City looking into fixes for school traffic jams
by Jennifer Cohron
May 24, 2013 | 1415 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cordova’s only red light was replaced with stop signs after malfunctioning approximately a month ago. Mayor Drew Gilbert said at last week’s council meeting the stop signs are only a temporary fix.
Cordova’s only red light was replaced with stop signs after malfunctioning approximately a month ago. Mayor Drew Gilbert said at last week’s council meeting the stop signs are only a temporary fix.
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CORDOVA — With classes no longer in session, officials in Cordova have some time to discuss ways to mitigate traffic at a dangerous intersection near the schools.

Fire chief Dean Harbison asked the Cordova City Council last week to consider creating a three-way stop where Adkins Drive meets Massachusetts Avenue near City Hall.

Currently, traffic flows freely along Massachusetts Avenue, which creates a line of vehicles around the old high school in the afternoon.

Harbison said the fire department, which has been housed at the old high school gym for more than a year, had difficulty responding to calls around 3 p.m. because of the traffic jam.

“We can’t get out because they can’t get out. There’s a row of cars from that intersection all the way to Bankhead (Middle School) waiting for their chance to hurry up and get out because they’re having to beat that car coming off Gardners Gin,” Harbison said.

Visibility is also a problem as drivers check traffic coming from Gardners Gin Road, and the 35 mile per hour speed limit coming into the city is frequently broken.

Harbison said several accidents have occurred in that area in the last few years.

“We’ve had some serious injuries at that intersection. We’re lucky no one has been tossed onto the tracks from there,” Harbison said.

Audience members then turned the discussion to the next intersection along Massachusetts Avenue, which has been governed by stops signs for approximately a month since the traffic light malfunctioned.

Local residents said they have almost been involved in accidents in front of Mojos Pizza Place because of other drivers ignoring the stop signs.

Also, there is not enough room for school buses that come down the hill by Cordova Health and Rehabilitation to stop at the sign without being partially on the railroad tracks.

Mayor Drew Gilbert assured citizens that the stop signs at that intersection were only a temporary fix.

“The light went out. The warranty expired in 1973, and we don’t have replacement equipment,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said the traffic light near Mojos will eventually be replaced and asked Long Term Recovery manager Steve Ostaseski to explore the three-way stop solution for the school intersection.