BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
CENTERVILLE — It turns out the fate of the homes around the intersection of Main Street and Parrish Lane really rests in the hands of local drivers.
According to a study recently commissioned by the Centerville City Council, the intersection of Marketplace Drive and Parrish Lane could handle more traffic from drivers headed north. With the intersection located just a few blocks west of the overburdened Main Street and Parrish Lane, it is driver behavior more than road improvements that will keep Main and Parrish from needing to be widened.
“We’re not sure if people can’t get over there or are choosing not to,” said Centerville City Assistant Manager Blaine Lutz. “Either way, improvements to the intersection won’t really help traffic at Main Street and Parrish at all.”
The council commissioned the study in response to protestors who argue that the planned widening of the Main Street and Parrish Lane intersection will cut into the yards surrounding the intersection. Those homes include the historic Joel Parrish home, which was built in 1860. It would lose 13 feet of its yard.
The widening project has been on UDOT’s agenda since 2009, though Centerville has been considering it since the Walmart was built in 2007. Though the city initially planned to include only one left turn lane, a second lane was added after a UDOT study suggested there was enough northbound traffic in the area to require it.
Centerville commissioned the study to see whether improvements to either the intersection of Marketplace Drive and Parrish Lane, or the intersection of 400 West and Parrish Lane, would be enough to mitigate congestion. The city is reluctant to drive more traffic to 400 West, since it immediately turns into a residential street and stays that way until it ends just before 2150 North.
Though city officials refuse to comment on the effect the study will have on their decision about Main Street and Parrish Lane, the city council is planning to discuss the matter in a work session planned for Aug. 22. Since the work session will be held the same night as the planning commission, the meeting will be held in the downstairs training room at city hall. Though residents are welcome to attend, there will be no public hearing.
“We’ll have the UDOT traffic people there as well,” said Lutz. “We hate to do it the same night as the planning commission, but that was the only time we could get everyone together.”
Read more about the intersection study in the Thursday, Aug. 16 edition of the Clipper.