(Posted May 8, 2014)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Staff Writer
Two-way stops might replace traffic signals at five intersections in London.
The city hired Choice One Engineering of Sidney, Ohio, to study traffic volumes at the intersections. Based on previous traffic counts and new counts done in March, the firm determined that the signals are not needed. The recommendation is to remove all five signals and adjust traffic control as follows:
• High Street and Dunn Avenue/School Street—install stop signs on Dunn/School and allow traffic on High to flow freely;
• Center and Oak streets—install stop signs on Oak and allow traffic on Center to flow freely;
• Center and Walnut streets—install stop signs on Walnut and allow traffic on Center to flow freely;
• First and Union streets—install stop signs on Union and allow traffic on First to flow freely;
• First and Walnut streets—install stop signs on First and allow traffic on Walnut to flow freely.
“With the changes, we would see immediate savings in terms of energy conservation… and we would have better traffic flow in the city of London,” said Stephen Hume, London’s safety-service director.
The proposal was presented to city council on May 1. Councilman Dick Minner asked if the city could later switch to four-way stops if the two-way stops don’t pan out. Hume said he would look into the possibilities.
Hume said he has already heard from residents who are concerned about the removal of some of the signals. Prior to voting on the proposal, council will hold a public hearing at its June 5 meeting.
If council approves the changes, the transition will be slow. First, 30 days must pass before the legislation takes effect. Then, to inform the public, the city must post signs at each intersection for two weeks to inform the public of the upcoming change. Once the change is made, the city must post signs for two weeks stating the traffic pattern has changed. The traffic signals will remain in place but not function for a 90-day trial period. If all goes well with the two-way stops, the signals will be removed after the 90 days. The city will go through this process one intersection at a time, Hume said.
At the city’s request, Choice One also studied the intersection of Keny Boulevard and High Street, where a stop sign controls traffic flow from Keny onto High. Choice One determined that the traffic volume is not high enough to warrant installing a signal. The firm recommends leaving the intersection as it is.