Council makes stop signs permanent at First and Jackson

Drivers brake at First and Jackson

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The effort of two Seward girls to make their neighborhood safer became complete last week.

In May, 11-year-olds Lily Perkins and Kalli Brauneis wrote a letter to Seward mayor Josh Eickmeier expressing concern about the traffic at the uncontrolled intersection at First Street and Jackson Avenue, where they frequently play. The letter detailed instances where children in the neighborhood nearly got struck by vehicles traveling through the uncontrolled intersection.

The City of Seward responded by placing temporary stop signs at the intersection and conducted a traffic study to see how vehicles responded to signage.

At the Seward City Council's July 6 meeting, the council unanimously voted to make those stop signs permanent and also approved the installation of permanent stop signs at the corner of Second Street and Jackson Avenue.

“After putting in those stop signs, we think it helps that intersection, the traffic flow, the sight distances,” City Administrator Greg Butcher said. “The traffic team did recommend putting in permanent stop signs.”

The addition of the stop signs at Second Street and Jackson Avenue means all intersections on Jackson now have “stop conditions,” which provide a more consistent traffic flow along the street.

Additionally, the council accepted Ward Two Councilman Chris Schmit's letter of resignation, effective immediately following the meeting. In his letter, Schmit cited a move out of the city as his reason for resigning. He had been on the council for more than eight years.

For his service, the council and Eickmeier presented Schmit with a plaque.

Because Schmit was also the council president, the council elected a new president in Councilman Karl Miller.

Butcher said the notice of vacancy and accepting of applications for a replacement in Schmit's seat will be posted throughout the city and advertised in local media. Potential candidates must live in Ward Two. Butcher said the appointment may be made as early as the July 20 meeting and must be made within four weeks of Schmit's resignation.

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