Public Works Director debates usage of stop signs for speed control
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Never use stop signs for speed control. That’s a mantra based on a federal standard from the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and one that Public Works Director Larry Coloni whole heartedly endorses.
“There is a standard out there for where these signs should be placed,” Coloni said, counter to a recent Village ordinance that placed a threeway stop system at the intersection of Elwood Street and Magnolia Drive on the Village’s east side.
Coloni said his department set up its portable radar unit at Elwood and Magnolia after a resident submitted a petition asking for the stop signs. He said it appears that 70 percent of the vehicles were speeding over a fourday period.
“The national standard of the MUTCD would not support a threeway stop sign for speeding control. The area should be patrolled, and tickets used instead,” Coloni said. One deputy told trustees at their May 21 meeting that “…the best tool we have [for speeding] is our presence.” He said he had issued four to five speeding citations to violators within a two-week period. Yet Coloni said residents want stop signs, and police are supportive of the signs.
Coloni said it has been nearly five years since the issue of threeway stop signs emerged. At that time, residents living in the Beaver Creek subdivision north of West Forsyth Parkway requested and received three-way stop signs posted at the corner of Cale Court and West Forsyth Parkway. By late 2007, trustees had approved the placement of six stop signs at five intersections on the Village’s far west side. At that time, it was suggested that potential developers include stop signs at designated intersections when designing future subdivision plats.
Coloni observed in a recent report to trustees that “,,,every other intersection that is requested by our Village residents” should get stop signs if the Elwood/Magnolia request was granted based on the previous Board endorsements for these signs.
Coloni said the Village’s portable radar unit continues to be useful as it has in the past, particularly when it was used to help determine a speed limit change along County Highway 20 when the new Maroa-Forsyth Grade School opened in 2009.
Additionally, residents may request that the unit be set up in a specific area as a reminder to motorists to pay attention to their travel speeds. Residents are invited to contact the Public Works Department with their requests. This past Memorial Day weekend, Coloni said, the unit was used in the Forsyth Park where violations are common.