Grand Island May Reconfigure Stolley Park Road


Preventing crashes on a busy road is the goal, as Grand Island brainstorms solutions for one of the city's major roads.

Stolley Park road is a major east-west route through town and leads to the state fairgrounds.

Cars drive side by side down the four lane road. But that's a problem, because Stolley Park Road is not a four lane road, despite the way it looks and feels to drivers.

Public Works Director John Collins said, "They might realize all the reasons why they can tell the interstate from residential from four lane, subconsciously they treat it like a four lane, hence all the safety problems we're experiencing today."

They see problems like rear end crashes, or people passing on the right, putting pedestrians at risk.

Collins said, "Police have told us they have trouble and do ticket drivers using the right lane as a travel lane but it also causes trouble for pedestrians if they know it's supposed to be a parking lane, and go halfway through parking lane and wait to pass, but cars don't know that - not good for pedestrians."

Engineers say it's time to think about re-configuring the street. It carries more than 12,000 cars a day and many more during special events like the state fair.

They may be able to make some big changes without construction, just by painting new stripes.

Engineers believe it's too wide to be just two lanes. But four lanes could be trouble too. So they're looking at a pair of options to make it three lanes.

Collins said, "One is just a straight three lane section like you see throughout town, the other is a complete street design where we not only take care of automobiles, but we also provide for pedestrian and bicycle traffic."

Three lanes would make turning easier. Right now, if someone turns left, it ties up traffic or people illegally pass on the right.

They'll lay out the options to the Grand Island City Council before making any decisions.