Many drivers use street to avoid intersection at highway

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BLOOMFIELD — The city of Bloomfield will increase its police presence on a short street near the intersection of U.S. highways 64 and 550 and 5th Street that sees heavy use as a shortcut and attracts speeders.

The city had debated closing 6th Street, which has about 1,300 vehicles driving on it daily, but instead hopes speed bumps, a potential traffic signal adjustment and better enforcement will calm things down.

Officials hope the new measures will discourage speeding and encourage drivers to find an alternate route.

Interim police Chief Randon Matthews said one car has been observed traveling the street at 49 mph almost every day, nearly twice the speed limit of 25 mph. He described the street as one of the biggest problem areas in the city.

City officials believe many drivers use 6th Street to bypass the traffic signal at the intersection of the highways and 5th Street.

The city chose to try the new measures rather than blocking the street because they were worried that the drivers would cut through parking lots instead.

“They’re just going to go to the next route of least resistance,” Councilor Matt Pennington said during the Monday City Council meeting.

More: Short Bloomfield street draws more than a thousand vehicles a day

The City Council decided to table discussion of closing the street while Bloomfield attempts to address problems by increasing police presence and adding speed bumps.

The city also will look into making some changes at the traffic signal so that people in the left turn lane will have longer to turn onto 5th Street.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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