Parent: Traffic, pedestrian safety a growing concern on Fifth Street / Templin Ave.

Carmel Bowman tells the Bardstown City Council of the safety issues she observed on the Fifth Street / Templin Avenue corridor.


Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 — The Bardstown City Council heard Tuesday night about increased traffic congestion and concerns of the safety of students who attend the six schools along the West Stephen Foster / North Fifth Street / Templin Avenue.

Carmel Bowman spoke the city council about concerns she and other parents have about the amount of traffic and congestion in the area before and after the schools in the area dismiss their students.

The situation is bad for motorists, but even more dangerous for pedestrians, Bowman explained.

When traffic is backed up, students don’t have a safe way to cross to the sidewalk on the north side of Templin. A cross walk that was marked there after the road was paved was later removed by the state, she said.

Bardstown Police Chief Kim Kraeszig explains the work her department is doing to examine the Templin Avenue traffic issues.

Mayor Dick Heaton said the state removed the cross walk because it placed there incorrectly.

That creates a problem for students, forcing them to jay walk if they wish to cross Templin, Bowman said. Without a safe place to cross, jaywalking happens all up and down Templin. The next marked cross walk is at the corner of Templin and Chambers Boulevard.

She also noted that the school zone warning lights quit blinking at 3:30 p.m. — a time when many students are walking down Templin.

Her conversations with city police didn’t prove fruitful, she said, and she is waiting to hear back from the department.

Bowman said that all she wants is to bring the parties involved — the city, the state and the school system — together to recognize the problem and brainstorm a solution that will improve safety for the pedestrians around the area schools.

“Its an issue that’s all of our responsiblity,” she said.

Bardstown Police Chief Kim Kraeszig told Bowman that Assistant Chief Joe Seelye is working on the issue and that he has substantial experience dealing with traffic, having spent years running the traffic unit at Louisville Metro PD before coming to Bardstown.

“He’s been watching traffic flow and doing studies there,” Kraeszig said of Seelye. “He’s still looking for ways to make it safer.”

Complicating matters is that Templin is a state-maintained highway, and is controlled by the state highway department. The state won’t consider placing a cross walk on Templin unless there’s a mechanism in place to stop traffic, she explained.

Councilwoman Kecia Copeland speaks during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Kraeszig said her department can increase enforcement in the area, but the problem goes back to too much traffic funneled into too small an area to handle it. She said perhaps the schools can consider changing the times they dismiss in order to reduce congestion.

She said the police department doesn’t have sufficient manpower to place officers at cross walks on the area schools and still have enough officers available to respond to calls for service.

“This is a big issue to our department because children’s safety is No. 1,” Kraeszig said.

Councilman David Dones said Seelye had proposed making the Templin / Fifth Street intersection a three-way stop as a way to better control the traffic flow.

The three-way stop would allow placement of a cross walk across Templin at Fifth Street, and give traffic turning left from Fifth Street onto Templin right-of-way they do not now have, Dones said.

Heaton told Bowman that the state would probably require traffic studies of the area before they would consider making any changes. “It’s part of their process,” he said.

Bowman said she just wanted something done before a child was injured or killed in an accident due to the congestion.

Councilman David Dones, right, speaks with HR Director and Risk Manager Greg Ashworth prior to the start of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

PROPERTY TAX RATE. The council held first reading of the city’s 2018 property tax rate.

The proposed tax rate of 17.9 cents per $100 value will apply to real estate and personal property. The rate is slightly lower than last year’s tax rate of 18.2 cents per $100 value.

The proposed 2018 tax rate will generate approximately 3.9 percent additional tax revenue for the city. By law, if the city sets a tax rate that creates more than 4 percent of additional revenue over last year, that tax rate is subject to a recall vote by local voters.

At the Aug. 14, 2018, council meeting, Chief Financial Officer Tracy Hudson said growth in the value of assessed property makes lower the tax rate necessary.

In other business, the council:

— approved first reading of updates to its alcohol beverage control ordinance, including a provision to begin alcohol sales at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

— gave final approval to repeal of the ordinances that created the code enforcement board and the penalties it could enact.

— tabled final approval of the classification and compensation plan due to changes already planned for several job descriptions. The plan will return to the council for approval once the changes are completed.


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