Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2004

Stop signs installed temporarily to determine effectiveness

March 25, 2004

Though the city says they're temporary for now, Tara White believes the new stop signs erected at the intersection of Eighth and Dearborn streets will probably be permanent.

"I'm pretty sure they will be there to stay," the Baker University student said. "I've heard a lot of positive feedback about it."

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Following Baldwin City Council approval, two additional stop signs were installed at the intersection last week, converting it to a four-way stop. The signs are temporary, until the council revisits the issue in May to determine their effectiveness.

The change was done at the request of Baker's Interhall Council, an organization that represents students in residence halls.

White, who is the president of Interhall Council, said the request for a four-way stop was made to the council after the organization heard several complaints and concerns from students about the intersection.

She said visibility is poor for traffic turning on to Eighth Street from Dearborn, and wrecks have occurred.

She said there were also concerns about the safety of pedestrians crossing the street from the residence halls and Greek houses located in the area.

"There are always students using that intersection," she said.

The intersection problems aren't new for Baker students, White said, but have been ongoing.

"I think there have been concerns in the past," she said, "but nobody ever just stepped up to do something about it until now."

City Council Member Nancy Brown said it will take some time to determine how effective the change at the intersection will be.

"I think it's worth trying," Brown, chair of the safety committee, said. "But it may be a little too soon to tell. People are still getting used to the idea."

She said she thinks it will take two or three months to determine if the four-way stop should be permanent.

"I want it up long enough to give it a good trial," she said.

But White said so far she's satisfied with the results. Though drivers are occasionally running the stop signs as they get used to the addition, she said, she believes the change will be safer for both pedestrians and drivers in the long run.

"I think it'll be pretty good," she said.

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