Riverton Council told no traffic signal in the future for Hill Street

Cody Beers, WYDOT Public Information Specialist in Riverton. (Photo by Ernie Over)

By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton City Council was told this week that several transportation studies are underway looking at the speed of traffic on West Main Street and traffic movements at the intersections of both Hill Street and Majors Avenue. The studies were initiated earlier this year at the city’s request.

Public Information Specialist Cody Beers and Traffic Engineer Lyle Lamb from the Wyoming Department of Transportation both reported that a traffic signal was not warranted at West Main and Hill Street. “Just because there is a signal at an intersection does not mean it is safer,” Beers said. “My number one concern is that we don’t want to install something that would make the situation worse.”

Beers said traffic crashes are different at “signalized” intersections where he said there are more rear-end collisions. “We are using the crash information collected to mitigate and by any means possible cut down on crashes to make the intersections safer,” he said. As an example, Beers pointed to the nearly $600,000 project WYDOT installed at the Honor Farm and Country Acres Road intersection on Highways 26/789 north of Riverton.  “We installed overhead lighting, flashing warning lights, and rumble strips to make the intersection safer, and there hasn’t been a crash there since.

Lyle Lamb, WYDOT District Traffic Enginner (Ernie Over photo)

Lamb said the speed of traffic entering Riverton from the West along Highway 26 approaching Hill Street “was better than what I thought it would be.” Lamb said 85 percent of the traffic there was going under 50 MPH. He said the highway department considers many factors before installing a new traffic signal, Including traffic volumes and speed, pedestrian traffic, and such, and he said the Hill Street intersection did not make the minimum requirements.

Lamb did say that WYDOT plans to do engineering studies and reconnaissance on the Hill and Majors intersections in 2013 .

Beers said a major problem with the Hill Street intersection is its alignment. “There is a 55 degree skew in the road, it doesn’t line up with College View Drive across West Main,” he said. Beers also said the Majors intersection presents an entirely different set of problems. “There are big Valley pans there that are deep. You can see the impacts on the highway from the side streets with the big gouges cut in the roadway.” The reconnaissance efforts this coming year would spell out estimated costs and would determine what a long term fix would be to make the intersections safer, he said.

In action items at the meeting:

• Catering permit applications were approved for events Dec. 1st at the Reach Foundation, Dec. 6th at St. Margaret’s Gym, and Dec. 8th at the Fairground’s Fremont Center.

• Relocation of the Happy Kids Daycare from the basement of the Chamber of Commerce building to at home at 1107 West Main Street was granted.

• Resolution # 1262 establishing liens on Assessment District improvements at Garden’s North was approved.

• Resolution # 1263 expressing the city’s interest in obtaining surplus property from Fremont County School District #25 was approved.

• Ordinance # 12-019 was approved on First Reading establishing four year alternating terms for city board and commissions.

• Ordinance # 12-020 was approved that officially established the city’s Airport Board.

• Two planning and zoning measures were approved, including a replat of the Sertoma Subdivision and a replat of the Wind River Ranchettes.