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THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2007
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Lawrence discusses how to curb traffic at schools

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON — Lawrence County officials discussed Wednesday how to use $400,000 from the state to ease traffic congestion at East Lawrence schools.

The campus is home to an elementary school, middle school and high school, and traffic bottlenecks each morning and afternoon as parents try to negotiate the only turn into the campus at Lawrence County 214 and Lawrence County 473.

There are no stop signs on Lawrence County 214 directing traffic into the school, or allowing traffic to exit the campus at the Lawrence County 370 intersection.

A three-way stop sign at both intersections might help clear the congestion by allowing cars to exit, said County Engineer Mac Rushing.

He also recommended lowering the speed limit and installing blinking school-zone lights on Lawrence County 214 at each end of the school.

"It may slow traffic on 214 a little, but at least people can get out," he said.

Rushing estimated the project would cost less than half of the $400,000 and said the remaining money, if approved by the state, could be used for another county road project.

Rep. Jody Letson, D-Hillsboro, offered a solution.

He said the rest of the money could be used to finish paving Lawrence County 434 up to Alabama 20. That would decrease traffic on surrounding roads, including Lawrence County 214 to the campus, said Letson.

Many plant workers living in East Lawrence avoid taking 434 to Alabama 20 because about two miles of the road is gravel. If the county eliminates that problem, those workers and others will favor the straight route over busier, less direct roads, said Letson.

The state would likely approve the funds for the project because the money would still be used for its original purpose of reducing congestion near the campus, he said.

The commission may vote on the proposal at its July meeting.

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