4-way stop proposed at Brownstown intersection


Nearly a month after a Brownstown resident proposed changing an intersection to a four-way stop, another community member has requested one in a different area of the town.

Duane Davis, who lives at the corner of Elm and Walnut streets, said he would like to see traffic approaching that intersection stop in all directions. Currently, only those traveling on Elm Street have to stop.

Recreational vehicles, semitrailers and smaller vehicles parked along Walnut Street make it difficult for those pulling off of Elm Street to see, Davis said. The town doesn’t have an ordinance prohibiting large vehicles from parking on streets.

Davis said he doesn’t have a problem with large vehicles being on the street. He just thinks changing the intersection to a four-way stop will make it safer for everyone.

“The other day, a young man was pulling out (from Elm Street). He was easing out into the intersection, and a young lady came from the top of the hill,” he said. “He eased out because the vehicles are parked along the street. He couldn’t see, she couldn’t see him and we had an accident.”

The speed limit in the area is 20 mph and is designated a school zone because Brownstown Central Middle School is nearby. With people taking kids to and from the school and school buses often in the area, traffic is heavy throughout the week, Davis said.

“I’ve been guilty. I’ve pulled out there and almost got hit or hit somebody. You just can’t see,” he said. “Consider making this a four-way stop, force all of the traffic to stop, that way, you’re stopped here, everybody has to pull up there and you can see each other.”

Councilwoman Bethany Brewster said she has received at least three requests for the town to remove the recreational vehicles parked near the intersection.

Since the town doesn’t have an ordinance prohibiting large vehicles from parking on the streets, Brewster said making the intersection a four-way stop might be a good alternative solution.

Town attorney Rodney Farrow said Seymour has an ordinance prohibiting semitrailer and recreational vehicle parking on streets. He also is the attorney for that city.

After a motion was made to create an ordinance making the intersection of Elm and Walnut streets a four-way stop, Councilman Bill Sweeney asked how the change would affect school buses.

Davis said it would help them because it would rotate traffic going through the intersection. Now, a school bus stopping at Elm Street has to wait until traffic on Walnut Street is clear both ways until crossing.

The council then unanimously approved to have Farrow draft an ordinance for a four-way stop.

“The bottom line is it makes it a safer intersection,” Brewster said. “That’s the most important thing, especially considering all of the vehicles that are parked there. It’s very tight and narrow.”

Later in the same council meeting, council members approved the first reading of an ordinance to change the intersection of South Main Street and Vallonia Road from a two-way stop to a four-way stop.

It has to pass three readings to become official.

Darrell Crockett approached the council in September about making a change at that intersection near his home. That was his third time attending a council meeting to bring up the issue since he moved into his home in 2003.

Currently, stop signs are on the Vallonia Road side and an alley leading to Hoosier Christian Village across the road. Motorists traveling on Main Street do not have to stop.

The speed limit is 30 mph, but Crockett said some people drive faster than that in the area, and some fail to stop at the stop signs.

One time, a motorist traveling south on Main Street took the curve onto Vallonia Road too fast and wound up striking Crockett’s home. Another time, a car ran into a pole in his yard.

Crockett said the intersection also is dangerous for him and his neighbors when they have to pull in and out of their driveways. Traffic comes from both the stop sign at the intersection of Vallonia Road and Poplar Street and as Main Street curves onto Vallonia Road.

Also, some people use the road as a shortcut to get from State Road 135 to U.S. 50. Crockett and the council agreed making the intersection a four-way stop might be a good way to reduce the amount traffic in the area.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.