Signs of improvement planned at Roachdale

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Outdated traffic signs and illegal speed limit posting are causing worry and concerns for the Roachdale marshal.

Town Marshal David Barber informed the Roachdale Town Council during Tuesday night's meeting that traffic signs around town are outdated, and with help from the Putnam County Highway Department, the town has the opportunity to update them at cost.

The town of Roachdale has four ways in and out of town -- east and west on Ind. 236 and north and south on Indiana Street. These four ways increase the amount the traffic coming in and out of the town, whether it be grain trucks or residents.

Barber said as he makes traffic stops, he tries to get some feedback.

"A lot of people don't see the signs, a lot of them are, of course, acting like they don't see the signs," Barber said.

Some of the traffic signs either come up to the height of a person's knee or they are obstructed by mailboxes and parked vehicles.

By updating the signs, the town will have a sign at every intersection and all will be set at the legal standard height of seven foot to the bottom of the sign.

The material cost for the signs and the posts is $864, along with trading signs with the county highway department.

Jim Smith from the county highway department informed the council that he does the processing and installation of the signs as the foreman for the department.

Barber said that Smith already has the signs on hand, and that the work could be done on a regular work day. He also said they would need to use the utility department's backhoe to remove the current signs.

Council member Jack Jones asked about posting 40 mph zone signs outside the town limits.

Before Barber and Smith could discuss that idea, they informed the council they needed to decide what to do about the speed limit signs north of town. According to Barber, the speed limit on the county road coming into town is 45 mph. But once the drivers enter the town, the speed limit drops to 20 mph.

Smith said that a drop like this is not legal. The speed limit should drop from 45 to 30 and then drop from there to 20 mph.

Smith made a personal recommendation as to how the council should approach changing the speed limit. He said that immediately following the "welcome to Roachdale" sign, the town should post a 30-mph zone sign after coming off 45-mph limit on the county roads. Before reaching Central Avenue, the town would then drop the limit down to 20 mph.

"That would be the simplest way to make that right," Smith said.

The council approved updating traffic signs and making the speed limit signs at the north end of town legal. The council also asked Barber to work with Tom Casey, the town attorney, to write an ordinance for the speed limit change.

The Roachdale Town Council will next meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 in the town hall.

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