Two recent accidents – one fatal – in residential areas sparked concern with three Frankfort residents who confronted city commissioners about street safety during Monday’s voting commission meeting.
Julie Grant, who lives on Jackson Drive, asked the city to put a “Deaf Child at Play” sign on her dead end street, because her daughter wears a hearing aid.
“I’m concerned what happened to her friend Charlie Semones is going to happen to my own child,” Grant said.
Six-year-old Charles Semones died April 14 after he was hit by a Jeep while riding his bike in Silver Lake subdivision.
“We stand guard out there,” Grant said about her neighborhood, “but, still, the parents can stand in the street, and the cars – they almost hit us as adults. I’m just concerned that they won’t see her there.”
Grant told the commissioners there are no sidewalks on the street near her house, and because it’s a dead end there should be a slower speed limit along with extra signs.
“Of course one of the topics that came up in the investigation of the accident she talked about was the speed limit on some of the streets in Frankfort,” Police Chief Walter Wilhoite said about the Silver Lake accident.
City Manager Fred Goins said the city is aware of Grant’s request, and officials plan to meet to decide what can be done.
However, Public Works Director Jeff Hackbart said putting up street signs is not as simple as it sounds. The city uses a manual called Uniform Traffic Control Devices – that specifies which signs are consistent with others across the country, and the “slow, children at play” sign is not specified in the manual.
Hackbart says that specific sign is not enforceable, because there is no speed limit that corresponds with it.
“It might give a false sense of security … that would be my concern as a parent,” Hackbart said.
Commissioner Michael Turner says he sees the sign as a reminder to drivers instead of security for parents.
“When I see that sign, I look down to make sure I monitor my speed and I look around to see if there are kids in the area,” Turner said.
“You are really trying to communicate this to the driver … to be extra cautious; I never knew there was a question as to what that sign meant.”
Ray Wingate and Willis Wells also talked about slowing traffic in town, and their concerns increased after an April 16 wreck on Schenkel Lane.
An elderly couple and- a Louisville man were taken to the hospital after the couple’s car flipped at an Indian Hills intersection.
“I saw two people in the car turned upside down, and their seatbelts were holding them, and it just grieved me that someone would have to go through that,” Wingate said.
He says he lives near the intersection, and motorists do not see vehicles on Schenkel Lane until they are about 15 feet into the intersection.
“I think it requires that we understand that we can do something – we can’t do everything – but we can do things in increments,” Wingate said about traffic in residential areas.
Wells suggested a study be conducted in the Indian Hills neighborhood because Hackbart said the current numbers are based on a study completed three years ago.
Commissioner Bill May asked city staff to provide the regulations that have prevented staff from putting up signs and stop lights on these streets to clarify for some citizens.
The City Commission also:
νCreated a sustainability coordinator position to find avenues for the city to save on energy costs. The salary will range from $37,850 –$59,417 in addition to benefits.
>Approved an ordinance that will allow landlords to waive the responsibility of the pay-as-you-throw garbage program fines to their tenants.
Landlords will still have the responsibility of the monthly $4 and $12 fees for service; however, tenants will be fined for any misuse of garbage collection under the program.
>Passed a resolution to support John and Martha Gray in their application for a Kentucky Community Development Block Grant to renovate the Old Y on Bridge Street.
The city will have no fiscal responsibility with this grant.
>Recognized the winners of the 2013 Reforest Frankfort Logo contest. Tariq Onadu, a student at Western Hills High School, won first place.