Council rules out stop sign at intersection
The drive for a four-way stop sign at a controversial Barrhead junction has hit a dead end.
Barrhead Town Council last Monday ruled out installing a sign at the intersection of 46th Street and 57th Avenue, despite calls from area residents for action to slow down drivers.
Most councillors – including Mayor Brian Schulz – argued against using stop signs as a speed control device. Instead, they said police enforcement of speeding laws was a better approach.
“I think that way people will get the message about not speeding,” said Coun. Don Smith.
Councillors Ty Assaf and Roy Ulmer, however, took a different position, believing a sign would help ensure motorists stuck to the 50km/h speed limit.
Controversy over the intersection came to light on May 14 when a petition signed by 24 area residents was presented to council calling for safety measures to protect children and seniors.
Residents complained that speeding motorists were using 57 Avenue as a thoroughfare between the highway in the west and 43 Street in the east en route to and from the Manola Road.
“People are using it as a freeway, literally speeding 12-14 hours a day,” said George Peters, who handed in the petition.
After the complaints, the RCMP began monitoring the road. In a three-week period, police laid five charges, none for speeding.
Community Peace Officer Jonathon Kerr also installed a traffic device which recorded data from June 28 to July 5. He delivered the results at last week’s meeting.
Out of 724 drivers, 209 (28.9 per cent) were found to be going faster than 51km/h or faster, 515 were within the speed limit. The fastest vehicle recorded was going at 77 km/h.
Another finding was that speeding most often occurred at 7 a.m. – 53 per cent of vehicles were caught travelling over 51km/h at this time. The second worst time was 5 p.m. (just over 40 per cent).
The report broke down the percentage of speeders: 11 per cent committed the offence at 5 p.m., while nearly 10 per cent did so at 10 a.m.
Kerr said a speed histogram showed that 90 per cent of vehicles were travelling 60km/h or less.
“From what I have seen around the town that is pretty normal,” he said.
Smith said he did not want to see stop signs used to slow traffic in the municipality.
Schulz agreed, saying police enforcement was the better option.
Coun. Dave McKenzie said Alberta Transportation guidelines did not recommend an all-way stop sign be used as a speed control device or as a means of calming traffic through a residential area.
McKenzie believed enforcement and education were the best methods for changing driving habits.
Assaf, however, said he found statistics in the report “alarming” and made a motion for a four-way stop sign. It was overwhelmingly defeated.
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