The Village of Union Grove is considering requests from residents to place stop signs at three different intersections. Officials are seeking more information on the requests before making a decision.

Officials want more information before making a decision

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Resident-driven requests for stop sign installation at three specific areas of Union Grove prompted a widespread discussion of when and where the red-colored, octagon-shaped markers should be placed within the community.

To help bring clarity to some questions, members of the village’s Water, Wastewater, Storm Water and Streets Committee on Dec. 15 authorized the study of signs at two specific spots within the village — one at 10th Avenue and High Street, the other at York Street and Industrial Drive.

The proposed spots were among a list of three requested areas for stop sign installs — the other one off the radar being at 10th Avenue and Park Circle.

At the committee meeting, there were different schools of thought on the validity of the signs.

Public Works Director Richard Piette said he saw validity in the signs, based on his review and discussions with nearby residents.

But Village Engineer Gary Vogel said he had reservations about the signs because they could lead to unintended consequences.

In engineering circles, Vogel said, the use of stop signs solely as a traffic control method are not recommended because motorists recognize why they are in place and, over time, do not follow the directive.

“If people are nonchalantly going through them, they’re obviously not looking for pedestrians,” Vogel said.

Engineers commonly refer to a nationwide traffic control manual that sets uniform standards around traffic signs — the goal being commonality from one community and state to the next across all areas of the U.S. Vogel said the manual has guidance on when and where stop signs should be installed.

“This is a discussion we’ve had multiple times in different municipalities,” said Vogel, who works for the village on a contractual basis.

The study, which will likely include daily traffic counts within a specified period of time, was commissioned by committee members in the hopes of bringing additional clarity to the issue under review.

In a big picture sense, Village Administrator Mike Hawes said it might be prudent for Union Grove to consider a uniform standard for when a stop sign install would be warranted within the community.

“We want there to be some kind of consistency and some kind of standard,” Hawes said. “We don’t want anyone who just wants a stop sign to get one.”

Trustee Jan Winget, who chairs the committee, concurred, saying, “You’d have them on ever corner,” if all requests were approved at face value.