McGregor Council ponders speed control options for portion of Ann Street

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Sept. 20 meeting, the McGregor Council discussed whether installing speed bumps would help control speeding on a portion of Ann Street.

The portion, which encompasses the 400 to 700 blocks, from the fire station to the former Fiddler’s Bait Shop, has seen more traffic lately. Construction has barred people from using Fourth Street, which runs perpendicular to Ann Street, to access Main Street. Traffic was also re-routed through McGregor for a week and a half while repairs were made to the railroad crossing by the Casino Queen, in Marquette.

The speeding problem persists year-round, though, said councilman Joe Muehlbauer.

“That street needs to get slowed down,” he said, voicing support for the speed bump idea.

Councilwoman Janet Hallberg, who, along with Muehlbauer, lives on that section of Ann Street, agreed: “A lot of vehicles fly by. In an hour, I can count 10 people who don’t even attempt to stop at the stop sign [at Ann and Sixth Streets], going 35 to 40 mph.”

In fact, a deer was recently hit near the stop sign, demonstrating that the driver did not stop.

The police, she said, are good about patrolling the area, but can’t be there all the time.

Aside from a large amount of vehicle traffic, Hallberg said the street is also frequently used by pedestrians.

“The day care uses it, the cross country and track kids use it, lots of kids and adults use it,” she noted.

At one point, said Muehlbauer, the speed limit  was dropped from 25 to 20 mph, but that hasn’t stopped people from speeding.

“You can stand out there and yell at them, but it doesn’t help,” he commented.

It doesn’t help that the street is also narrow there. Parking is only allowed on one side, but the other is packed with vehicles, causing drivers to frequently pull over and wait for oncoming traffic to pass.

“Every time you go up the street, you can’t make it without stopping three times,” said the city’s street superintendent, Pat Jones.

Jones said he’d like to see parking limited on that part of the street, especially during the winter, when city workers have to plow snow.

Although not necessarily a solution to the speed issue, mayor Harold Brooks suggested that the street could also be turned into a one-way street.

In the meantime, the council agreed to research options and costs for speed bumps, particularly some that could be removed during the winter months.

Mar-Mac Police Chief Jason Bogdonovich said there are issues with streets throughout the community, but felt it was good to begin tackling one of the biggest problems.

“We need to focus on all the streets,” he said, “but it would be good to start with Ann Street.”

City accepts property donation

The council approved a resolution authorizing the acceptance of the donation, deed and conveyance of certain real estate from Melanie San Fillippo. The property in question is the former INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main Street. Located next to the McGregor Public Library, the building was destroyed by the July 19 tornado and later demolished.

City administrator Lynette Sander said the city has agreed to pay for capping the property’s water and sewer, as well as a concrete patch on Main Street. 

She said more work is planned to fill in and level the property.

The council also agreed to purchase a bench, to be placed near the area, in recognition of San Fillippo’s and Fred Petrie’s donation.

The council did not discuss any future development options for the site.

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