An agreement between the city of Bowling Green and Western Kentucky University could mean changes, including lower traffic speeds, for a portion of State and Normal streets if approved at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
The agreement would transfer ownership and maintenance responsibilities for a portion of the streets between College Heights Boulevard and Regents Avenue from the city to WKU.
The agreement states that the portion of the streets will remain open for public use, Public Works Director Jeff Lashlee said.
“Our concern is that it remains open,” he said.
The agreement also states that any change to a one-way design on the road would require city approval.
Pedestrian traffic on Normal and State streets has increased significantly in past years, said Bryan Russell, director of planning, design and construction at WKU. The university has plans to increase safety for students.
Planned changes include new lighting, wider sidewalks and a reduced speed limit to 15 mph, he said.
If the agreement is approved, the first phase of the project should begin in the summer with new lighting, Russell said.
The public will be given advanced notice of speed limit changes, he said, and the decision on timing will include consultation with city public works.
“We never stop working with the city,” Russell said.
Though most of the property along the portion of the streets belongs to WKU or WKU-associated organizations, seven private property owners in the area have been notified of the proposed changes, according to the agreement.
The city would provide emergency services and loose leaf pickup to those in the area, but WKU would be responsible for maintenance of roadways and sidewalks, Lashlee said.
That means the city wouldn’t have to spend money on needed repairs, he said.
Also up for approval at Tuesday’s meeting is the acceptance of three bids totaling about $214,960 for an in-car camera system for the Bowling Green Police Department.
The department selected a system called Vision Hawk in 2008, but its manufacturer filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and has been liquidated, according to a memo from police Chief Doug Hawkins to City Manager Kevin DeFebbo. After the liquidation, the department found former employees of the company to provide maintenance and repair.
“The Vision Hawk system is effectively dying a slow death and will only stay viable as long as we can maintain our relationships with the independent vendors that are able to provide software/hardware maintenance and repair,” the memo states.
The intention is to re-outfit the police fleet with a new in-car camera system over the next several years, according to the memo.
The first reading of an ordinance extending a non-exclusive cable franchise agreement with Insight is also up for approval Tuesday.
The Bowling Green-Warren County Cable Franchise Authority entered an agreement with Insight in 1996 and has been extended since then. Under the ordinance, the agreement would be extended through 2014.