(Posted Aug. 25, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The city of London plans to remove five traffic lights around town. The first step is a 90-day trial period. The process began on Aug. 24.
The lights scheduled for removal are at the following intersections:
- High and Union streets;
- High and Oak streets;
- High Street and Westmoor Drive;
- Main and Second streets; and
- Main and Fourth streets.
The street department is hanging signs next to the lights at those intersections that read “Signal under study for removal.” The signs will remain in place for 90 days during which activity at those intersections will be monitored. The data will determine whether the lights stay or go, said Bill Long, street superintendent.
During the 90-day period, the lights will flash yellow on High and Main streets. They will flash red on Westmoor, Union, Oak, Second and Fourth. Additionally, the street department is installing stop signs on those four side streets.
Along with removing some traffic lights, the city plans to replace all of the city’s other traffic lights with new, brighter and more efficient LED units. The street department has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the purchase of the new lights and is working on an RFP for the installation work. Long said he hopes to put both contracts out to bid soon.
Concerns over flooding
Kevin Gaverick, a resident of North Madison Road in London, addressed city council Aug. 19 about flooding on his property and nearby properties.
Heavy rains that came through the city earlier this month left storm water in Gaverick’s basement. He said he had to pump out six inches of water. This is not the first time the city’s storm sewer has backed up into Gaverick’s basement.
“It’s getting worse. It’s happening more often,” he said.
“I can tell you this is something that isn’t falling on deaf ears,” Mayor Patrick Closser told Gaverick. “We have an aging infrastructure. I would say we’ve spent more money in the past five years than we did in the 20 years before on storm sewer (repairs and upgrades).”
Closser said city leaders have a couple of ideas on how to address the flooding issues. One is a quick fix, and the other a more extensive project, he said.
“People like to call them 100-year floods, but we’re having them about every year or more. We are looking into this,” he added.
Council member Josh Peters suggested Gaverick consider installing a backflow preventer valve, a device that prevents storm water from backing up into the home.
Rex Henry, the city’s safety services director, said he experienced the same problems when he lived on Westmoor Drive. He installed a backflow preventer.
“It did help me in my situation,” he said.
Closser noted that city code now requires installation of backflow preventers in all new houses.
During the business portion of the Aug. 19 meeting, council:
- approved the collective bargaining agreement with the fire fighters union;
- approved the appointment of London resident David Mars to the city’s historic downtown revitalization commission; and
- set a public hearing for an alley vacation request. The alley is located between 136 McClene Avenue and 140 McClene Avenue. The hearing will take place at council’s Oct. 7 meeting.
The next regular council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at city hall.