Residents at Gordy Square and Heritage House are concerned about the safety of the seniors who live in those facilities as they cross the street in the 200 block of North Gordy.
Two residents brought those concerns to the El Dorado City Commission Monday evening.
James Alrich requested speed bumps be put in around that crosswalk.
“A number of years ago I was walking from Heritage House to Gordy Square and I saw two vehicles coming down the road,” he said. “About halfway across I had to back up because they came by so fast they whipped the material on my legs.”
He said a couple of weeks later someone took down the speed limit signs at the south and north driveways.
“People who come in from Central who haven’t been here before do not see that 20 mile per hour sign,” he continued. “Before this week is out we should have bump strips on Gordy and a 20 mile per hour speed sign should be put on the south end of the block and a 20 mile per hour speed sign should be put up on the other end of the block.
“That’s the worst traffic situation I’ve seen in all the places I’ve worked.”
Fahryn Black also voiced some concerns on behalf of the residents.
“I was walking from Heritage House to Gordy Square and was in the center of the road, a guy came around the corner and he almost hit me,” she said. “This last week I was sitting outside and a lady in a motorized wheelchair looked both ways and started across and a car came this close to hitting her. We ought to be able to walk across the street safely.”
She said the apartment manager talked to someone at the city several years ago, but didn’t get any response. They went to the police department and they did monitor the area.
“It’s not the cars that are parked on each side of the street because I was in the middle of the street and almost got hit,” Black said.
She also was concerned about removing the on-street parking between the drives because they need it for caregivers.
Another concerned of hers was if the current signage wasn’t working if more would actually help.
“The police department said there had been no fatalities,” she said. “I said why wait for something to happen to us. Why have a fatality when we should be protecting our seniors.
Page 2 of 2 - “I want the city council to consider speed bumps to maybe slow down traffic or I would like to see a light put up there. I’m not the only one. There are a lot of them who would have come tonight except they were not able to come tonight because of their health issues.”
Scott Rickard, assistant city engineer, then talked about the study they had done and the staff recommendation.
He said after the request from Black came in, they did another speed study, which found 85 percent were doing the speed limit, with the average of that other 15 percent being 29 miles per hour and the highest being one incident of 35 miles per hour.
Rickard felt the main concern was lack of visibility of a crosswalk and seeing the pedestrians there waiting to cross with cars parked on both sides of the driveway.
Rickard said they were recommending removing the on-street parking between the driveways and converting those to fire lanes. He also wanted to see a tree trimmed some to improve visibility.
Commissioner Chase Locke asked how common speed bumps were in a situation like this.
Herb Llewellyn, city manager, said speed bumps were against the law and the city would be responsible for fixing cars.
Commissioner Bill Young said he had seen places where the crosswalk was elevated.
“We considered that here and our recommendation is that the least you can do and still get to the objective is always the best,” Llewellyn said. “Elevated crosswalks, they are very common in lots of places. That absolutely is an option.”
He also explained the reason the city is not recommending a signal is because people get a sense of security from a light, which is not there.
“If a signal isn’t all the time, people ignore it,” he said. “They don’t see it. They just become used to driving.”
Commissioner Nick Badwey asked about the large letters that are painted on some roadways warning of cross walks or speed limits.
Commissioner David Chapin said he was in favor of raised crosswalks and removing parking.
Llewellyn said if they put in the elevated crosswalk he would see people start going around to another street so it would reduce traffic.
The commission approved putting more markings and signage in for the crosswalk, as well as eliminating parking between the driveways, and Rickard will get back to the commission with more details on a raised crosswalk, as well as look at regulations on flashing yellow lights.