Council looks to reduce accidents

Trying to boost safety after taking down stop signs, lights

WARREN — Several council members are encouraging the city to do more to inform residents about where intersections that were four-way are now becoming two-way stop signs.

Council members Ronald White, D-7th Ward, and Ken MacPherson, D-5th Ward, each have said they received significantly more phone calls and texts from citizens saying the removal of some stop signs has made driving in some neighborhoods more dangerous.

“There were a couple accidents last week in which drivers said they were not aware of the removal of stop signs,” White said. “Most accidents are caused by human error. We have to pay more attention when moving around the city.”

White noted many longtime residents are not paying close attention as they drive through some neighborhoods, because they’ve driven the same streets for 20, 30 or more years.

MacPherson said there should be more effort to notify drivers of the change from four-way stops to two-way stops.

“During the hearings about the removal of stop signs, we were told there would be publicized efforts telling residents about the sign change,” MacPherson said. “That, for the most part, has not happened.”

Safety Service Director Eddie Colbert said he has talked to both the city’s operations and engineering departments about putting placards on the streets where stop sign reductions are taking place, warning drivers of the changes.

“I don’t know what the cost will be to add these additional placards,” Colbert said.

Council had several meetings in September and October discussing the possible removal of 59 stop signs and 19 traffic lights that were recommended in a study by Burgess and Niple released during the summer. The city commissioned the study as part of a $1.6 million federal grant it received from the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to determine if the city needed to maintain the number of electronic traffic signals it has due to fewer cars using city streets as its population declines.

The city decided also to look at the stop signs.

Council approved the city moving forward with the recommendations during its last meeting in October.


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