SHERIDAN — Sheridan County School District 2 and Sheridan city officials are working together in hopes of providing a better option to traffic flow issues on South Sheridan Avenue in front of Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School.
Craig Dougherty, SCSD2 superintendent, said he’s met with city officials regarding the possibility of lengthening the 20-mph speed zone during school hours in front of Coffeen Elementary further south past the intersection with Avoca Avenue.
According to Dougherty, the potential change is being considered so traffic on South Sheridan Avenue slows down sooner from the posted 30-mph speed limit before reaching Avoca Avenue, thereby reducing vehicles from bunching up in the slower speed zone and making it more difficult for traffic trying to travel onto Sheridan Avenue from either Avoca Avenue, the school or East Montana Street.
City officials agree the traffic flow along South Sheridan Avenue has become more of an issue recently due to increased development in the area.
“We’d support any effort to make the area safer for pedestrians and motorists,” said Capt. Tom Ringley of the Sheridan Police Department. “As the number of people increases to the south, streets such as Sheridan Avenue become more of a thoroughfare. … There’s a lot of new developments to the south and some of those people are looking to avoid Coffeen (Avenue).”
Hanns Mercer, engineer for the city of Sheridan, met with SCSD2 officials to look at ways to address the issue.
“The city agrees that we can improve the school zone,” Mercer said. “We are looking at a couple options to consider. ”
Some SCSD2 officials questioned whether the addition of a traffic light might help the situation, but Mercer said that is not one of the options currently not being considered.
“A traffic light is not warranted and therefore not the correct engineering solution,” he added.
However, motorists could soon see changes to the speed zones along South Sheridan Avenue, possibly in the next few months.
“The city will choose an option here very soon and order parts to implement the school zone this summer,” Mercer said. “There will be some public media distributed to notify motor vehicle operators of the change.”