• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Traffic causes concern for Midway’s mayor

AN INTERSECTION along Leestown Road at Georgetown Road (Ky. 341) has become busier with commuter traffic traveling between Lexington and Frankfort, according to Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift. He plans to meet with representatives of the state transportation department to discuss his concerns about the increase in traffic. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift acknowledged during a recent interview that he does have concerns about increased traffic along Leestown Road and the I-64 interchange, north of downtown Midway. “I am concerned about traffic in that area,” said Vandegrift Thursday morning, May 25. “I think we’re going to have to do something about it along with working with the state because those are state roads.” Vandegrift said he plans on meeting with representatives of the state transportation department to discuss the increase in traffic on Leestown Road and the I-64 interchange. At that meeting, Midway’s mayor said he wants to make the state aware of “a huge increase” in commuter traffic on Leestown Road (U.S. 421) between Lexington and Frankfort. “They’re going to have to do some kind of traffic study and look at what’s going on there,” Vandegrift said. “Because there’s no doubt in my mind that over the last couple of years there’s a significant change in traffic patterns – not just the interstate, but on Leestown Road. “There are times of the day when I’m just amazed at the amount of cars going between Lexington and Frankfort … using 421.” Three businesses – Shell, McDonald’s and Subway – at Midway’s I-64 interchange also draw traffic onto Leestown Road. A traffic signal regulates traffic flow on Leestown Road at Midway’s I-64 interchange. Widening Leestown Road may eventually offer another avenue to help address the issue of increased traffic on that state-maintained road, Vandegrift said. Vandegrift said he also wants to “broach the topic again of trying to lower the speed limit through town on Winter Street.” He has been unsuccessful in past attempts to lower the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph on that stretch of U.S. 62 (also known as Midway Road). He will rely on data showing high traffic counts on Winter Street – 10,500 vehicles coming into downtown Midway during one week in April – to support his argument for a lower speed limit on that stretch of state roadway. “It’s a residential neighborhood. And I can’t think of many residential neighborhoods where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour,” said Vandegrift. “And I think the state needs to think about (this stretch of U.S. 62 coming into Midway) that way.” He described the Winter Street area of Midway as “a bustling neighborhood” where children play, where people walk to church and school. Because most (if not all) of the truck traffic leaving the Midway Station industrial park will exit onto the I-64 onramp, Vandegrift said he does not have concerns about a lot of those trucks using Leestown Road or Midway Road. He did acknowledge that Georgetown Road (Ky. 341) will eventually need to be widened to accommodate increased traffic from the Midway Station industrial park. “There are going to be a lot of semi-trucks leaving Lakeshore (Learning Materials). I don’t want anyone to be surprised by that,” said Vandegrift. “There may be as many as 150 to 200 trucks leaving Lakeshore every day.” The vast majority of those trucks will exit onto I-64, but he said, “That whole stretch of the interstate to Midway Station – there’s going to be a lot of truck traffic there. And I just want the state to be aware (of the situation so they can) … get ahead of this thing instead of waiting until multiple accidents happen…” While increased traffic does create issues that must be addressed, Vandegrift said having more visitors come to Midway has been positive for downtown businesses and the local economy, which will also get a boost from additional tax dollars generated by Lakeshore Learning Materials and other new industry coming to Midway Station, located north of downtown Midway at the I-64 interchange.

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