Traffic flow surrounding the intersection of John and Roop streets will be extremely restricted, Carson City Transportation Commission members decided Wednesday.
Commissioners voted unanimously to prohibit left turns from John to Roop, as well as left turns from Roop to John.
Transportation manager John Flansberg said there were 22 accidents at the intersection in the last three years. Six involved vehicles attempting to make a left turn off John Street that collided with southbound traffic.
"It's going to be difficult," Flansberg said. "There are 14,000 to 19,000 cars on that road each day. It will cause people to go elsewhere for a while, but in the end it will be a much safer roadway."
These changes are part of the city's larger plan to widen Roop Street to five lanes from Washington Street to Beverly Drive and four lanes from Beverly Drive to Winnie Lane near the cemetery.
Construction for the $3.6 million project is slated to begin in October and should be completed by summer 2004.
Also discussed Wednesday was the intersection at Washington and Roop streets, but commissioners decided to delay action on the crossing until Roop Street is widened to four lanes.
"There is no reason to change it other than to somehow dissuade people from going across four lanes of traffic," said Chairman Richard Staub. "Maybe when it becomes four lanes it will be a problem, but the accident statistics don't verify its closure."
Staub said Washington's closure could cause traffic jams in other areas.
"If we closed the roadway, people would have to stay on 50 and then turn left on Stewart or Carson, and I don't know if either one of these could handle the traffic," he said. "We would be closing down the only major thoroughfare in that area other than Winnie Lane."
In mid-March, the commission voted unanimously to include a left-turn lane off Roop northbound for the future extension of Stewart Street. Stewart is planned to meet up with Roop at Moody Street. Concrete islands will be installed where Winnie meets Roop. Workers will also install temporary traffic lights at the Winnie Lane intersection before the possible installation of a permanent light.
Ken Dorr with Capital Engineering said there will be many benefits to widening Roop Street.
"We will add a curb, gutter and sidewalk," Dorr said. "Right now, the west side of Washington to Robinson is just dirt, but we will clean the mess up while we are there. This is an additive to the project."