City asks for $1,500: SG could help fund traffic light near campus

UK Student Government may help the city of Lexington financially with a public works project.

The proposal, which was brought to SG by Third District Councilwoman Diane Lawless, asked SG for $1,500 to help put in a flashing light at the intersection of Pine and Upper streets, said Micah Fielden, SG senate president.

The proposal came in front of the senate during Wednesday’s meeting. It was passed 21-7, Fielden said.

Lawless approached Lisa Higgins-Hord of UK Community Engagement with the proposal, Fielden said. Higgins-Hord then forwarded him the proposal, which he sent to the senate for consideration.

Freshman Sen. Tommy Crush decided to make the proposal his special senate project, said Jonathon Nunley, senator-at-large.

For a special senate project, Nunley said each senator can ask SG for up to $3,500 in funding that can go to any organization.

Lawless said the project will cost about $4,500. She said she had raised about two-thirds of the money needed, and she approached SG to help cover the remaining costs.

Fielden said the proposal was passed as far as the senate was concerned, but it must be signed by SG President Ryan Smith.

If Smith passes the proposal, SG will give the money for the project, Fielden said. If Smith vetoes the proposal, it will go back to the senate, where it would need a three-fourths override, Fielden said.

Lawless said the intersection was a high-traffic area.

Seventeen crashes and four injuries have occurred at the intersection in the past three years, according to a report by Lexington’s Division of Traffic Engineering.

The report said that South Upper Street sees an average daily travel of approximately 11,000 vehicles, and Pine Street sees an average daily travel of approximately 2,000 vehicles.

Traffic Engineering found a flashing traffic light would be best suited to the area, Lawless said.

She said the thoroughfare is one everyone uses and said she hopes the project would help the partnership with UK and the city.

“We’re a community,” Lawless said, “and we’re all in this together.”

Nunley said he voted yes for the proposal because of the safety issue for students at the intersection.

“That area is a very, highly dense area with students,” Nunley said.

He said he also saw the passing of the proposal as an “olive branch” to say thank you to Lawless and the city for their support of other SG programs like Cats Cruiser.

Parker Whitehouse, senator-at-large, voted against the proposal.

He said he did not like the precedent the proposal would set if SG uses student fees to help the city.

Whitehouse said it is the senate’s responsibility to efficiently use student fees.

“As a whole, we back students,” Whitehouse said.

Kelsie Willett, senator for the College of Business, said the proposal was “not really appropriate for student fees.”

“That’s what taxes are for,” Willett said.