Tuesday 2 September 2014
 

Removal of stop signs a hot topic in Ventura

 

 

The Ventura City Council unanimously passed the first of three readings which would remove stop signs at three locations in the town at its Monday, Aug. 27, meeting.  The vote came after more than one and one-half hours of comments from the public.

Two more readings of the ordinance are needed before passage would be approved for the removal of stop signs on West Lake Street at the Cedar Ridge Court and Third Street intersections, as well as on South Main Street at Marflow Drive. The second reading of the proposed ordinance amendment is scheduled for Sept. 10.  That meeting will be held at the Ventura Public Library starting at 7 p.m.

At the Aug. 27 meeting Tim Moreau, engineer with Veenstra and Kimm,  Mason City, presented the Council with his stop sign warrant analysis done for the Main Street and West Lake Street Reconstruction Project.  The large project is nearing completion.  Moreau explained that his analysis included traffic volumes, visibility at intersection, type of area, collision history, distance from other traffic control devices and proximity to schools.  

He concluded that stop signs are not warranted at any of the three locations being considered.

During the public hearing, Council members heard comments from a number of residents concerned with safety if the signs are removed.  Speeding has been an issue and removal of the stop signs would only further the problem, they said.

However, Moreau said a misplaced stop sign will give a false sense of security and stated a stop sign is not intended to control speed.

In response to a direct question, Councilman Dar Avery said the agricultural community factored into his decision equally with residents of the area.  Farmers have commented about the difficulty of traveling up the hill after a stop on South Main while hauling heavy loads.  

Council members said they shared the public’s view that a stop sign should be wheeled onto South Main before and after school hours.

Use of the temporary sign was criticized by School Board member Lynae Heinemann, who said the roll-out sign was not safer.  She called the decision to remove the signs “a sad day for Ventura.”

Kari Markla, director of Redeemer Preschool located directly across the street from Ventura Elementary, noted her students cross South Main as often as four times - Read More Via e-Edition