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No change for U.S. 63 - Business 30 stop lights

September 19, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Although the Iowa Department of Transportation wanted to adjust the stoplight loop detectors at Toledo's busiest intersection, the city council vetoed the proposal.

Doug McDonald from Iowa DOT, came to the Toledo City Council meeting on Sept. 10 to discuss the U.S. Highway 63 and Business 30 intersection. He was asked by council members to come talk about the DOT's plan, which would change the stoplight loops.

The DOT plans to mill the loops on Highway 63 south of the intersection and move them to Business 30. The stoplight would stay green for northbound and southbound traffic on Highway 63, only changing when traffic approached on Business 30. The DOT is paying for the project.

"When that signal was put in, that was U.S. 30 and it carried the bulk of the traffic, so the loop detectors were put on Highway 63," McDonald said. "That means the lights would stay green on 30 unless a car approached on 63 and then it would change. No. 63 carries twice the traffic that Business 30 does and we would like to do the opposite.

"It's more energy efficient if the majority of the traffic is north and south and that light stays green," he added. "That would cause less traffic to stop. That's the main reason they do that."

The DOT's proposal raised some concerns from the city council. "Elmer" Skip Wilson said he could foresee a problem for drivers wanting to turn left out of Fareway, State Bank of Toledo or Casey's General Store and onto Highway 63 if the light remained green for northbound and southbound traffic.

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"We have a decent business section in there now and there's times where you're taking your life into your own hands diving out into traffic near that intersection," Wilson said. "I know there have been some accidents there."

council member Travis Mullen explained why the city has the stoplight the way they want it.

"A year ago, we decided to leave it on a timer all four ways," he said. "We had some business owners in that area asked to keep it that way so people would stop and consider pulling off into one of the businesses."

The city council was told that stoplight runs on loops and timers. After a brief discussion about the intersection and the stoplight, Mullen made a motion to keep the stoplight as it is currently running and install the loop back on the southside of the intersection. The motion passed 4-0.

In other business, during the past two meetings, the city council has heard from two Toledo neighbors about the closure of an alley. They both live on Carleton Street, between East and Center streets.

After talks with the neighbors and City of Toledo Attorney Nancy Burk, the city council is holding a public hearing on the proposed closure and sale of the alley that runs north and south. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the next city council meeting.

There will also be another public hearing at Monday's meeting. It will be for the sale of Lot 30 of the Indian Head Addition in Toledo.

The city council set Oct. 5 as the fall clean-up day and Oct. 12 as the brush pick-up day.

Two building permits were approved Monday. The first was for Patricia Ried to build an addition to a house at 1202 S. Church Street at an estimated cost of $12,670.48. The other is for Signs and Designs (Shopco) to put up a different sign at 1006 S. County Road, which currently the Pamida store.

Last meeting, two other permits were approved. The first was for Anita Townsley to construct a 24x30 foot garage and fence at 606 E. Grace Street at the estimated cost of $20,000. The second was for Bryan Sorensen to construct front and back decks at 613 E. College Street at the estimated cost of $6,000.

The next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday.



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