Can the city better program the stoplight at 24th and Maine Street? This light seems to be among the least sensitive to traffic building at the intersection and changing as needed, particularly when other vehicles are not present.
Because that stoplight is on a state right of way (24th Street is Ill. 96), the city can't make adjustments to the traffic signals in that area without first checking with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
"We can investigate that," City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp said. "I've noticed it myself. I'll check with IDOT to see what we can do."
Steinkamp said the city has an "interconnect" between the stoplights at 24th and Broadway, 24th and Maine, and 24th and State.
"There is coordination, but not synchronization," he said. "Synchronization sounds so exact and defined and perfect."
Now that there is a stoplight at Fifth and Broadway, why can't the light at Sixth and Broadway be eliminated?
Steinkamp said he believes both intersections warrant having a traffic signal.
The stoplight at Fifth and Broadway was put in by IDOT at the city's request because of increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic at the Kroc Center.
"They have 1,000 people a day there in that intersection," Steinkamp said. "And not everybody is going to the Kroc Center. Some people also are walking to the (Adams County) Health Department."
He said Sixth and Broadway still continues to warrant traffic and pedestrian control because it's kind of a main artery into the downtown area. The city couldn't take that stoplight out on its own, because Broadway also is U.S. 24, which means IDOT would need to be involved.
"It continues to be a busy intersection," he said.
Even though Broadway has stoplights at Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth, Steinkamp said motorists typically don't come to many full stops when traveling along the city's main artery.
"A couple of years ago, I had some summer help, and I asked two kids who worked all summer to keep track, when it made sense, of every time they came to a full stop when they went down Broadway, starting at the bridge and going all the way out to Lowe's," he said. "Out of those 17 or 18 stoplights, the average was four stops."
Steinkamp said he isn't against removing signals when they are no longer warranted. Signals recently have been removed at Seventh and Maine and at Eighth and Payson.
"We're constantly monitoring them," he said. "We're looking at a couple of others where we can remove signalization."
How does a property owner obtain SWAP services from the county?
According to the Adams County website, the Sheriff's Work Alternative Program was developed to help inmates as well as people sentenced to public service hours by local courts to give back to their community. These people work for not-for-profit organizations and government entities, and at special events. Services, such as mowing cemeteries in the summer, and shoveling sidewalks and driveways in the winter, are provided at no cost.
Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer said Jim Fisher, an employee at the department, oversees the SWAP program. As many as six inmates can be out at a given time.
"They're pretty much out every day doing something," Fischer said.
SWAP inmates are often seen before and after large community events such as the Gus Macker tournament and the Adams County Fair. If a local group would like to ask about assistance from the SWAP group, a downloadable form is available at www.co.adams.il.us/sheriff/swap.htm.
"They can make a request to us, and we'll run it up the chain," Fischer said.
If someone in the community wants help from the SWAP program, Fischer said, "Well, we try not to do that. This program allows these people to serve their community service hours, plus we assist governmental entities. (The county) might have to hire and spend additional money to do the types of work that is needed."
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