By Conrad Dudderar
The re-striping of a Yukon arterial street that altered a turn lane has exacerbated traffic problems near a busy intersection, several city officials agreed this week.
City leaders, during a June 1st discussion of traffic issues, addressed new street striping recently painted along NW 10th west of Cornwell.
The topic came up during an annual traffic commission report at the Yukon City Council’s study session.
At-Large City Council Member Jeff Wootton questioned why the turn lane from 10th Street eastbound onto Cornwell was adjusted.
The turn lane was reconfigured for westbound vehicles turning left into the entrance to Charlie’s Car Wash on the southwest corner of Cornwell and NW 10th. Wootton noted this business is in Oklahoma City limits.
“It looks bad that Yukon is making a left-hand turn lane for an Oklahoma City business when we have (a car wash) right down the street,” he said.
The City of Yukon owns the street and determines the driveway cuts. City officials agreed to provide the left-turn bay from 10th Street into the car wash property, Yukon Traffic Commissioner James Montgomery explained.
“We met with the owner at a traffic commission meeting a couple months ago,” he told council members. “We looked at it and we decided there was enough room in there to allow that left-turn bay to be provided for that business.”
Montgomery acknowledged the change has shortened the left-turn lane going east-to-north from NW 10th onto Cornwell.
“It backs up traffic,” Mayor Shelli Selby pointed out.
“It’s very hazardous having that left-turn lane that close to the other left-hand turn lane. People are just driving through it. Somebody’s going to wreck.”
Charlie’s Car Wash volunteered to pay for the 10th Street re-striping from Cornwell to Marketplace Drive, according to Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar.
The City of Yukon paid to replace striping from Marketplace Drive to Shedeck Parkway.
Much of the painted striping had been damaged or removed altogether along this well-traveled section of 10th Street, which is the City of Yukon’s south boundary. Last winter’s icy weather was partially to blame, officials said.
The left-hand turn lane into Charlie’s Car Wash was recommended by Traffic Engineering Consultants as part of a traffic study of that area, Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort explained.
Yukon’s traffic engineers also recommended where curb cuts on the car wash property should be. Hort noted this is an “usual” piece of property.
“Once they get a driveway, we cannot keep (vehicles) from making a left-hand turn into their property,” he added. “That’s why we’ve tried to do this ‘spacing’ of the driveways on 10th Street. We’ve got TEC to look at them from Garth Brooks all the way to Yukon Parkway.
“We’ve spaced those driveways out, so we don’t have all those conflicts. … We try to space them out 300-500 feet if we can.”
Montgomery noted the “entire NW 10th corridor” – particularly from the I-40 westbound off-ramps to Garth Brooks Boulevard – has heavy traffic.
“That’s something the city is going to have to look at to see what solutions can be had to maybe alleviate some of those problems,” he said. “I was surprised a car wash went in there.
“That part is in Oklahoma City, unfortunately.”
In recent years, considerable retail development has occurred on the south side in Oklahoma City. Several new businesses – including Atwood’s and Fuzzy Tacos – recently opened on the north side in Yukon city limits.
During the June 1st city council study session, Montgomery gave council members an overview of the Yukon Traffic Commission’s activities over the past year.
“We always consider traffic concerns of the city and citizens,” Montgomery said.
For example, commissioners recommended changing the speed limit from 35 mph to 45 mph at the south boundary of a school zone on Yukon Parkway.
The commission’s purpose is to study and make decisions on traffic issues in the City of Yukon.
Members will authorize traffic studies be conducted and make recommendations to the city council on speed limits, signs and traffic signals as needed.
Other Yukon Traffic Commission members are Charlie Lee, Tom Thomas, Tim Peters, and Brad Downing.