The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has deemed the installation of a flashing beacon or traffic signal at the Salt River Road/William Thomason Byway intersection “unwarranted,” in response to Leitchfield’s request for a beacon or signal.
During the regularly scheduled Monday, June 6, the Leitchfield City Council released a letter from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet responding to a request from the City of Leitchfield to have a flashing beacon or traffic signal installed at the aforementioned intersection to, hopefully, reduce the high number of traffic collisions at the location.
Such an installation must be done by the state.
The Transportation Cabinet’s letter, written by Acting Chief District Engineer Paul Sanders, P.E., states that the cabinet performed “a full traffic and safety study to determine the warrants for a beacon or traffic signal, and to determine other safety measures that may be effective at this location. The study involves traffic counts, speed observation, intersection measurements, a thorough review of collision reports, and more.”
Sanders’ letter states that studies have shown that the installation of a traffic signal at unwarranted locations will actually increase the number of vehicle collisions, rather than reduce them.
The letter cites a Federal Highway Administration study, which shows that between 1997 and 2004, there was an average of 7,964 fatal collisions per year in the U.S. at signalized intersections.
Sanders writes that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet uses national standards and guidelines from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) when reviewing the warrants for a traffic signal.
These guidelines state that a certain volume of vehicles must be present in a particular intersection for eight or more hours of any given day, and those minimum volumes are reduced when there is significant accident history.
Based on traffic counts performed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on May 13 of this year, a traffic signal at the intersection of Salt River Road and William Thomason Byway is 49 percent warranted by MUTCD.
The letter states that, to better warn (Salt River Road) motorists of the intersection, the Transportation Cabinet has installed dual-mounted “stop ahead” warning signs, two sets of raised rumble strips, and dual-mounted oversized “stop” signs with “cross traffic does not stop” placards.
In addition, the state also plans to install “crossroads” warning signs to help make motorists of the bypass aware of the approaching intersection.
“Based on the information above, a flashing beacon nor a traffic signal are warranted at this time,” Sanders writes. “We share your concern for the safety of motorists on our highways, and we feel that an unwarranted traffic signal at this location will only add to the problem at this time.”
In other business:
*The City Council approved proclamations to present Keys to the City of Leitchfield to surviving “Lashley Quads” Beulah, Mildred, and Martine Lashley in recognition of their 75th birthday. Their brother, John, passed away at age 52.
*The City Council approved the first reading of its Amended Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget.
*Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason provided his annual budget message to introduce the City of Leitchfield’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget, the first reading of which was approved by the City Council.
*The City Council voted to approve the workers compensation proposal from Kinkade-Cornell through the Kentucky League of Cities for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 per the recommendation of Tommy Adams, of Charles M. Moore Insurance.
*The City Council approved a Ball Park Complex change order from Scotty’s Contracting & Stone for an additional amount not to exceed $52,115 for drainage work on the ball fields.
*The City Council approved a Ball Park Complex change order from Alliza Sod Farm for an additional $7,945 for fescue seeding and mulch, rather than the less expensive Bermuda because Bermuda is now out of season.
*The City Council approved a Ball Park Complex change order from Gene Ray Electric Co. Inc. for a reduction of $2,490.
*The City Council approved Budco as the primary bid provider for Leitchfield’s excavation and earthwork for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 with Scotty’s Noblett’s, and Higdon’s as alternates.
*The City accepted Morton Salt’s bid for Leitchfield’s salt for the coming fiscal year. The cost of the salt will be $75.00 per ton.
*The City Council approved a Fiscal Year 2016-2017, 100 percent $65,950 recycling grant to purchase a bailer for cardboard.
*The City Council voted to re-appoint Angie Jones to the Leitchfield Tourism Commission for a three-year term ending on June 30, 2019 and to ratify Tourism Commission Chairman Ryan Bratcher’s term on the Tourism Commission (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018).
*The City Council approved the Grayson County Alliance’s request to hold the 2017 Art in the Park in James D. Beville Park.
*The City Council approved the second and final reading of a rezoning ordinance to change 304 North Main St. from an R-2 Family Residential property to a C-1 Highway Commercial property.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.