Luverne to look at traffic problem

Published 9:25 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer traffic is out in full force, and the Luverne City Council is looking at measures to help alleviate the problem.

During peak weekend traffic, south-bound vehicles can back up to Rutledge, while north-bound vehicles can stretch from the stoplights downtown to McDonald’s and beyond.

The city also uses officers to direct traffic by hand to limit the disruptions caused by the stoplights, but in one recent case, Crenshaw County Deputies were used to help the flow of traffic.

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“I’ve already addressed that particular issue with the Chief [Paul Allen],” said Mayor Joe Rex Sport. “The deputies came up and helped it, but that was our shortcoming.”

Officer William Neal said he feels that GPS systems cause part of the problem by routing travelers through residential streets such as Sixth Street, which causes the main flow of traffic to stop at the south red-light to let those vehicles back onto Highway 331.

“It would take three or four officers to make it move through town on weekends,” he said.

Sport said one option would be to bring in extra officers or pay overtime.

“We’re not going to fix it entirely, but we can help it,” he said.

The city council also continued to look at parking spaces in visibility on Highway 29 at the courthouse.

Following last month’s meeting, several parking spaces have been painted over to allow for better visibility when pulling out onto the highway from Glenwood Avenue.

The handicapped spaces will remain in place.

The mayor also reported that the city’s fireworks display went well despite the rain, though it ended early.

The show took place in a drizzle, and a short circuit caused by water cut the show short by around 10 minutes.

“He lost more money in ruined equipment than he got paid,” Sport said.