Council restores traffic signal at Eighth, Vermont

Posted: Jul. 21, 2014 10:28 pm Updated: Aug. 4, 2014 11:15 pm

Herald-Whig Senior Writer

A traffic signal at Eighth and Vermont will be reactivated to make the intersection safer for residents of Sunset Apartments.

Quincy City Council members voted Monday night to concur with a Traffic Commission recommendation to turn the signal on. It was disabled in March as city officials sought to save money by turning off a pair of traffic signals at low-traffic intersections.

City Engineer Jeffrey Conte said a pedestrian count at Eighth and Vermont recently was conducted on a Sunday morning, and 38 people sought to cross the street in an hour. Most of those pedestrians would have been from Sunset Apartments, where about 100 people reside. Most are retirees.

"The pedestrian traffic was very close to what would warrant a traffic signal, and based on the age of the population using it, we feel reinstalling the signal is best," Conte said.

Sunset Apartments resident Pat Livingston said that's wonderful news.

"Last week I was coming home and ... it was right at 4 p.m. There was so much traffic, I just turned my walker around and sat down until the rush was done," Livingston said.

Alderman Terri Heinecke, R-7, said about 30 people turned out for a public meeting on the stoplight and favored reactivation.

"I think it's justified," she said.

Alderman also voted that the signal at Eighth and Jersey will be permanently deactivated and metal stop signs will have Jersey Street traffic stopping at the intersection with Eighth Street.

Conte told aldermen that controllers for older traffic signals cost about $20,000 each. The one that is being retired from Eighth and Jersey will be kept on hand as a spare in case the one and Eighth and Vermont develops problems.

Conte also said city officials will try to improve the timing of the signal so that it is better coordinated with the signal at Eighth and Broadway.

In other action the council:

Agreed to accept a 2005 Ford Excursion for use by the Quincy Police Department's Mobile Field Force Team. The low-mileage, diesel vehicle is available from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System.

Approved a $3,098.99 contract with Cellebrite USA, Inc. of Glen Rock, N.J., for renewal of a mobile forensics system.

Granted a taxicab owners license to David M. French after a background check and public hearing were satisfactorily conducted.

Amended a Traffic Commission report and called for a speed limit of 20 mph on Kentucky Road. The speed limit is now 30 mph, and commissioners had recommended a 25 mph speed limit. Alderman Mike Farha, R-4, said residents in that area wanted the slower speed.