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E'town pursuing traffic, sign improvements

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Directional signs for sports park and numbered traffic light system in works

By Marty Finley

Elizabethtown plans to install new directional signs leading motorists to Elizabethtown Sports Park and number the city’s traffic lights to make navigation easier for visitors.

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Mayor Tim Walker said the city is working with state and tourism officials on improvements to alleviate driver concerns and heighten highway safety.

Sherry Murphy, executive director of Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau, said the city has received state confirmation to add panels for the park to brown cultural and recreational tourism signs. It also will add new signs around the city to direct travelers to the park.

Murphy said roughly two new signs and seven panels will be displayed. Officials are gathering estimates on the cost of signs and hardware, she said.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to move soon,” she said.

City and tourism officials have worked with the state to add the park as a destination on blue logo signs off exit 94 on Interstate 65 and a new Ring Road exit off Western Kentucky Parkway once it is completed, Murphy said.

Walker also is writing to state highway officials requesting placement of a traffic signal at the intersection of Ring Road and West Park Road, which leads to the main entrance of the park.

Because the city has high traffic entering and exiting Ring Road during tournaments, the intersection proves to be a tremendous safety hazard and potential crash point if traffic flow is not controlled, he said.

“We have to get a light there,” he said.

The city has built an island on West Park Road featuring a brick pillar and sign for the sports park.

Walker said it may pursue a raised sign above the island with digital functions.

A larger sign would provide more direction to drivers looking for the park’s access point but would be added “down the road,” he said.

All traffic lights on major thoroughfares in Elizabethtown also would be numbered under the collaboration if the state approves the request. Murphy said lights would be numbered on Dixie Avenue, Mulberry Street and Ring Road, and discussions have arisen about adding the system to the U.S. 31W Bypass, she said.

Because there are several roads that crisscross, Murphy and Walker said each road would be differentiated by the first letter of its name, such as D for Dixie and M for Mulberry, to eliminate confusion.

Other Kentucky cities, including Radcliff and Bowling Green, have numbered traffic signals, Murphy said.

The system has been utilized around the country, including the mountain resort city of Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Once the lights are numbered, Walker said, the city would draft maps for visitors based on the new system, which should make it easier to find attractions and businesses.  

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenews enterprise.com.