Speeds at Locust corner are too fast

Staff writer

Debra Lilly addressed Peabody City Council Monday about traffic issues near her home at Locust and Second streets. A vehicle veered across her lawn June 15 and knocked over a cluster of maple trees.

“I didn’t see it happen, but people generally take that corner way too fast no matter what direction they are headed,” Lilly said. “It is a 20 mph speed limit there with a yield sign for drivers headed west and stop signs for drivers headed south or coming out of the park gates. The signs are all ignored. No one pays attention to any of them.”

Council member Janice Woodruff, who is Lilly’s neighbor, agreed.

“When we resurfaced Locust and Second it is like we created a nice smooth strip of road that is extra wide where people are encouraged to pick up the speed and not worry about anything coming from any other direction.”

After discussion, the council requested that police chief Bruce Burke review the speed limits required in the area, the traffic flow, and the variety of street signs.

“I’d really like to see it somehow made into a four-way stop,” said Lilly. “But I know the curve will probably keep that from happening. But what we have now isn’t working.”

Burke said the area is one of high traffic violations accompanied by warnings and citations.

“It is confusing to out-of-town drivers, people visiting the park, and such,” he said.

Burke will report back to the council with recommendations for traffic control.

In other business:

  • Pool manager Beth Peter brought in chucks of concrete that have broken loose from the pool deck in recent weeks. Most of the damage is at the pool entry area in the northeast corner. City administrator Shane Marler will have public works director Darren Pickens contact the company that did previous repairs and schedule a visit to determine the damage and the options for repair.
  • Marler told the council that former city administrator Mac Manning will return Thursday to assist with the preparation of the 2014 city budget. Marler also presented a schedule of budget meetings and deadlines for the finance committee or the governing body during July and August. The meeting list was approved and is available at the city office for interested residents.
  • Council members discussed the deteriorating condition of the Butler house at Sycamore and Second streets. A plywood cover on a first-floor window had recently come down, creating an “attractive nuisance” to a dangerous area of the house. City employee Ronnie Harms re-covered the window, but council members agreed to look at the cost of razing of the structure during budget discussions.
  • The city received a check for $4,507 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for emergency snow removal. The check is the expected 75 percent of the cost for contract services to remove snow.
  • The council went into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel. The mayor, city administrator, and chief of police stayed in the meeting. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • The council went into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations. The mayor and city administrator remained in the meeting. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • A barricade request was approved for Peabody Care Center’s community appreciation celebration on July 3. Locust Street will be blocked from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. between Third and Fourth streets in front of the nursing facility to accommodate a picnic, entertainment, and fireworks.

The next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 8 in the city building.

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