Second attempt for traffic light on Stadium underway

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's a road many might try to avoid, Stadium Blvd. With new developments and already more traffic on it than it can hold, the city is looking for ways to evaluate the traffic flow.

"It's terrible. It'll take about 20 minutes from here to get to the mall," said Donte Barnes, a driver we ran into at the Kum & Go on Hilltop. He says he tries to avoid the traffic on Stadium Blvd.

"I don't like it at all. It don't make sense to me anyway. I mean, why so much traffic like that. Especially in this little town, I'm from a big city," said Barnes.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he's not blind to it. "We have got to look at ways to improve the safety of Stadium Blvd," said Perrin.

For a road that was initially engineered to hold 30-thousand cars, now sees more than 37-thousand. And with all the new development at the old fairgrounds, Perrin says it's only going to get worse. "It's forty-eight acres of development. When you take that and put it into commercial, you're talking about a lot of traffic," said Perrin.

Back in 2011, the city requested for the Highway Department to conduct a study to evaluate the need for a traffic light at Parkwood and Stadium. "That was rejected because they said the traffic count on Parkwood didn't justify the signalization," said Perrin.

But as of last week, Perrin has re-applied. "I told the Highway Department that I would continue to write them a letter every time another piece of property was sold because the just simply increases the development," said Perrin.

Perrin is also emphasizing the fact the Fire Station on Brazo Street comes straight up to Parkwood and necessary to maneuver trucks in an emergency. The city is working closely with the Highway Department to look for ways to alleviate the problem. "I've already visited with the district engineer and he's concurred to do a decelerated lane from Cheddars all the way down to Parkwood," said Perrin.

So we asked drivers, yes or no, would a traffic light help or hurt the traffic flow and over all safety?

"It would make it worst. We'll be making another stop. I'd rather the stop be smooth and go. Too many lights," said Barnes.

"It probably would help. It'd be another stop light but you got to take the good with the bad," said resident Randi Howard.

Mayor Perrin says he will be meeting with the Highway Department on Friday.

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