New Albany officials said last week they expect new signage restricting traffic movements from Zarley Street onto U.S. Route 62 during specific hours to be in place within the next 30 days.

New Albany officials said last week they expect new signage restricting traffic movements from Zarley Street onto U.S. Route 62 during specific hours to be in place within the next 30 days.

The measure is in response to concerns from residents and businesses about the number of traffic accidents at that intersection.

A traffic engineer hired by the village reported at council's Feb. 16 meeting that in the past five years, 31 accidents have occurred at the intersection.

Eighteen of those accidents involved vehicles making a left turn from Zarley Street onto Route 62, including 13 accidents between 4 and 6 p.m.

"The potential for collisions can be reduced substantially by prohibiting left turns from Zarley during this time," traffic engineer Joe Ridgeway wrote in a report to the village.

However, Ridgeway said, it is equally dangerous for vehicles to travel through the intersection.

His recommendation is to limit vehicles on Zarley Street to right turns only between 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

"This may be considered an immediate measure to reduce the accident potential," Ridgeway wrote. "A more permanent, long-range countermeasure would involve a connection of Zarley Street to Forest Drive."

On Feb. 2, council members authorized village administrator Joe Stefanov to spend about $5,000 to appraise three lots owned by the Zarley family on the southeast portion of Zarley Street.

Stefanov has suggested the village would pay for realigning Forest Drive to connect it with Zarley Street.

The New Albany Co., which owns the land between the two streets, would donate some of its land and the Zarleys would allow the village to use a portion of their land.

By appraising the lots, Stefanov said, village officials would better understand the current value of the property and the change in value if the two roads were connected.

Village public service director Mark Nemec said businesses near the intersection of Zarley Street and Route 62 will soon receive a letter outlining the changes.

In other council news, members officially approved a 6-percent bed tax, which would go into effect when a hotel is built in the village. Currently, no plans have been announced for a hotel.

The vote was 6-0, with Chris Wolfe absent.