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Stop signs likely to stay in downtown Atchison
07/19/2018

(KAIR)--A consensus is reached in the name of pedestrian safety.

That word is announced by the City of Atchison and USD 409 following what's described as a collaborative meeting between representatives of both.

At issue is the long running discussion regarding the future of four way stops put in place on a trial basis near the Atchison Middle School.

The temporary stop-signs, which stand at the intersections of 5th and Santa Fe and 6th and Santa Fe, were implemented by the Atchison City Commission at the start of the year.

A motion to approve a resolution at the June 18 meeting of the Commission failed due to the lack of a second, meaning the signs would be removed.

However, a public push, spearheaded by community health and wellness organization Live Well Live Atchison, brought the issue before the Commission again this month, and that led to the decision for the city leaders and those from Atchison's public schools to meet and outline a strategy for safety in the area of the stop signs.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Myers told MSC News she's pleased with the outcome of the meeting. “At that meeting we had some representatives from the City Commission as well as School Board members and then myself and [City Manager Becky Berger] and Police Chief [Mike Wilson]. We were able to look at not only the school and the needs but also the other pedestrians that are affected by the stop signs in those two areas, such as people who work, and participate, in Achievement Service's program, the Presbyterian Church, Theatre Atchison. Very happy about it.”

According to a joint statement released by the two entities, the all-way stops will again be addressed August 6 during the City Commission's regular meeting.

At that time, a resolution to make permanent the all-way stops near the Middle School will be considered; and according to the join statement, it's expected that the resolution will be approved.

The Commission will also consider the adoption of an ordinance officially lowering the speed limits on 5th and 6th Streets from 30 mph to 20 mph in the vicinity of the Middle School.

Atchison Mayor Allen Reavis, in the release, says the City is committed to “making it more safe for kids to walk to school,” and calls the speed limit reduction “a big part of that strategy.”

The release also notes sidewalk improvements, made possible through grant funding, which the city has undertaken to improve pedestrian walkways.

City Manager Becky Berger, in the release, says she's “glad to see some consensus emerge,” adding that “improving pedestrian infrastructure is something [the city has] focused on the last few years” and that through repeated success with several grant programs, “it's something [the city expects] to focus on in the future as well.”

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