Delaware City Council recently approved putting a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Cobblestone Drive and Carson Farms Boulevard/Hayfield Drive.
Council waived policy passed in 2003 in which 75 percent of property owners that front those streets support the stop sign. The city’s Parking and Safety Committee made the recommendation at its May meeting.
“The committee heard from residents in the Cobblestone Drive area about their frustration with excessive speed on Cobblestone Drive,” the council report said of that meeting.
“It’s a very long road, with very little to break up traffic,” said committee chair and City Council member Kent Shafer. “We’ve looked at the street and heard from enough neighbors to know it’s a problem. One of the things the residents asked, and we agreed, is to place a stop sign somewhere along that street while we’re waiting for other long-term recommendations.”
Other ways to slow down traffic include speed bumps, curb cuts, lighted speeding signs and increased patrolling. Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski said that over a recent two-week period, 35-40 motorists were either warned or ticketed for speeding along Cobblestone.
At a council meeting on June 8, the matter of what the legislation termed as an “unwarranted” stop sign was discussed.
“Stop signs are there to improve a right-of-way condition,” said William Ferrigno, director of engineering services. “We’ve put stop signs in areas for speed control, and it has not worked. They don’t slow traffic down, except at the intersection. They’re not an effective tool.”
Ferrigno further said there needs to be an “overwhelming public need” to install the stop sign, instead of “three primary residents (making) complaints.”
Council membr Lisa Keller said there had been two unsuccessful previous attempts to get the 75 percent support, but the people living in the area are not necessarily the property owners.
“Get 75 percent to sign (a petition), and we’ll put the sign in,” said council member George Hellinger. “If we make an exception now, we’re going to have to make an exception six months from now.”
“I don’t care if the support is there or not,” Shafer said. “I think you need to do something immediately to try and address the problem. We have an obligation to improve safety.”
“A simple stop sign could save one child’s life,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle.
Council member Joe DiGenova said he was concerned that a majority of residents in the area would receive tickets for speeding or running stop signs.
“I can’t get my head around the fact that we’re arguing over a stop sign people want to have,” said council member Chris Jones.
Keller made a motion to waive the 75 percent policy for Cobblestone, which was seconded by Jones. The vote was 5-2 in favor of the motion. Keller, Jones, Shafer, Riggle and Andrew Brush voted yes; while DiGenova and Hellinger voted no.