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Hayden may have traffic island solution

by David Cole
| April 15, 2010 10:27 AM

HAYDEN - The Hayden City Council at its regular Tuesday meeting again dealt with safety and other concerns regarding a particular traffic island on Government Way north of City Hall.

The city recently received a petition calling for the removal of the center island in front of the Zip's Drive-In restaurant on that main city arterial.

The petition cited accidents involving the island and complaints by businesses and individuals, and appears to include more than 160 signatures. There was no public comment offered about the petition during the meeting.

Council members said a solution might have already been identified and plans set in motion, and decided to wait and see how that plays out.

The city public works department had during the previous meeting recommended putting in place decorative wood posts that have reflective sign-grade material on them to improve the visibility of the traffic island for drivers.

The council gave that plan the go-ahead.

Jeff Zaugg, the city's public works director and engineer, told the council the accidents that have occurred involving that island appear to be the result of driver inattention. The majority of the accidents have occurred near dusk or early evening, he pointed out.

The four posts to be placed around the island would cost less than $100, he said.

Removing the traffic island itself would likely mean the elimination of a crosswalk, and city officials have said they want to avoid that drastic course of action, citing pedestrian safety.

Additionally, they said, it would be far more expensive to remove the island, compared with installing the posts.

The council asked the staff to provide an update on the effectiveness of the posts once they have been installed, and decided to revisit the issue if problems with the island persist despite efforts to improve visibility for drivers.

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