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City council discusses lane conversion on Highway 25

The intersection of West Adams Street and North Sumner Avenue was identified in a study by the Iowa Department of Transportation as having the highest number of accidents on the Highway 25 corridor through Creston in a four year period. The suggest reducing the corridor from four lanes to three.
The intersection of West Adams Street and North Sumner Avenue was identified in a study by the Iowa Department of Transportation as having the highest number of accidents on the Highway 25 corridor through Creston in a four year period. The suggest reducing the corridor from four lanes to three.

Would Highway 25 through Creston be safer if it was three lanes instead of four?

The Iowa Department of Transportation thinks so. A traffic study conducted by IDOT and Iowa Department of Public Safety Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau showed 105 accidents along Highway 25 from Cottonwood Street to New York Avenue over four years.

The study found that the traffic along the Highway 25 corridor in Creston is well within the guidelines for a conversion to three lanes – two travel lanes and a center turning lane – and that it would be a safer alternative.

Rich Madison said he had positive feedback from the community about the concept.

Matt Levine asked if the recommendations from the study would have to be accepted as a whole or if some ideas could be adopted without the others. Madison said the recommendations from the study were all up for discussion and decisions from the council.

Mayor Gabe Carroll noted that he had heard from residents who were concerned about how the traffic data was compiled.

“We did Sumner and Townline as well as Cherry and Townline,” Kevin Kruse, public works director, responded. “We just did from 7 to 9 in the morning and then over the noon hour and then it was 4 to 6 at night.”

Some concern was expressed that the “peak” times in the study did not include school dismissal times — a significant source of traffic on that stretch of road.

“The peak times of day and school releases are different,” Terry Freeman said. “That was the major concern on that sector was the timing — the traffic flow for school dismissals.”

Madison stated that the traffic flow on Highway 25 was significantly below the point at which a conversion becomes inefficient and noted that the number of accidents was above the state average.

Carroll questioned if the council should wait until the Highway 34 study is completed in the next few months before moving on with any discussion of making changes.

Madison replied that he would prefer to go ahead.

The next step is to contact IDOT and have them send a representative to talk to the council and/or the public about the study’s findings, Kruse said. He will contact IDOT and find out whether they usually speak to public groups or limit the initial discussion to representatives.

The full study is available at https://www.crestoniowa.gov.

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