WHERE DO WE STOP

To stop or not to stop.

That is the question city officials are asking about an intersection near Gaiser Park causing concerns with at least one resident in the surrounding neighborhood.

Seymour City Council members have been debating whether the intersection of Garden Avenue and North Park Drive should be a three-way stop. Currently, traffic driving south on Garden Avenue must stop at the intersection but not in the other directions.

Several councilmen aren’t convinced there have been enough problems over the years to warrant the change.

Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said there have only been three or four accidents at the location in a 15-year period. However, he supports the change.

“If we’re expecting people to use common sense when they’re driving, common sense today is extremely uncommon,” Abbott said.

The request has been tabled until July.

After the May 30 council meeting, Councilman Brian D’Arco had city attorney Rodney Farrow write up a draft ordinance to amend the city code for the three-way stop under the recommendation of city engineer Nathan Frey. D’Arco is chairman of the city’s thoroughfare committee.

He did not attend the June 6 meeting due to being out of town on vacation.

At a previous council meeting, D’Arco said he had researched the code and found that a second stop sign is supposed to stop traffic going north on Garden Avenue, but the stop sign is missing.

Council President Jim Rebber said he doesn’t believe adding two more stop signs will accomplish anything.

“I think you’ll get rolling stops at best,” he said.

He suggested the city probably just needs to trim bushes and trees in the area to make the existing sign and the intersection more visible to motorists from all directions. Rebber said he doesn’t believe there is a speeding issue there because of how Garden Avenue curves around the park.

Rebber also said there is a residential driveway that comes out directly in the intersection, making it difficult to install more signs there.

Councilman Lloyd Hudson said he doesn’t understand why the change should be made now.

“It’s been that way for so long,” he said. “There is more of a chance of people driving through those new stop signs initially until they get used to it and perhaps more wrecks than there have been in the last 15 years. I just don’t see the necessity of it.”

Mayor Craig Luedeman said he drives through the intersection every day, usually twice a day, to get home and has never had a problem.

Councilman Dave Earley agreed that adding stop signs would just confuse people more.

“It’s not an ideal three-way stop intersection because of the curve,” Councilman John Reinhart said. “When I was a kid, Garden Avenue didn’t exist. That was all a dump back in there. The road came around the park, and that was it. There was nothing else there. When Garden Avenue went in and that addition went it, you ended up with that intersection.”

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.