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Senate discusses options for busy intersection

The safety of students and local residents was addressed at Monday’s Student Senate meeting when the Senate passed a resolution in hopes of increasing traffic safety on campus.

The Park Avenue and Summit Avenue intersection is a major route for students to take when driving to and from campus.

Currently there are stop signs on Park Avenue at the intersection with Summit Avenue. The Senate passed of a resolution in support of placement of a “right-turn only” sign at the end of Park Avenue.

“Something is definitely needed to better gauge traffic,” said junior Chris Jape. “There are too many students who use the intersection to not have something to reduce the constant flow of busy traffic.”

Options are being weighed by Third Ward members, who are planning to decide what action to take on Dec. 20.

Senator and Neighborhood Association Liaison Matt Flaten said besides installing a “right-turn only” sign, Third Ward members are taking other methods under consideration to solve the traffic congestion problem, including installing “no left-turn” signs, which would force drivers to either go straight through the intersection or turn right. Other members suggested installing stoplights at the intersection.

“From the meetings that I have been to, I think (“right-turn only” signs) have been the most popular choice,” Flaten said.

However, Flaten said “no left-turn” signs will still allow traffic to go straight through the intersection and continue traffic congestion. He said stoplights are expensive and with the existing stoplights already located at the Summit Avenue and State Street intersection it would lead to an excess of stoplights in a small area.

Additionally, Flaten said a “right-turn only” sign will allow the city of Eau Claire bus service to use their ideal route of turning right at Park Avenue, and the sign will allow them to turn more efficiently.

According to the resolution , the “right-turn only” signs would only be in affect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays when school is in session.

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