MIDLOTHIAN – The Midlothian City Council voted 6 – 0 with Mayor Pro Tem Justin Coffman not present to install traffic control devices at the intersection of North 8th Street and West Avenue F in the city.
Midlothian Council Member Walter Darrach, Place 2, has tabled a motion to install temporary stop signs with an override clause within six months of the new Town Hall being opened.
Darrach said: “This will give us the opportunity to study the impact of reducing and widening the road and applying stop signs with City Hall back in full swing.”
Stop signs are absolutely necessary in this place, as is the consent of everyone in the city council. Visibility has been compromised due to the construction of the Town Hall and, as Wickliffe said, the road between the two traffic lights has become a ‘freeway’.
Due to the heavy construction, it has been said that there has been a strong and renewed demand for traffic control stop signs at this intersection.
Place 3 councilor Anna Hammonds wanted more clarification on the timing at the start of the discussion. City of Midlothian manager Chris Dick said: “I think if you approve it, we’ll leave the stop signs up until you come back and say we have a problem.”
Darrach had originally asked about the design element to narrow 8th Street in front of City Hall to naturally slow traffic. He then suggested adding sunset to the four-way stop motion for the council to bring the item back for consideration if necessary.
Prior to the final decision on the four-way stop sign, Place 4 Clark Wickliffe asked the difference between a four-way stop and adding surrender signs. He was told that it is not possible to have both stop signs and surrender signs.
Midlothian Mayor Richard Reno said that, overall, “Speaking from personal experience it’s quite dangerous right now.”
Suggesting LED-lit stop signs, Dick mentioned that the lights need to be installed with good visibility “because the city needs to go the extra mile to give those signs visibility because of the parking lot, fence, etc. I think there needs to be a real attention attracted by those.
While he voted to temporarily install the stop sign, Place 1 Council member Wayne Sibley initially suggested he was concerned about putting stop signs at this location because he said, “Every block there will be a stop sign.”
However, Wickliffe replied: “That junction is awful now because you have to be at the junction before you can see over the fence to avoid being hit.”