Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sun Valley to improve blind intersection

Juniper and Elkhorn to get streetlight


By BRENNAN REGO
Express Staff Writer

    The Sun Valley City Council has approved some safety improvements to the intersection of Elkhorn and Juniper roads, which the city has deemed hazardous to both motorists and bicyclists due to limited visibility.
    During a meeting Thursday, City Council members voted unanimously to spend $15,050 to install a  streetlight at the location and to shave down a dirt berm near a stop sign on Juniper Road—just before the intersection of Juniper Road and the bike path—to increase the line of sight for bike path users and vehicles approaching the intersection. The money will come out of the city’s fiscal 2013 contingency fund.
    Mayor DeWayne Briscoe said at the meeting that he is “pretty protective” of the city’s contingency fund, but that he firmly believes the improvements to the intersection are necessary.
    “This is a really dangerous intersection,” Briscoe said. “There have been many near collisions that I’ve observed between bicyclists and motorists. It’s blind.”
    Briscoe said the streetlight was particularly important as the already limited visibility at the intersection is further reduced in the dark.
    “I almost hit two elk while trying to turn into Juniper Road two nights ago and I think a light would have helped,” he said.
    Briscoe said the issue was brought to the city’s attention a few months ago by Council President Bob Youngman. At the meeting, Council members Nils Ribi and Franz Suhadolnik expressed particular excitement about the improvements. Both said they have been concerned about the intersection for years.
    In a report to the city, Street Superintendent Bill Whitesell stated that work on the berm will take two to three days and the streetlight will take three weeks to install after it is ordered.
Brennan Rego: brego@mtexpress.com




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