Fairbury’s City Council declined to install a new set of stop signs at the intersection of 24th Street and Industrial Drive, citing other options that they believe should be explored.
The proposed two-way stop signs would halt northbound and southbound traffic on Industrial Drive, the intersection has been cause of safety concerns. City Manager Collin Bielser explained that the Public Works Committee discussed the issue and approved the motion to send the resolution to the city council with a three-to-one vote.
Council Member Ed Friesen expressed his doubts about stop signs resolving the issue. He believes that the issue spawns from other causes.
“Earlier I talked to Public Works,” said Friesen. “The problem is the intersection, not necessarily the signs controlling it. It could be it’s a bigger issue that I don’t feel stop signs would solve. If we need to put something there as a sign, a yield sign would be better. It’s a difficult intersection.”
Friesen noted that the intersection is tough for larger vehicles to navigate. He reiterated that he believes there should either just be a yield sign or, “No sign at all.”
Phil Rogge, city council member, explained he voted in favor of the motion during the public works meeting, but has since reassessed the notion. He believes there may be other options, such as widening the intersection.
Bielser explained that the State of Nebraska would have to be the entity that widens the intersection coming off of Highway 15. He believes that if the city makes the request for it to be widened, then they would likely have to pay for it to happen.
“The horn you have to blow on is this is a safety issue,” Friesen said. “That’s what we’re addressing here; that’s what we’re talking about is a safety issue for everyone around. So, I don’t know if you can bring tears to the eyes of the state, expressing this safety issue. If we have reasonable people at the state, and I believe we do, a well-made case might help.”
Councilman Rick Carmichael asked what should be done in the mean time, and Friesen emphasized that a yield sign would temporarily resolve the issue.
“If you stop that traffic, then who goes, and who waits, and who comes off the highway?” asked Friesen. “I’ve been there with something big and something small, and it’s difficult to decide who goes next. A yield sign would still give some traffic control.”
The council voted on the issue and it was defeated with a five-two-vote. Council Member Brad Kuzelka stated that the board of public works will continue to work on finding a way to resolve this issue.
Also during the meeting, the city council authorized a street study to take place on H Street to be used to plan future improvement projects. The total cost of the study is $30,000.
Jefferson County Commissioner Gale Pohlmann was also at the meeting to give an update on several issues the county is addressing from the courthouse renovation project to the new audit of the Jefferson County Historical Society. He invited more open communication between the city and the county to see what issues they can collaborate to address.