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Four-way stop at Main and West dies for lack of a second

Council shoots down Main Street stop sign

SOLON– Council members heard there are too many stop signs on Main Street.
Solon Public Works Director Scott Kleppe proposed making the intersection of West and Main streets a four-way stop, but the motion to approve it died for lack of a second at a Jan. 3 city council meeting.
A year ago, Kleppe said, the city created a four-way stop at the intersection of Main and Dubuque streets to help control traffic.
With the extension of bump-outs and parallel parking on Main Street by an additional block as part of the development of 121 on Main, he said, the city had an opportunity to further slow down traffic as it approaches downtown.
“My personal feeling is that it’s warranted,” Kleppe said. “To try to get people to slow down, especially now with the angled parking again through that segment.”
The change required council direction, which placed it on the agenda for possible action.
“Well, it would certainly slow down traffic coming west to east,” council members Steve Duncan said. It might even help with traffic heading down the hill to the west, he added.
“There’s a lot of kid traffic on that street,” added Mayor Steve Stange. “A lot.”
But council member Mark Prentice didn’t think it would be popular.
“I think it’s probably not a bad idea, but one of the biggest complaints I hear people complaining about how many stop signs we’re putting up,” he said.
Council member Shawn Mercer said it was likely needed at certain times of the day more than others.
“As you’re rolling through at those times, later hours at night, there’s a fair amount of stop signs in this town,” Mercer noted.
Stange acknowledged the city added a number of stop signs throughout the community and expressed concern it might cause people to bypass into residential areas.
It’s still important for people to slow down as they approach Main Street, Kleppe countered.
“Typically you’ve got vehicles coming up the hill from the library traveling 30 miles an hour,” he said. “We’ve had them clocked as high as 70 miles an hour.”
It would be beneficial to slow the traffic down as it draws nearer to the angled parking, he added, especially during the busy evening hours.
“You want them to stop, you want them to take in what’s around them, and what’s available to them,” Kleppe said.
Duncan agreed the downtown now has commercial businesses which validate the need for a four-way stop. He and Stange agreed the stop signs added to Iowa and Dubuque streets had really slowed things down.
Stange also suggested radar speed signs as another way to calm traffic. The one placed on Dodge Street in Iowa City has made a big difference, he said.
But when Stange called for a motion and Duncan offered it, there was no second, and the motion died.
“Stays as is, I guess,” Stange said, adding the city should look into the cost of a radar sign.