The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis targeting illegal Walgreens entries


October 27, 2019

CLOVIS — Ask an average Clovis resident for the center of the city, and most fingers would point at the intersection of Prince and 21st streets.

That means a lot of automotive traffic, with most motorists making legal turns and maneuvers throughout the day.

The city of Clovis is at targeting the not-so-legal actions, primarily around the intersection’s heavily-visited Walgreens drug store.

There are currently three legal ways to access the store, according to city officials present at Wednesday’s public works meeting: a right turn while heading south on Prince, a right turn while heading West on 21st or via the back entrance along Ross Street.

The city wants to target the three illegal ways to do it, via left turns at Prince or 21st streets or a straight shot across all four lanes of 21st from the “right turn only” 2000 block of Ross. Left turns out of the store are also a concern.

Clovis Police Capt. Roman Romero told committee members the area is a source for many accidents and close calls.

“I couldn’t tell you without looking it up,” Romero said, “but it is one of our problem areas.”

Initial ideas centered around some form of barriers along those portions of 21st and Prince.

“I think it’s a mess,” said Commissioner Gary Elliott, whose business lies a few blocks away from the 21st-Prince intersection. “I think on 21st between Prince and Ross, we need something. Candlesticks, I think they’re called. That’s something we need to try.”

City Manager Justin Howalt estimated costs of $15 per foot for a concrete barrier and between $77 and $92 per foot for the plastic “candlestick” barriers similar to those on the 2000 block of Prince. Concrete is cheaper, but Romero said people will just run over concrete to turn left.

Commissioner Chris Bryant, following discussion that similar barriers on the block of 21st Street east of Prince pushed traffic into Oakhurst Drive, felt leaving things alone might be the best of the bad options.

“We may drive people into residential areas more with these,” Bryant said.

No representatives from Walgreens attended the meeting, and Howalt said there would be discussion with the store on any plans with hopes it would be a willing participant in road changes. Romero added he would provide members with crash data in the area.

In other business at the Wednesday meeting:

• Howalt presented a sideshow of the recent rain event in the city and some of the biggest problem areas.

At Kearney and Woodlark sand bags were delivered to residents. No damage was done to the properties, but Howalt said the area “needs to be something we think about.”

He also noted some trouble spots on Marlene Boulevard, the College Park subdivision off of Humphrey Road and the intersection of Wilhite and Thornton. A photo of the latter included a halfway-submerged truck with Howalt noting, “This is why we advise not to go around the barricades.”

Public Works Director Clint Bunch said the results were far from perfect, but drainage did well considering the city received 6.5 inches of rain in 24 hours and the drainage is far better than it was 10 to 20 years prior.

• A pair of citizens asked for updates, following their visit to the September meeting about speeding near Zia Elementary. Howalt said the city would look at moving school zone flashers from the former Parkview Elementary to Zia, and suggested stepping up police presence in the area.

• The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22. The committee meets most months on the fourth Wednesday, and holiday conflicts were feared.


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