Quincy public hearing sheds light on intersection issues

Some Quincy residents want to put the red light on a plan that would save the City of Quincy thousands of dollars.

Monday night, the city held a public hearing to discuss traffic lights at 8th and Vermont and 8th and Jersey.

The traffic lights at both intersections have been deactivated for about three months.

Monday night, residents had a chance to shed some light on what those deactivations have meant for them.

"You do all those surveys with IDOT," a concerned resident told the city. "They're counting cars. Doesn't anyone count people? Don't we count anymore?"

Many residents, staff and supporters from Sunset Apartments at 8th and Vermont said keeping the traffic lights off at their intersection could mean the difference between life and death.

"The seniors that live in the Sunset Apartments have a terrible time crossing that street," another concerned resident said at Monday night's meeting. "My husband and I almost have been hit twice. This is a dangerous corner, and is it going to take someone getting injured or killed for everyone to wake up?"

The city deactivated the traffic lights at 8th and Vermont and 8th and Jersey because both of them need a new controller unit. Those cost $20,000 per unit. There were no complaints for or against the deactivated traffic lights at 8th and Jersey but the 8th and Vermont intersection was a different story.

"We can no longer get spare parts for them," Quincy Director of Utilities and Engineering Jeffrey Conte said. "We were looking at replacing them before we spent the money to replace the controllers, we wanted to see whether the signals were necessary. Traffic patterns have changed since they were installed."

Residents at Monday night's public hearing were not shy about voicing their opinions.

"Every person in this room is going to be a senior citizen, and they are going to get crippled because we are living longer," one resident said. "You have turned 8th Street into a super highway. There is no slowing down. I've had people drive by and flip me off. We need that stop light."

Monday night's feedback will be sent back to Quincy's traffic commission, which meets July 14.

Members of that commission will then make a recommendation that will go before the Quincy City Council.