If you are driving in Portsmouth there is something you need to know about one of our major thoroughfares – you can’t go south on Gay Street no matter where you are coming from.
“I was coming back late from an event and crossing Gay Street from Fourth Street, a person was driving the wrong way, once again, on Gay Street and I came within three feet of being smashed into,” First Ward City Councilman Kevin W. Johnson said. “This is happening more and more often. I don’t know what’s wrong with the signage. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s becoming almost a joke.”
Johnson told Portsmouth City Council, it was not the first time he has witnessed people driving the wrong way on Gay Street which is a northbound only street.
“At Coffee @The Lofts, it seems like it’s occurring constantly,” Johnson said. “It’s to the point that we say – ‘there goes another one.’”
Johnson said the city needs to be consistent as to where its “one way” signs are placed. He said entering Gay Street from the Portsmouth Kroger store, the sign is left, and people wanting to turn right can’t see the sign because they are not looking to the left when they pull out.
“We have to put some ‘wrong way’ signs up,” Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen said.
Johnson brought up another traffic issue that has occurred in the same area of town.
“A month ago a young child was hit in front of Portsmouth Elementary on Gallia (Street),” Johnson said. “The traffic was going far faster than 20 miles an hour along that area. The crosswalks aren’t marked as they are behind the school on Fourth Street.”
Johnson said, if you travel behind Portsmouth Elementary School (PES), the crosswalk signage is easy to see.
He said there are three schools along Gallia Street where the crosswalks are not easily seen.
“You’ve also got along Fourth Street all the (Shawnee State University) student housing, where you cannot see the crosswalks until you get in front of them,” Johnson said. “In other cities, those are well marked with signage that says you’ve got to yield to the pedestrian and we need to start thinking in those terms.”
Johnson said there is a petition being drawn up by parents of PES concerning the unclear crosswalks.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.