2011-10-05 / News

MLK signal coming down

By Elizabeth Billips lizbillips@yahoo.com

The iconic traffic light on MLK has met its end.

The mid 1970s red light is coming down and will be replaced with four-way stop signs.

“It’s a dinosaur,” Waynesboro city administrator Jerry Coalson conceded, explaining the light was put up to help control traffic back when Blakeney and Waynesboro Elementary were located nearby. “When we had all those buses going through, that was the way to do it … but now, it’s not an efficient way to direct traffic.”

Although the schools have moved, the traffic has stuck around.

A survey just completed by the Waynesboro Police Department showed that 5,382 cars passed through the Martin Luther King/Ninth Street intersection during a three-day period from Saturday to Monday. The average speed through the 25 mph zone was 22.

“Most people are following the law,” Police Chief Alfonzo Williams told city council Monday night. “I think a four-way stop would much more feasible and would help move traffic through there faster.”

Coalson said it would also knock out the $60 a month in operation expenses, in addition to the occasional repair bills that sometimes reach $1,000.

For the next few weeks, the light will remain up and flashing red in conjunction with the stop signs.

City officials haven’t decided what to do with the old traffic light but are considering selling it by auction or sealed bids.

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