Clark community trying to fight MoDOT J-turns

CLARK, Mo. - A mid-Missouri community is preparing to square off against Mo-DOT.

MoDot says Highway 63 north, at Clark, is dangerous and say J-turns will add to safety
by reducing the number of "T-bone" accidents.

But the people who live there say it'll hurt business and they are against the idea of J-turns at the only intersection into the town off Highway 63.

MoDot officials met with the Clark City Council last month to explain why they think J-turns will improve the safety of the intersection.

Residents are worried it will hurt local business and are trying to fight back.

"I think J-turns are a mistake," said concerned citizen John Carpenter.

Carpenter says the turns are impractical and to try to get MoDot to see the same, he's passing around a petition to Clark residents.

"I've explained the J-turns to 68 people. I have 65 signatures that are not in favor the the J-turn and only three people declined," Carpenter said.

The town met tonight to talk more about how to fight MoDot's suggestion.

"I'm looking for input from anybody out there in the crowd," said Clark Mayor Jaime Doughtery, "who is against it, for it or has questions about it."

Carpenter isn't alone believing a petition could open MoDot's eyes.

A second petition sits in the local MFA business office. This one is four pages long with signatures of those opposing the turns.

It's apparent in the town of nearly 300, a majority say J-turns aren't the answer they want.

"I've talked with other people getting signatures and they are getting the same result an overwhelming majority do not want ... J-turns," said Carpenter.

At tonight's open discussion, the Randolph County commissioner passed around screen shots of another J-turn similar to the one built near Clark.

Concerned citizens were still hesitant.

Carpenter believes if they were a larger community, this wouldn't be such a fight. "The metropolitan areas can get all their highway needs met, why are the rural areas being neglected?" Carpenter said.

Petitions have been passed around Clark for the past week.

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