To the editor:
Are you frustrated by wasting time, gasoline and also polluting the air with vehicle exhaust while waiting for the traffic lights to turn green when there is no cross traffic to warrant the stop? If the traffic lights were replaced with stop signs, traffic could stop and then move on in a safe and timely manner without wasting time, fuel and also contaminating the air with vehicle exhaust. This scene happens too many times in downtown Fort Dodge on First Avenue South and also First Avenue North between Third and 12th Streets. If you are aware, you know the feeling.
This proposed solution presented last year but seemingly ignored by the City Council would replace traffic lights on the two one-way streets at 12th, 10th, Ninth, Eighth and Seventh with stop signs. These two now one-way streets should have been returned years ago to two-way traffic to facilitate downtown traffic flow, thus eliminating any thought of a need for a diagonal near Sixth Street and maybe even incorporating a roundabout. There currently isn't enough traffic to warrant these two concepts.
If a diagonal were put in place between First Avenue South and Second Avenue South, this would divert four-lane traffic to two-way traffic, thus creating a jam with heavy equipment traffic including 18- to 22-wheeler units trying to negotiate a sharp corner at Eighth Street on now-Business 169. See for yourself. Where is the room to handle this type of traffic? Closing Second Avenue South (Business 169) for a couple of blocks is creating many problems, plus wasting road use funds that could be more effectively used elsewhere.
I'm asking the Fort Dodge citizens to review this situation by talking to your council persons to become comfortable with the pros and cons. If the recreation center now being developed at the former Fareway Store location needs more area for a larger footprint, maybe they should consider expanding in blocks five through seven between First and Second avenues south, which would then also bring more traffic closer to Central Avenue which seems to be one of the SSMID goals.
Whatever, keep Second Avenue South open four lanes from Third Street to 12th Street with no diagonal and/or roundabout. Can common sense prevail? Let the traffic flow.
V. H. Boekelman