The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

April 18, 2013

Lifting barricade could ease traffic congestion

(Continued)

"We feel the request they've made is very reasonable for the safety of the children," Flanders said.

But Councilman Brian Morgan had concerns about safety.

"There is a good number of kids who walk out of the parking lot that way and go down that road [Hamilton Street]," Morgan said. "There are no sidewalks there. It's a narrow road. So the safety of the students ... I'm not totally sold on that, because they have to walk on the street or up on the grass."

Flanders noted that the gate would only be open for a brief time and would be shut at all other times as well as throughout the entire summer.

Morgan also had concerns with the life of the street itself.

"The street's not in good shape right now," he said. "How much longer could we hold off on that street right now? It's not the only street in town that's bad, but we've made a commitment to go forward and fix as many streets as possible."

Seals said it's difficult to put an exact number of years of life to the street, but "it's definitely short in life."

Councilman Mitch Niner said the "happy medium" for everyone involved should be opening up the street "for just a few minutes every day versus opening it full time."

The council approved the recommendation 4-1, with Morgan as the dissenting vote.

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