By Jeremy Elrod
Colbert City Council members discussed potential changes at the intersection of 4th Street and 4th Avenue May 5.
The group has heard citizens’ concerns about traffic violations and speeding at the intersection.
“We’ve had some issues with people coming across the railroad and hitting the gas as they turn left at the intersection of 4th Street and 4th Avenue,” said Mayor Chris Peck. “So we need to come up with some ideas on how to slow traffic down and keep them in the correct lane.”
Peck said there are a couple of options to consider.
“We could put speed bumps down along that road or put up another island like the one we had in the past,” said Peck.
Councilman Tim Wyatt offered a suggestion.
“I’d like to see another island,” said Wyatt. “It could be concrete with a brick inlay to look nice — like they do in a lot of historic towns.”
Council member Evelyn Power inquired about the number of reported accidents along that street.
“We haven’t had any accidents as of yet from people running the stop sign or speeding, but when we had the old island it got hit three different times,” said Peck.
Power asked if the there were more accidents when the city had an island at the intersection.
“Yes, but our primary concern is for the other drivers and the people walking around this street,” said Peck. “I’d much rather someone hit the island than hit another person in the road.”
City Clerk Vicky Smith reported what she witnessed along the road.
“Even when we had the old island, people would still cut the corner and drive in the wrong lane when turning left onto 4th Avenue,” said Smith. “They would cut between the island and the Depot just to save a little time and avoid going around the island.”
City advisor John Waggoner gave additional thoughts on the issue.
“Since people are driving in the wrong lane when they make that left turn, we may also need to extend the curb and narrow the street to make sure they have to stay in the correct lane,” he said.
City Attorney Dale Perry listed what he believed to be an additional need.
“You can add speed bumps or an island to attempt to slow the traffic, but you’re not going to get any real results until you start enforcing the law and writing tickets for these traffic violations,” he said. “Until you enforce something it isn’t going to change, and four tickets a month like we’ve been having isn’t going to do it.”
Mayor Peck offered final thoughts on the matter.
“There’s just so much foot traffic along this street, that we have to do something,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate not to have anyone hit up to this point, but we need to figure out our best option and make some changes before something does happen.”