CEDAR FALLS — Traffic concerns at an increasingly busy intersection in a growing part of the city were discussed again at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Traffic at Greenhill Road and South Main Street — the proposed location of a new Fareway grocery store as well as a Kwik Star convenience store — came up again as the council approved a 2018-23 capital improvements plan that doesn’t show improvements underway there until 2020-21. That’s not soon enough, according to neighbors. And several City Council members— Rob Green, Dave Wieland and Mark Miller — all asked if some near-term improvements couldn’t be made.
City staff members — Community Development Director Stephanie Houk Sheetz and City Engineer Jon Resler — said the city intends to send out a request for proposals for a study of most of the Greenhill corridor, including the possibility of short-term improvements to the Greenhill-South Main intersection. That was a main issue during recent Planning and Zoning Commision discussions of the Fareway and Kwik Star projects.
“There is a need to look at Greenhill as a corridor,” Resler told council members. “Kind of a first item in this RFP would be to take a near-term look, what we could do this year, at Greenhill and Main ... . It will look at this upcoming year needs ... . It would be up to you all to decide if it would be worth doing or not,” including some possible additional temporary lanes or signal modifications. Long-term could include a number of possibilities, including a roundabout at the intersection.
Responding to a question from Wieland, Resler said short-term improvements at South Main and Greenhill could “potentially” be coordinated with the private development anticipated there.
“I’m glad we’re going to look at the whole corridor,” Miller said, referring to Greenhill. “We’ve got a beautiful stretch of road on University Avenue. And I know the roundabout discussion is dreaded. At the same time, we’re creating a University Avenue on Greenhill Road. With the pace of things that are happening out there, I hope we give that some thought at some point.”
Miller said later he generally supports roundabouts as an efficient way to move traffic.
Penny Popp, a resident of the El Dorado Heights residential area near South Main and Greenhill, again urged traffic improvements at that intersection soon.