Radar speed sign

Radar-controlled signs like this one that tell drivers their speed have proven effective in lowering the number of speeders. The Town of Parker is purchasing two permanent signs to place on Agency Road. This mobile sign is owned by the Parker Police Department.

The Town of Parker is taking a new approach to cut down speeding on Agency Road. At their June 5 meeting, the Town Council approved the purchase to two solar-powered stationary radar feedback signs to be posted on Agency Road. The signs will be made by AM Signal Inc. at a cost of $9,140.

Interim Public Works Director Steve Ziegler told the council there is a serious problem with speeding on Agency Road. There are seven intersections with pedestrian crossings between California Avenue and the town limits. Two of these, at Mohave and Navajo Avenues, have stop signs on Agency. He said there are many school-age children who cross the road every day.

Police Chief Clay Romo said the worst times for speeders are in the mornings from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., lunchtime at noon, and in the evenings from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ziegler said the town had installed signs stating the speed limit is 25 mph, raised pavement markers, and “crosswalk ahead” signs, but there are still speeders on the road.

“In addition, drivers these days are becoming more distracted with increased cell phone use while driving,” Ziegler said in a memo to the council.

Ziegler said the Parker Police Department has placed their mobile radar sign on Agency Road, and that has helped reduce the speed of traffic.

The signs can be programmed to flash different patterns and colors, based on the speed detected, Ziegler said. He recommended one be placed eastbound at Palo Verde Avenue, and the other be placed westbound at Kofa Avenue.

Agency Road sees a lot of children as pedestrians because a number of facilities that cater to them are located on or near the road. These include the Parker Public Library, the Gingerbread House and Mish Mash Studio, Pop Harvey Park, and Players Ninth Street Youth Center. There are also two schools a few blocks away:  Wallace Elementary School and Blake Primary School.

The Pioneer got some reactions from local agencies that deal with children, some of whom have to cross Agency Road. Council Member Randy Hartless is also Executive Director of the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment, which operates the Players Ninth Street Youth Center in Pop Harvey Park. He voted in favor of purchasing the radar signs.

“I think it’s awesome,” Hartless said. “It’s a good safety measure.”

Assistant Parker School Superintendent Brad Sale said the district will bus students from one side of town to their school so they will not have to cross Agency Road. As an example, a student who attends Blake Primary School and lives in one of the Tribal subdivisions on 16th Street will be bussed to school.

Sale said he supported the idea of the radar signs.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “People need to slow it down, especially in the crosswalks.”

Buni Hooper is the owner of the Gingerbread House and Mish Mash Studio, which are located at the corner of Agency Road and Mohave Avenue. She said she was glad to hear the town is taking action to cut down on speeders on Agency Road.

“We fear for our lives every day as we help children cross the street,” she said in a prepared statement. “Very few cars come to a full stop, and cars (mostly with California plates) even blow through the four-way stop at Navajo and Agency and straight on through at Mohave.”

Hooper thanked the Parker and Colorado River Indian Tribes’ Police Departments for their assistance at the intersection.

“Mostly, we pray a lot as the kids cross,” she said.

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