The two bump-outs, located on the block between Fourth and Fifth Streets, were placed not to long ago as part of Main Street Russellville’s streetscape project.
Although they offer beauty to the downtown area, they stick out into the street two to three feet and it is the council’s fear that the one located beside Fifth Street is “an accident waiting to happen.”
The bump-outs, which hold flowers, were discussed Tuesday evening at the city council meeting, brought up at first because the city needed to decide what they are going to do about a nine inch space between the curb and the bump-out. The council is afraid someone may get their foot caught in the space and trip. Galvanized grates were decided upon costing $1,200 to place in both bump-outs.
“I’ll just cut to the chase, we need to decide what we are going to do about these bump-outs. We’ve kicked this around a couple of times, but sooner or later we need to make the call,” said mayor Mark Stratton.
Councilman Jimmy Davenport said he would hate to spend $1,200 to fix the bump-outs, if later on the city decided to take them out. Mayor Stratton agreed saying that is why a decision on the bump-outs needed to be made now.
“You know if you go to Bowling Green they have them around their square,” said Councilman Jack Whipple.
Councilwoman Darlene Gooch, who also serves as director for Main Street Russellville, said if you go to other cities that have done the streetscapes they all do the bump-outs because that is what they tell you to do. “Their telling you to put the bump-outs there for safety,” said Gooch.
“I don’t care if you’re driving an 18 wheeler or a bicycle you’ve got to get way out in the middle of the road to get back up through there and that’s a problem,” said mayor Stratton referring to coming off of East Fifth Street and turning right onto Main Street. It’s just not feasible to try to get in and out of there.”
Drainage is another issue the city is concerned about. “When we get a big rain we are going to have the biggest water problem you've ever seen in your life right there,” said Stratton.
It was mentioned by Councilman Davenport if the city had the authority to remove the bump-outs because of the grant stipulations. Mayor Stratton felt the city could do what it wanted as long as phase one was complete. Councilwoman Gooch wondered that as well.
City attorney Neil Kerr said it would be best for the council to take action on the bump-outs first and then they can inquire if it can be done. The council voted to remove the bump-out on Fifth and Main Streets if allowed. Councilwoman Gooch abstained from the vote due to her position on Main Street Russellville.