Kirksville Council opposes plan to remove Jefferson Street turn lane

MoDOT recently said it has plans to eliminate a turn lane at the intersection of Jefferson and Baltimore streets. (KTVO File)

Kirksville City Council members are opposing a plan put forth by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

That stance was announced during a regular session meeting Monday night.

MoDOT recently said it planned to eliminate a turning lane at the intersection of Jefferson and Baltimore streets.

The turning lane on the west side of the intersection would be removed in order to give eastbound drivers on Jefferson more room to turn south onto Baltimore.

MoDOT Area Engineer Amy Crawford previously told KTVO the southwest corner of the intersection suffers frequent damage due to vehicles constantly hitting the curb when turning.

Crawford has discussed the change with both the Airport and Transportation Commission (ATC) and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

ATC members voted to support the removal of the eastbound turning lane (in order to widen the road) with the stipulation that it could be changed back if issues arise.

Planning and Zoning members heard the same presentation.

That commission voted against the plan.

At a recent planning meeting, Crawford had the chance to speak with city council members.

The council has since expressed concern over the negative impact this change would have on motorists using Jefferson Street.

MoDOT then said the cost to continue making necessary improvements to the curb were no longer feasible.

Monday night, council members voted unanimously to oppose the plan from MoDOT.

Despite the hesitation from the city, MoDOT owns the right-of-way on the street as well as the traffic signals.

As a result, the Missouri Department of Transportation does not need permission from the city to remove or change turning lanes.

However, MoDOT personnel say they will review the feedback from the different city commissions to make a final decision on the road changes.

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