By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS – The City Council discussed a resident-driven issue concerning the traffic on Modoc Drive on Tuesday. The resident also made a proposal to help curb the traffic problem.
Matthew Brown, who lives on Modoc Drive, addressed the City Council on Tuesday about traffic speeding and running stop signs on the street.
"I witness daily speeding infractions, stop sign violations and safety concerns for the school children and pedestrians using Modoc Drive," Brown stated in a letter to the City Council.
He has watched the traffic on the street several times, and the worst times for traffic violations are not in the morning but between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. when children are coming home and so are residents, he said during the meeting.
"I have had to move out (of) the way three times when walking my dog to dodge cars," Brown said.
Police Chief Michael Gentry delivered some statistics generated from a weeklong traffic survey of the area.
According to the statistics, speed is not a problem, but there is a high volume of traffic on the street.
Roughly 2,000 vehicles travel northbound each day and about 4,000 vehicles travel southbound daily, the survey stated. The average speed of vehicles is about 22 miles per hour, which is lower than the 30 mph posted speed limit.
Gentry noted to the City Council that there was no survey for running the stop signs.
Both Gentry and Brown believe that the high traffic count is generated by people attempting to avoid Knight's Way to get home.
"It is a good short cut to get south," Brown said.
Brown proposed two suggestions to address traffic problems on Modoc.
The first was to place speed bumps along Modoc to slow traffic.
Gentry disputed this by saying that speed bumps can often cause vehicles to lose control.
Brown's second suggestion was to make Modoc a one-way street heading north to Central Texas Expressway.
If the road is a one-way street, residents will have access to the highway and shopping areas, but those attempting to avoid traffic will be rerouted, Brown said.
Councilman Bobby Hoxworth questioned whether rumble strips could be used to alert drivers of stop signs, to which Gentry replied that Harker Heights has not used rumble strips to alert drivers, so he did not know.
The City Council also suggested putting in sidewalks along Modoc.
The city explored the options prior to Brown's concerns, said City Manager Steve Carpenter.
The problem was the cost of the sidewalks, but having to work with everyone to place them and their maintenance, Carpenter said. The city could look into it again, he added.
Had the street been built today, it would be wider and have sidewalks by city standards, Carpenter said. Since the road was developed with Skipcha phase 1 and no one knew there was going to be 23 phases, it is seeing a lot of traffic.
"Basically it is a minor collector road that is build as a residential road," Carpenter said.
In other action Tuesday, the City Council:
Awarded CCS Inc. the Farm-to-Market 2410 waterline project for about $305,000.
Awarded the purchase of seven trucks to Philpott Motors.
Allowed City Manager Steve Carpenter to negotiate a professional service contract with RJN Group.
Entered into an agreement with Killeen Independent School District over the use of facilities.
Approved the 2007-08 fiscal year audit.
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7554.