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Street Dept. paints curbs to fix traffic concerns

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City takes no further action on intersection

By Rachel Christian

The Mount Vernon Street Department re-painted curbs and parking spots at the corner of Second and Walnut Streets, following public discussion about traffic safety at the intersection.

The new curb painting was completed a few hours before a City Council meeting where the issue was discussed.

The new on-street parking is painted a uniform 30 feet from all corners in hopes of providing better visibility to motorists.

“Hopefully that will help,” Mayor Bill Curtis said, following a report from the Street Dept.

The mayor presented the council with traffic statistics for the intersection collected 16 months ago by the Evansville Metro Planning Organization.

Peak traffic hours where 3 to 6 p.m. and 6 to 9 a.m. Over 6,700 vehicles passed through Second and Walnut in two days, 188 of which were clocked driving over the speed limit.

Curtis said citizens’ concerns about vehicles about speeding violations “didn’t really bear out” when compared to the stats. The average amount a car exceeded the limit was by about 2.7 mph, although one vehicle was clocked at 47 mph.

Councilman Mark Pharr said he had someone in his district tell him that if an additional stop sign was placed at the intersection, traffic could back up all the way to Main Street.

“Now whether that’s true or not, I don’t know,” Pharr added.

Councilwoman Becky Higgins suggested lowering the speed limit to 20 mph, as it is a block away at Water and Walnut and also at Third and Walnut. She said doing so could help prevent additional accidents at the intersection. Ten accidents have occurred in this area since 2011.

Councilman Andy Hoehn said he believes re-painting the on-street parking was enough work to correct the problem, and that the council “should see what these changes do.”

The council took no further action on the issue.