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With festival in gear, BCPD monitoring traffic flow

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brazil City Police Chief Dave Archer directed Bridge Festival traffic at the intersection of State Road 59 and Hendrix Street Tuesday evening. Ivy Jackson Photo.
Along with fall temperatures and warm colored leaves of October are also long lines of motorists trekking their way to and from the 51st Annual Parke County Bridge Festival.

"There's a dramatic influx of traffic along State Road 59 and in Brazil during the festival," Brazil City Police Chief Dave Archer told The Brazil Times. "I've been out there and I think there is even more traffic this year. Although it's good to see, with the economy the way it is, that people still want to get out, it does create some problems."

Archer said that is why he discussed the police department taking a more proactive stance about traffic congestion with Mayor Ann Bradshaw. He said she agreed it would be a good idea to move traffic swiftly through Brazil by placing police officers at key intersections during peak travel times.

"We want people who come to our city to have a good impression, but we also want to make it easier for our local citizens dealing with the traffic," he said. "So far, the response has been very appreciative. When people see the officers trying to help, I think they are more patient. There have been no accidents reported and we've had a very positive response by locals and visitors alike."

Officers are located daily at the intersections of SR 59 and United States 40, SR 59 and Hendrix St., SR 59 and Jackson St. and SR 59 and Pinckley St.

"We have officers directing traffic at those intersections between 7 a.m.-noon. They break for meals and then return around 4 o'clock and stay there until around 8 p.m.," Archer said. "Our reserves help out on the weekends and as much as they can. Most of them have full time jobs during the week."

Archer said most of the department officers have given up their days off to be out during the festival.

"They do traffic control and then continue with their normal shift work and the daily activities of the department," Archer said. "They're working 14-hour days, still out there patrolling and such, and they are very dedicated to the safety of our community, and our yearly visitors."

The department has also utilized "No Parking" signs in high-traffic areas where motorists stop to shop.

"People pull over onto the sidewalks to park so they can shop. When they park on both sides of the streets it creates narrow lanes that are not safe for motorists of pedestrians," Archer said. "The signs have helped. But, if people disregard the signs and block roadways, we will tow the vehicles away. We want to make this a safe time for everyone."

Archer said the department is happy with the recent results, however, with more shops and stands popping up in Clay County law enforcement have to keep an eye on the future.

"Local residents know alternate routes to get around the high-traffic areas, but the traffic is increasing," Archer said. "We will have to look at everything we did and keep what works best and see what else we can do to help make things better for everyone."

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Now if we could just get the same type of service when I70 shuts down!

Good job guys!

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 7:42 AM

Chief Archer & BPD should be commended for their efforts ~ great job on the traffic flow with very little wait time ~

I-70 is another story ~ it is much more difficult to station officers (& extra officers) at the necessary posts ~ many more thorough fares come into play when I-70 causes an influx of traffic in Brazil ~ even changing the lights to flashing on US 40 is a major job ~ the traffic control in these incidents shouldn't be left just to BPD ~ & sometimes CCSD & ISP are responding to the accident on I-70 so BPD gets left with their hands tied to the situation ~ BPD would have to call in more officers & that means overtime pay ~ it is more likely that as in previous incidents the local citizens will just have to adapt ~ & I'll just bet that Chief Archer has been thinking about the I-70 accidents traffic control ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 8:12 AM

This is the great... Thanks to all concerned.

I even E-Mailed the Mayor to state my pleasure with the way everyone responded this year.

Keep up the good work. Nice to see our leaders planning ahead.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 10:16 AM


-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 2:28 PM

I was so happy to hear about this when I spoke to my step-dad yesterday. I'm from Brazil, but now live in San Diego for the military. I still like to keep up with things back home so it's nice to know what the police department is doing with the traffic. I commend Chief Archer and the other officers for making the drive a little easier this year for the festival. Great job to everyone.

-- Posted by beckygonzo on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 2:32 PM

bandmom_63 ~ with all caps I assume you are really honked ~ did your client have to pee or something? ~ I never waited even five minutes in traffic ~ BPD is doing an awesome job ~ you give the impression to others that the officers are 'beneath' you ~ why don't you do their job for even one hour ~ post when that will be & we'll all come up to watch what an outstanding job you do ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 7:02 PM

While directing traffic I would have to say the average wait time was probably 5 minutes (from Walnut to 59) and then another 5 minutes at 59 and Hendrix...I think a total of 10 minutes is very reasonable considering the volume of traffic we saw. Please be patient while waiting for your turn to go, we are doing the best we can.

-- Posted by out_and_about on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 7:19 PM

To bandmom_63:

I was directing traffic as well as many of my brothers for 14 hours everyday of the festival. I haven't received any pay for doing so, nor any overtime. Many of my fellow brothers also came in on their days off and will receive no additional pay. My wish is people would look into things before leaving such a BOLD comment.

Why do we do it? Because of our dedication to the community of Brazil.

Thank you everyone else for your encouraging comments. We are here for you and for your protection! Some people understand and get it!

-- Posted by MensRea2008 on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 8:11 PM

To bandmom_63:

In my opinion, your client is a liar! I live on Hendrix & I know for a fact that traffic HAS NOT been backed up like that. Our law enforcement officers are doing a great job. If you think you can do any better, then go for it. I'll be standing there with karebabe to watch!!

-- Posted by th1953 on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 8:43 PM

An hour??? Can your client tell time? I live right off 59 and have had no trouble this year. UNOIT... tell me when and where and I will pop the corn ;)

-- Posted by sassypants on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 1:27 PM

Sassy ~

You'll probably need lots of popcorn ~ I think we'll have quite the crowd to watch BandMom if she chooses to show the rest of us how directing traffic should be done ~ she sounds like just an angry person ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 1:55 PM

sorry I caused such an uproar. :(

-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 1:58 PM

I have been moaning and complaining to our City Officials, the Brazil Times Editor etc. about the traffic problems the last few years. Every year it seemed to get worse. Friends that visit for the Covered Bridge Festival were always making remarks about our lack of concern for the local residents and visitors alike.

NOT THIS YEAR... The city has gone over and above in dealing with this problem. I travel the Hendrix/SR59 intersection several times per day and have not had a problem at all this year.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 2:32 PM

bpd did a great job this year on traffic control

-- Posted by 2dogbob on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 3:28 PM

Thank you....We are tired and in need of some R&R, but still getting it done...Rough week to say the least...Thanks to the locals who have been patient while waiting.

-- Posted by out_and_about on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 7:46 PM

I think they are doing an awesome job!!.. it is just some of those people who park in the middle of the highway and then walk across assuming that all cars are going to stop for them that really bugs me

-- Posted by blue357 on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 8:51 PM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 1:42 PM

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