Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
The failed experiment with Eudora’s only traffic signal came to a final stop on Monday night as the Eudora City Commission voted to remove the traffic signal located at 23rd and Church Street near Eudora High School.
In 2012, the City Council authorized the installation of a light at the intersection which would flash red during the peak hours of the morning and afternoon when school was beginning and letting out. During the remainder of the day, the light was to be a yellow flashing light at the intersection. Some citizens, particularly those in the Meadowlark Subdivision, complained about the extended amount of time it would take to try to turn onto Church Street during the peak hours. While it took several months to complete the installation due to incorrect parts having been shipped with the signal, the light finally was put into operation in January, 2013.
Despite signs being erected warning drivers of the new signal, drivers were completely unprepared for the signal being used and on the first day of operation, a large backup in both directions of Church street occurred. Traffic was backed up all the way to 29th street to the south and K-10 to the north. Several commuters voiced their complaints to the Police department and on our website about taking at least 10 minutes to go from 29th street up to K-10. In response to the outcry from the public, the city decided to turn off the light after two days of operation and it has been turned off ever since. According to Police and Public works officials, the new light also made the intersection more dangerous than it already was as some drivers were not paying attention to the new signal and would run the red light.
In March, the city commissioned a traffic study of the intersection by McCurdy Engineers to analyze the intersection and see what options were available to the city to improve the intersection. According to the study, the engineers stated that while the traffic conditions for an hour in the morning and afternoon on school days would meet the criteria for a traffic light at the intersection, it would just barely meet those standards and with the cost involved, it was not recommended. The study estimated the cost of a fully functioning traffic signal at the intersection to be approximately $140,000. The report further added that based on the data from their study, it would be better for the city to monitor growth in the area and reevaluate the intersection in the future.
The light will taken down by Public Works crews and be put into storage for possible later use.