Tuesday, February 20, 2018

State to paint lines on Winter to slow traffic; city council hears ordinance to extend alcohol sales to 1 a.m.

Changes are in store for South Winter Street in an effort to slow down speeding motorists, Mayor Grayson Vandegrift told the Midway City Council Monday evening.

In other business, the council started the process of extending alcoholic-beverage sales until 1 a.m. and turned down a request from the Midway Business Association to help pay for the merchants' signs on Interstate 64.

State diagram shows possible markings on Winter Street.
Winter Street: In the council's meeting packet was a letter from state traffic engineer Natalia McMillan, following a meeting she and others at the district office of the Department of Highways had with Vandegrift recently. It said the state would paint edgelines on the street like those on rural portions of US 62. "This will narrow the driving lanes and encourage drivers to slow down," she said.

McMillan said the city could mark the sides of the road for parking, and with a state permit extend curbs at intersections to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians. She also said parallel parking could be changed to angle parking in some places to "contribute to the tightened feeling driving through that block."

Vandegrift told the council, "I am real excited about this. . . . I think this might be the first chance in a long time to finally tame traffic speeds on Winter Street."

The mayor said he wanted state officials to lower the speed limit 25 miles per hour, but "They made it pretty clear that wasn’t going to happen, partly because the state has no road in Kentucky less than 35," and because street's incline "makes it difficult to stay at 25."

"I made it pretty clear we had to do something, and they came back with this idea to do edgelines," Vandegrift said. He said the state still has some preliminary work to do, but "I’m assuming it’s going to happen in the near future . . . I think they’ll do it soon; soon might be a month or two."

Council Member Sara Hicks asked about adding bicycle lanes, but Vandegrift said. "I’m not sure we should encourage people to ride bikes down Winter Street," a busy thoroughfare.

Alcohol sales: The council heard first reading of two ordinances that would extend the legal hours for sales of alcoholic-beverage sales to 1 a.m. from midnight. Sunday sales would remain legal from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless New Year's Eve falls on Sunday, when the weekday hours would apply.

Council Member Bruce Southworth proposed the change last month, suggesting that late-night trade has increased. "At 11:30, they're getting ready to close, and people start coming in," he said.

Merchants' requests: With little discussion, the council turned down a request by the Midway Business Association for help in paying the $1,200 annual fee for the merchants' placards on the logo signs at the I-64 interchange. The placards, in both directions, say “Antique Shops” and “Railroad Street Shops.”

Vandegrift said the city gave $300 last year toward the signs and has $330 left in its donations budget for this year. Southworth asked if the merchants give the city anything, and Vandegrift said the MBA collects license fees from vendors at its annual Fall Festival and pays them to the city.

Council Member John McDaniel moved to donate $300 toward the signs but his motion died for lack of a second. He said after the meeting that most council members felt that the MBA has enough money to bear the cost alone.

Council Members Kaye Nita Gallagher and Libby Warfield were not in attendance. Vandegrift said Warfield remains ill.

The council delayed action on the MBA's request for a parade permit for Saturday, March 17, for its "St. Paddy's Day in Midway" event, so the merchants could revise their parade route.

The proposed route called for the parade to begin at the firehouse on Bruen Street, go north on Winter Street to Main, then down Main one block and go back to Winter; then north on Winter to Martin Street and down Martin, ending at Gratz Street.

Vandegrift said state permission would be needed to use Winter Street because it is US 62, and would probably not be allowed, but thought it would be permissible for the parade to use the street for the Main Street turnaround.

Steve Morgan of the MBA said the route might be less extensive than originally conceived, depending on how many units are in the parade. For example, he said the MBA hopes to have Scout groups and is talking with Midway University about entering an equine unit, and with Woodford County High School about having its band march.

Other business: The council examined a proposed pavilion for the cemetery, which would provide shelter during inclement weather. Vandegrift said the cost was estimated at $17,000, with most of the labor being done by city employees and John Holloway, the University of Kentucky arts professor who has designed and built structures in Walter Bradley Park.

Vandegrift referred the idea to the cemetery committee (Simoff, Hicks and Warfield) and said that if the panel agrees to it, he will put it in his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Vandegrift said most of the $40,000 that the city had budgeted for paving in the current fiscal year will be spent on East Stephens Street, in front of and past the university. He said some other spots need work and will be included in a request for proposals he will advertise this week.

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