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Mirrors aid drivers at intersections

A mirror positioned on a pole near Bank of the West reflects traffic and pedastrians to help drivers coming out of the alley onto Second Street. A mirror positioned on a pole near Bank of the West reflects traffic and pedastrians to help drivers coming out of the alley onto Second Street. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Besides looking left and right at a busy intersection, drivers in Powell can look up.

At four busy intersections, the city installed mirrors on existing street poles to reflect oncoming traffic and pedestrians to improve drivers’ ability to see them.

 

 

City officials decided to install the mirrors after a close call involving a UPS truck and a young bicyclist a few months ago, said Gary Butts, city public services manager.

The bicyclist rode into the path of the truck at a blind intersection south of City Hall, Butts said.

Mirrors seemed like a good solution to help increase drivers’ visibility at that and other hazardous intersections, he said.

“It’s good for drivers, to help them avoid oncoming traffic, and good for pedestrians, to help keep them safe,” Butts said.

Four mirrors were installed in the downtown area, including one at Absaroka and First Street; another at Absaroka and Second Street; one north of the alley by Powell Drug and the Studio building onto Second Street; and another south of the alley onto Second Street when exiting City Hall.

“It all started from the one, and then we decided we could use a few more around town,” he said.

Those intersections may “still be problematic,” Butts said, but the mirrors should help.

“It isn’t a sure thing, but at least it’s another tool drivers can use,” he said.

The four mirrors cost a total of $1,007, with the money coming out of the city’s streets budget, he said.

The mirrors were installed before Thanksgiving, and Butts said he hasn’t heard much feedback from local residents about whether they’re using the new mirrors.

“I haven’t heard a lot — but I’ve heard that UPS driver likes them,” Butts said.

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