Magnolia Springs concerned with safety at crosswalk

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 8/14/19

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The Town of Magnolia Springs council is concerned for the safety of pedestrians who use the crosswalk located at the intersection of Oak Street and Magnolia Springs Highway, by …

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Magnolia Springs concerned with safety at crosswalk

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The Town of Magnolia Springs council is concerned for the safety of pedestrians who use the crosswalk located at the intersection of Oak Street and Magnolia Springs Highway, by Jesse’s Restaurant, and are brainstorming ideas on how to make the area safer. To that end, they have recently purchased new bright yellow crosswalk signs that will be displayed on the side of the road, one pointing north and the other south, in the hopes to catch drivers’ attention and alert them to the oncoming crosswalk, and will repaint the walkways on Magnolia Springs Bridge to make the paths more visible.

Many other options have been discussed, but at present none have delivered more pros than cons. Originally Mayor Bob Holk suggested ordering a traffic study in the hopes to lower the speed limit through the crosswalk, but is unsure if spending the money would prove fruitful.

“I’ve spoken with an engineer about the feasibility of lowering our speed limit in that area,” said Holk. “The engineer had all the radar information and he said that he didn’t know if we were going to get the results that we want as far as changing the speed limit. Evidently it has something to do with the average speed, and if the average speed is within the speed limit then it’s okay and there’s no need to change speed limits. His professional opinion was that the results would probably be within that average speed because cars are slowing down at the speed bumps, even though they’re speeding up between them.”

Holk suggested that the new crosswalk signs, more work on the bridge to reduce speed ahead of entering town, and a stronger police presence could be utilized in the hopes to ensure safety at the crosswalk.

Another suggestion was making the area by the crosswalk a three-way stop, but Deputy Greg Smith with the Sheriff’s Department believes doing so would only cause more issues than it would solve.

“That area is a problem,” Smith said. “Cars come off the bridge and then come around that corner fast. If you put a three-way stop there it will get backed up, especially when traffic’s heavy. Then all of a sudden cars are stopped right around that curve and you have more cars coming at 40-miles an hour, you’re going to have wrecks. If you put a sign up telling cars to stop for the crosswalk if a pedestrian is crossing then you’re not going to have traffic stopped long enough for it to back up that far, at least not on a general basis.”

Currently, the town council is planning to complete placing the new signs and repainting the bridge walkways in the near future. They intend to brainstorm further for any possible solutions to make Magnolia Springs pedestrian safe.