(Beaver Dam) City officials in Beaver Dam are holding off on the installation of a barrier to prevent left-hand turns into the post office. Following the reconstruction of North Spring Street two years ago, the left-hand turn lane that had been in place for decades was eliminated, leaving southbound motorists with a lengthy turnaround process to make a righthand turn. The common council earlier this month approved the installation of the barrier between the northbound and southbound lanes to prevent motorists from making illegal left turns. However, at this week’s council meeting Mayor Becky Glewen said that installation of the barrier is on hold as talks with the post office have suddenly resumed.
“We invited them to our first discussions to talk about this issue and they were not available and did not attend meetings,” she says, “we had internal meetings at that time trying to come up with a solution. Since that time, they are interested in what we are proposing and so we have subsequently met with them and they do have questions and some possible solutions that they’d like to bring forward – nothing that is very easy at this time – but we are in conversation with them.”
Discussion of the barrier came up because the council adopted an ordinance on Monday that officially makes a left-hand turn into the post office a violation of city code. The ordinance was supposed to be put in place when the roadway was constructed but Glewen says employee turnover at that time led to the oversight.
State transportation officials are mandating the left turn, calling the matter a safety issue because the post office entrance is too close to the intersection and traffic could back up past Mackie Street. There is a no left turn sign in place but motorists, faced with no easy way to turn around, have been chronically ignoring it. The sign does indicate that post office vehicles are allowed to make left hand turns. However, discussions with the post office has led some city officials to conclude that the postal trucks may be too large to make a righthand turn. An improper left turn could lead to a $60-dollar ticket and three demerit points against your license. A second offense within one year is a $98-dollar ticket and three additional demerit points.