IMPERIAL – Residents living on ‘B’ Street attended a public hearing Wednesday evening during the City of Imperial Planning Commission and Traffic Committee’s regular board meeting to protest against the possibility of making ‘B’ Street a one-way street.
City of Imperial Public Services Director Jackie Loper approached the board requesting they consider and approve re-routing South ‘B’ Street traffic after the ongoing construction has been completed to upgrade the ‘B’ Street lift station. Plus the street is too narrow for all the school traffic using B Street.
“Prior to the completion of the B Street lift station, I need to make you aware of the following facts before the road is opened for use by the motoring public,” said Loper. “The road is 26.9 feet wide. Once construction is finished the street will be 2.5 feet from the edge of the pavement. With one vehicle parked by the curb there is 18.3 feet to the edge of the pavement and with a second vehicle parked or traveling there is 9.8 feet to the edge of the pavement. We are very limited with space.”
Loper recommended the one-way routing of B Street with one way traveling south on B and east on 4th up to the connection on C Street and allow parking along the west side of B Street.
“There are only five houses on this block and we all agree that you should consider closing the street or make it a cul-de-sac,” said Betty Zinn, B Street resident. “Cars travel very fast and people use the street as a short-cut creating a lot of traffic and putting people in danger. That is why we are asking you to close it off.”
Planning Commissioner Steven House stressed that the Planning Commission had to do what was best for the community and not the five residents that live on that block.
“You are only thinking about yourselves and not the interest of the community,” said House. “It’s not your private street. Anyone and everyone should be able to use it.”
Previously residents had approached the board advising them vehicles travel at speeds of 40-60 miles per hour down B Street, endangering lives and children who reside on that block. The committee agreed to install speed bumps, however that has not resolved the issue, they said.
“Making it a one way street will not solve the problem” said Linda Cooke, B Street resident. “We are proposing blocking off the street like it was forty years ago or install a gate from 4th Street to prevent cars from driving down the street. Using an alternate route would be no different than what they are doing now.”
After hours of discussion the board tabled the item for further input from the police and fire department and additional solutions that would benefit both the residents on B Street and the community.
A second public hearing will be scheduled in the month of February with no exact date chosen at the meeting.