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8th Avenue traffic changed at 28th Street; intersection now a 2-way stop

Area motorists are advised of a traffic-control change at 8th Avenue and 28th Street: The intersection is now a two-way stop, with 28th Street drivers stopping and yielding to 8th Avenue.

The City asks motorists and pedestrians to use their highest levels of caution while travelers adjust to the new conditions.

The traffic pattern change was prompted by the traffic signal light that had regulated that intersection. Using long-outdated technology, the signal is in a consistent state of disrepair. Based on cost and current traffic volumes at the intersection, the City deemed the signal’s replacement was not cost effective, and replacement parts are not available.

The public works sign shop “literally has to solder connections back together every time it breaks,” said City of Yuma Traffic Engineer Jonathan Fell.

The constant repairs prompted the City to take a closer look at traffic flows at that intersection.

“In its original design, the thought was this intersection was going to see higher future traffic volumes. That never turned out to be the case,” Fell said.

As such, the most recent traffic counts and traffic models indicated the intersection would flow better if 8th Avenue was unimpeded, as it is at every other intersection between the major arteries of 24th Street and 32nd Street.

Drivers are reporting a lot of confusion at this intersection, in part because the latest signal breakdown caused Public Works to install temporary four-way stop signs at the intersection that remained up for several weeks before being removed Sept. 23. Also, the old traffic signal has yet to be demolished. Drivers are trained to treat intersections with malfunctioning traffic signals to treat those intersections as four-way stops.

Additional signage, indicating “cross traffic does not stop,” will be installed on 28th Street this week, Fell said.

The signal, though currently covered and not in operation, most likely won’t be taken down for at least 60 days, Fell said. During that time, city engineers will be monitoring the intersection for vehicle speed, pedestrian activity and general overall safety.