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News
Traffic light at Park, Sixth delayed


Photo
WILL SEBERGER/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Cars pass through the intersection of East Sixth Street and North Park Avenue yesterday afternoon.
By Thuba Nguyen
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, March 1, 2004
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Two months after the light at East Sixth Street and North Park Avenue was slated for installation, officials at Facilities Design and Construction say they are still waiting on some signatures that would approve the design plans.

"It's being installed on a city street, so we have to coordinate and get approval through the city," said Melissa Dryden, program coordinator for Facilities Design and Construction.

The light, which would allow cars to turn left off North Park Avenue onto East Sixth Street, should have been installed in early January.

But Dryden said the city altered the plans for the installation of the light, so it has to go through the approval process again.

The traffic light is intended to prevent drivers from cutting through Jett's Wildcat Petrol and Arizona Bookstore South's parking lot.

"It's intended to improve traffic leaving that area of campus," Dryden said.

Drivers cannot turn left onto Sixth Street with the triangular median on Park Avenue obstructing the way, so they would cut through the gas station and execute their left turns from there.

Dave Morgan, site manager of Arizona Bookstore South, said he has seen a lot of frustrated, angry drivers leaving the gas station.

"I'm eager to get it in here. People get aggravated because they are waiting for somebody to turn left," Morgan said.

During traffic time, customers from the bookstore and gas station waited five times as long to exit the gas station because some drivers made left turns onto Sixth Street, Morgan said.

Billy Hagan, manager of Jett's Wildcat Petrol, said he has been waiting for the light.

"It increases the security for students and the customers," said Hagan, who has seen several accidents because drivers cut through the lot.

Meisha Hagmaier, physiological sciences freshman, said she has cut through the gas station before, knowing that it is illegal to do so.

"Sometimes I'd be driving down here and forget that I can't turn left. It's easier to turn through the parking lot," Hagmaier said.

Hagmaier thinks the installation of the traffic signal would improve the condition of traffic.

"It's difficult to get across without very nearly getting mauled by traffic," said Lynn Paul, a journalism junior.

Paul, who lives at Sky View Apartments, said she has had a few close calls while walking in the crosswalk because drivers don't pay attention to pedestrians.

Dryden said the crosswalk at North Freemont Avenue and Sixth Street will also be improved. The median at Sixth Street will be altered so both lanes of traffic will not stop at the same time. A crossing signal will be installed at the median, so pedestrians will have to trigger it to cross to the other side of the street from the median.

"It's intended to keep the flow of traffic," Dryden said.

Despite the delay and inconveniences for drivers and pedestrians, Dryden said the light will eventually be installed.

"Our goal is to have it done before the fall semester," Dryden said.



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