Traffic changes frustrate residents

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

George Baker told the city it’s not worth risking his children to educate Clovis drivers.

Baker lives on Yucca Avenue, a few blocks away from the intersection of Plains Avenue and Main Street.

The intersection of Plains and Main, traditionally a four-way stop, is currently a two-way stop.

The change is part of a 90-day trial period created by the city traffic committee to find ways to improve traffic flow.

The trial period also includes a switch from a two-way stop to a four-way stop at Main and Manana Boulevard. Baker said his wife has been to traffic committee meetings, and the argument always comes back to Main and Manana. Baker countered that’s not his family’s argument at all.

Baker said the sign change has resulted in danger for students of Highland Elementary School, located at Plains and Main.

“To say we have to re-educate drivers to slow down” is irresponsible, Baker said. “Do we have to re-educate them at the risk of our children?”

Commissioner Chris Bryant, who sits on the traffic committee, said if a four-way stop is reinstated at Plains and Main, that’s three four-way stops in a row on Main. That, Bryant said, would result in another dangerous situation — drivers taking routes through residential areas without signs.

“I think it will take time for people to get used to it,” Bryant said. “It’s not going to be overnight.”

The changes were made Nov. 24, meaning the 90-day trial period ends Feb. 22.

Traffic committee members hold the ultimate decision in what signs stay and go, but City Manager Joe Thomas said in a December Clovis News Journal report the city commission could be asked to make a decision in the rare instance members reach an impasse.

This is a supplemental report from Thursday’s city commission meeting:

• Commissioners approved a $4.5 million in a grant-loan agreement with the New Mexico Water Trust Board and New Mexico Finance Authority. The money is for the design and engineering of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority.

The authority is responsible for the Ute Water Project, which was approved earlier this month by the U.S. Senate and is awaiting House of Representatives approval before moving to President Barack Obama’s desk.

The grant amount is for $.362 million. The loan amount is for $905,166, to be paid at .25 percent interest over 20 years.

• Iris Arbor Corp. was given permission to acquire four acres of land located northeast of the North Plains Mall.

Nanci Jane Goodwin of Iris Arbor Corp. said the land, previously acquired by the city for drainage purposes, would be used for entry ways to residential homes to be built in the subdivision.

The sale was approved, pending approval of a plat for the road. Mayor Pro Tem Randy Crowder said he understood Goodwin wanted