Council discusses traffic problems near school
by James Phillips
Sep 19, 2012 | 2376 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jasper City Council voted Tuesday to make a section of 3rd Avenue, between 17th Street and Panther Trail, a one-way street from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on days when school is in session at Maddox Middle School. - Photo by: James Phillips.
The Jasper City Council voted Tuesday to make a section of 3rd Avenue, between 17th Street and Panther Trail, a one-way street from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on days when school is in session at Maddox Middle School. - Photo by: James Phillips.
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Jasper city officials are hoping to curb a traffic problem at Maddox Middle School.

After hearing from Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe, the Jasper City Council voted Tuesday to designate a section of 3rd Avenue as a one-way street for two hours each afternoon when school is in session.

Rowe suggested the city only allow southbound traffic on 3rd Avenue, between 17th Street and Panther Trail, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. each school day.

“The best way to handle this situation is to not allow people to turn north on 3rd Avenue and allow school buses to park there,” Rowe said. “The only way to officially do this is for their to be a vote of the council.”

The traffic is only a problem in the afternoons, Rowe said. Public Works Director Joe Matthews said the situation is a bus issue.

“They unload the buses on 17th Street in the mornings. That’s the reason it is just in the afternoon,” Matthews said.

Council member Gary Cowen asked if there needed to be a light that flashes “one way now,” but Matthews said he didn’t feel that would be neccessary.

“It would be wise not to put any type of flasher,” he said.

Council member Sandi Sudduth disagreed with Matthews.

“I think there should be a flasher up there,” she said.

Sudduth also suggested Rowe and Matthews set up a meeting with Jasper City Schools Superintendent Robert Sparkman and Elliott Harris, the school board’s director of auxiliary services, to talk about the traffic problem.

“I would say that you should speak with them and make sure we get clarity on this issue,” Sudduth said.

Council member Morris Studdard said people living near that area should be notified about the change.

Rowe said a representative from the Jasper Police Department would contact each person living in the area personally.

The council voted 3-0 to make the street one-way in the afternoons. Council members Lee Swann and Johnny Rollins were absent from the meeting.

Mayor Sonny Posey was also absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

In other action from the meeting, the council:

•Approved a request by the Jasper VFW and Ladies Auxilary to use the Walker County Courthouse Square for a POW/MIA event. The event will take place Friday at 6 p.m. The event will include speakers, musicians and a candlelight vigil at dusk.

•Representatives from Jim N’ Nick’s of Jasper presented a check to the Jasper Parks and Recreation Department.

•Approved travel for Loretta Roberts, the city’s senior director, to travel to Perdido Beach Resort to receive an award.