Don’t block the driveway

Meghan Flynn
Motorists make their way along Mary Street in front of the Labrador Fire Station on Tuesday night. The city commission is planning on adding signs and pavement markings in front of the station to help prevent the exists from being blocked by traffic stopped at the Mary and Fleming streets traffic lights.

The installation of signs and pavement markings on Mary Street by the Labrador Fire Station was approved by the Garden City Commission at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The signs and markings are meant to prevent blocking of the fire station’s entry/exit onto Mary Street.

Garden City Public Utilities director Mike Muirhead said blockage of the driveway happens when eastbound and westbound traffic backs up because of the traffic signal at the intersection of Mary Street and Fleming Street taking longer than average.

Garden City Fire Department chief Bill Beatty said the entry/exit can’t be blocked because they can’t always use the back entrance.

“We have a spare apparatus there, our main pump apparatus, we also have a brush truck and our water tankers kept there,” he said. “The brush truck and the water tanker run out of the back side and their only way out is on the side street there and the other truck runs out the front. It's size making the turn. If we were to flip-flop them we'd still have somebody running out the front.”

Garden City Police Chief Mike Utz said there will be a large information campaign to educate the public about the markings and signs and what they mean as it’s a change to the traffic ordinance and could result in a ticket.

“The process would be ... an education program and then any traffic stops would be warnings for a couple months to try to get the message across, and then enforcement,” he said.