Wurts has not responded to staff’s recent letters on the matter.
A representative of Mr.Wurts explained to the council that the owner was out of town and requested a delay in making a decision on the median.
Council Member Laurene Weste asked Pulskamp, “Is there liability exposure if we fail to move forward?”
He answered, “Yes.”
The project was approved unanimously by the city council.