Rockford Road to receive two additional stoplights

During Monday night’s meeting, the City Commission gave approval for two new traffic lights to be installed on Rockford Road.

One light will be at the intersection of Rockford Road and 4th Street and the other will be at Rockford Road and Merrick Drive. City Engineer Thomas Mansur said, “Much of the traffic in Ardmore, particularly on the main arteries, has a tremendous variation between its peak and its low traffic counts. We have many, many citizens, particularly during rush hours, that are inconvenienced.” He went on to say that the biggest issue with both of these intersections have been with vehicles making left turns.

While the approval for the light on 4th Street was unanimous, Commissioner Martin Dyer voted no to the light on Merrick Drive.

“I’m not convinced that we need the light at that intersection at this time,” Dyer said. “I think there are other things we could spend $27,000 on. Maybe in the future if we need it, that’s fine.”

Mansur said that while it is true that the city does not absolutely have to have a signal on Merrick at this time, it definitely will in the future. He listed growth in the area as well as safety issues to justify the request.  He pointed out that people are more likely to speed on that section of Rockford Road and said this was particularly dangerous for those westbound on Merrick Drive turning south onto Rockford Road.

Rockford Road and 4th street face a similar issue. In addition to backing up traffic while waiting for the opportunity to turn, those westbound on 4th Street can be in danger when turning south due to the volume of traffic on Rockford Road. 

The only concern about installing a light at this intersection came from Vice-Mayor Kieth King.

“While I think this signal is way overdue, there has always been a concern about traffic backing up onto the railroad tracks,” King said.

Mansur said, “The signal can be arranged such that it can reflect as to what is happening on that railroad,” Mansur said. In other words, all those going north on Rockford who were not already stopped by the train will be able to pass through the light.