It may be nearly time for Christmas lights to be seen on the streets, but two street lights have been replaced by stop signs, and according to the City of McAlester’s street superintendent, the change is a permanent one.

Tim Adams spoke of changes that have been made to where stop lights have been in place for decades along Washington Avenue, at the intersections with 2nd and 3rd Streets.

Adam discussed a number of factors in the decision, and the preparation to get motorists that drive through the area used to the idea of stop and go traffic at the stop signs.

One factor was the age of the signal lights that had been in place. Adams’ remarks reflected that the signal lights were put in place back in the 1950’s.

Within the past few years, modernization work had been done on the lights at the intersection of Second Street and Washington Avenue.

It had been estimated that parts of the signal exchange then dated back to the 1940’s.

Cost was a factor, according to Adams.

Each modern stop light setup at an intersection costs an estimated $100,000.

Also, Adams said there was a dip in Washington in the intersection with Second, and that there was a little concern of the possibility of a vehicle driving through the intersection getting damaged by a dip in the roadway there.

With this change, vehicles will be assured to have stopped before going through the intersection.

He said the situation with the lights was looked at, specifically he and City Engineer and Public Works Director John Modzelewski.

Also expressed by Adams was the thought that the change in the system from lights to signs could even improve the flow of traffic in the area.

John Yates is the news director for McAlester Radio.

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