Fulton to keep light at Fifth, Market streets

Trash rates likely to go up soon

After a strong public reaction against the idea, the Fulton City Council decided Tuesday night not to follow the recommendation of an engineering firm that advised the city do away with the east-west facing stoplights at the intersection of Fifth and Market streets.

The topic first came up during the public comments section of the meeting at which time several community leaders spoke out against the proposal to replace those stoplights with stop signs.

Nancy Lewis said she was speaking on behalf of the Brick District Committee, noting a number of brick district business owners also were present to show their support of her stance.

“The vast majority of us are pedestrians at the corner of Fifth and Market regularly,” Lewis said. “It’s a very difficult intersection now. Taking the light away would make it impossible. It’s a safety issue.”

Julie Uhls with Boyd and Boyd also said she was opposed to the proposal.

“Two years ago one of our employees was hit in the intersection,” Uhls said. “I don’t think it’s very safe anyway because of timing issues. I would really discourage removing the light.”

Dale Lewis spoke out as well.

“I would challenge each of you to walk the streets of downtown during times of peak traffic,” Dale Lewis said.

Later in the meeting, Ward 4 Councilman Steve Moore kicked off council discussion by noting he had received an unusual amount of feedback from constituents on the subject.

“I can tell you that this is a subject I have received the most phone calls on in many years,” Moore said. “They were all against bagging the light, so I would have to vote no.”

Ward 1 Councilman Wayne Chailland pointed out that he has disagreed with the recommendation from the beginning.

“I don’t think we need to do it. I think this is a mistake and we would be putting citizens at risk,” Chailland said.

Although Ward 2 Councilman Lowe Cannell pointed out that the initial reaction to the now-popular roundabout also was negative, the council unanimously agreed with a motion to cancel any further action on the proposal. That includes a plan to test the removal of the lights by turning them off today and placing hoods on them for the next week.

Also during Tuesday night’s meeting, the council approved first reading of an ordinance with new trash rates.

Under the proposed new rates, residential customers would see a $2 increase, with another $1 increase effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

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