Fiscal Court Hears Concerns about School Entrance
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The McCracken Co. Fiscal Court on Thursday night heard concerns from members of the public on the proposed closure of Old Hinkleville Road and US 60 at the 'Y' intersection, in order to route traffic into the new McCracken County High School this fall.
The audience equally represented those in favor of the closure and those against it.
The court heard from Kevin Crider, a local engineering project manager, who spoke in favor of the closure. Crider said that, regarding Ky 3520 and Old Hinkleville Rd., drivers who travel eastbound, away from the school, must now look over their left shoulder to see if anyone is coming, and closing the intersection will eliminate that need. Drivers would instead take Roy Lee Road to get to the school.
Dr. Nancy Waldrop, Supt. of McCracken Co. Schools, said the road will become a very busy place in the fall, estimating between 850-900 student drivers in the area everyday. She said the roads need to be made as safe as possible for all drivers in the area.
Several residents of the community agreed, saying that drivers rarely slow down to an appropriate speed at the intersection, and some roll through it.
There were other members of the community who spoke against the closure, saying neighborhood residents are used to the roads the way they are. Others said that, as taxpayers, their opinions should be given equal consideration before any decision is made. Audience members noted there are potentially unsafe roads and intersections most anywhere, specifically naming Highland Church Road and Maxon Road in McCracken County.
One man who spoke against the road closure said, "I use that intersection everyday. Why bottleneck it? People run stop signs in Paducah all the time. Not just here."
One resident of nearby Lightfoot Road stated that students need to be taught to be safe drivers, suggesting driving classes take place during the school day.
Fiscal Court member Ronnie Freeman said he felt the question of school traffic should have been addressed long before now, noting it was only seven months ago that the issue was brought up at all. Member Zana Renfro agreed, saying, "it does feel we're being reactive, rather than proactive."
One audience member asked if there were ways to improve the intersection, rather than close it all together. He suggested rumble strips, while others on both sides of the issue agreed that the speed limit in the area needs to be lowered. The state of Kentucky has already planned to lower the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph thirty minutes prior to the start of school and thirty minutes after school is out.
McCracken County Judge Executive Van Newberry said a decision will be made soon, perhaps at a June meeting.