Waiting On Traffic Signals

Drivers leaving a southwest Omaha neighborhood are worried about creeping out into traffic.

Retaining walls on both side of 99th Street prevent drivers from stopping at stop signs when approaching Harrison Street. Pat Hood said, “I would describe it as dangerous trying to get across four lanes of traffic.”

Pat and his neighbors had been excited to see electrical work for traffic signals at the intersection. But it may be years before traffic lights get the green light.

Though the sanitary improvement district on the south side of Harrison installed the electrical hook ups in anticipation of traffic signals,

Omaha’s city engineer, Todd Pfitzer, said traffic counts don’t warrant them yet. “If signals are not warranted and you put them in and there’s an accident then it’s an unwarranted signal and there’s a liability to the city.”

The signals on the border of Douglas and Sarpy counties would be the responsibility of the city of Omaha. City engineers have the final call on when the traffic lights are installed.

A major apartment complex is planned for the southeast corner of the intersection. That’s in LaVista’s jurisdiction and engineers there say traffic would increase as the apartments are occupied. But nobody can predict how long that might take.

Neighbor Ron Pigg said, “Why wait until there's an accident or fatality here.”

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