December 28, 2011

Controlling traffic

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

Drivers need to be aware that some changes have occurred in Watford City to help control traffic and speeding within the city limits.
And, many residents would agree that these changes are a necessary measure to help keep pedestrians and drivers safe from accidents.
One of the main traffic control measures, the traffic signals located at the intersection of N.D. Highway 23 and the Highway 23 bypass, the junction of Highway 23 and 85 and the corner of the Highway 23 bypass and Highway 85 south have recently been installed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
However, according to Walt Peterson with the NDDOT, though the signals are in place, “we do not have all the hardware necessary for the signals to run as planned.”
Peterson hopes that hardware will arrive shortly, so the signals can be in use as soon as possible.
In addition to the traffic signals, which should greatly aid the flow of traffic south and east of Watford City, Justin Smith, Watford City Public Works superintendent, says that measures have also been taken to minimize dangerous traffic situations within town.
Those measures include the addition of stop signs at intersections where speeding or traffic flow have been an issue, or where signs have been needed or needing replacement for a while.
“The main intersection for people to be aware of is the addition of a four-way stop at Park Avenue and 3rd Street SW, two blocks west of Cenex,” states Smith. “They were new as of Tuesday, Dec. 20.”
According to Smith, there have been a lot of issues with speeding at that intersection and it has presented some dangers to children as this is also a bus stop.
Another major section of town drivers should be aware of is at 2nd Avenue SW.
“There have been major complaints there of speeding and drivers not yielding,” Smith states.
Another measure the city has taken to minimize traffic incidents is to display ‘No Truck’ signs on all streets that aren’t the designated truck route. While the city doesn’t have a sign on every street, yet, they are in the process of doing so.
“We have placed signs on streets west of Main Street and some of the routes coming into and out of town,” states Smith. “Hopefully, by spring every route adjacent to the truck route will have clearly displayed ‘No Truck’ signs.”
Controlling traffic patterns with a signal light, along with keeping trucks on designated routes and speeding incidents down, will go a long way toward making the Watford City streets safer for motorists and pedestrians.