Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 19, 2018

Public safety committee discuss no right turn at Burlington intersection

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Oct 11, 2017

The Fairfield City Council’s Public Safety and Transportation Committee discussed a proposal aimed at ceasing right turns on red lights at the intersection of 12th Street and Burlington Avenue.

Fairfield business owner Norman Gegner, who owns the U.S. Cellular strip mall at the intersection, said that several of his customers have had accidents at the intersection, and that it’s difficult for patrons to exit the parking lot during peak traffic times.

“It’s really hard to get out of any of the businesses here in this strip mall because of the constant flow of traffic,” Gegner said during an interview today. “We’ve had quite a few accidents here, with people turning into our drive way, because people think that they are going to keep driving to the light. but they are turning into our driveway.”

Additionally, Gegner’s tenants, which are Meador Chiropractic Clinic, Insane Vinyl, and Advanced Systems Incorporated, also have customers entering and exiting the parking lot.

“The chiropractor has 20 patients over there every day,” Gegner said, adding that the other businesses also have customers who have to wait inside the parking lot for traffic to die down during peak hours of noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“There’s a lot of traffic coming out on 12th Street trying to get to Hy-Vee [Food and Drugstore], and [Fairfield Auto Wash],” council member John Revolinski said today, adding that if the right turn on red were not permitted, that it could be an inconvenience to Hy-Vee shoppers.

“Sometimes it takes up to three lights or longer during peak times to leave the [strip mall] parking lot. I don’t blame the business owner, and I would want to make it convenient to Hy-Vee customers as well,” Revolinski said. “It’s not easy to find an alternative for his solution.”

The committee opted to continue researching the issue. Revolinski said that an outcome had not be decided yet.

“I felt good about it. At least they are looking into it,” Gegner said, adding that years ago, a right turn on red at that intersection wasn’t permitted.

“There were a couple of people killed there,” he said. “When it went to three lanes throughout town, that changed it.”

In other committee news, the proposed All Terrain Vehicle ordinance was discussed during the meeting.

“We talked about some of the fine points of the ordinance,” Revolinski said, explaining that the proposed ordinance was based on Jefferson County’s ATV Ordinance.

“One of the things we discussed is whether or not golf carts should be allowed,” Revolinski said.

The committee decided that since golf carts are unable to be titled or registered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, that they would not be included in the new ordinance.

“We also discussed speed,” he said, explaining that the maximum speed for ATVs in the ordinance is 35 miles per hour. However, there are places in Fairfield, such as areas of Burlington Avenue, where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

“There aren’t that many places in town that have a speed limit higher than 35 mph,” he said.

The committee decided to revise the ordinance to allow ATVs to drive on the higher speed limit streets, driving no higher than 35 mph.

“They can’t drive faster with those,” Revolinski said. “They will slow down traffic, but they have to go 35 mph and pull off on the shoulder. We took out the piece about restrictions on driving in places with higher speed limits, and we sent it back to the city attorney. After that, it will be sent back to council.”

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