October 30, 2014

City to further discuss stop light at Standish Elementary

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — High speeds and the safety of children coming and going from Standish Elementary have prompted the Standish City Council to discuss the possibility of installing a stoplight or stop signs at the intersection of West Cedar Street and South Cass Street.

Mayor Mark Winslow said the council is taking concern from area residents seriously.

“The concern is the amount of traffic speeding through the area and kids crossing the street,” he said. “It’s an issue, and I think members of the community would support something being done at that location.”

Winslow said one of his concerns is that there are no crossing guards working at the corner anymore.

“It would be very inexpensive to add a couple of stops signs at that location,” he said. “After we see how it works, then maybe we can add a stop light.”

The speed limit on West Cedar Street is currently 25 miles per hour, which Winslow said is common for a school zone.

“There is a currently a sign there, on each side of the intersection, that says a driver is entering a school zone,” he said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Nelson, who lives only five houses away from the intersection, said he has had concerns about the intersection for a number of years.

“I have seen about 15 or 20 incidents at that intersection since I started living there,” he said.

Nelson said an incident he witnessed at the end of the school year was the final straw for him.

“I have been pushing for something for a while, but after seeing another close call, I knew something needed to be done,” he said.

Nelson said a number of parents have come to him expressing concerns about the corner.

“One of the problems that I have seen is when a car slows down to let children cross the street, and another car comes along and passes,” he said. “It’s not a matter of if someone gets hurt there, it’s when.”

Nelson said although he has seen traffic heading east on West Cedar Street driving too fast, the majority of traffic problems are caused by vehicles heading west.

“The speed limit goes from 55 (mph) to 45 (mph) before quickly dropping to 25 (mph) when people are coming from the west,” he said. “They are just not slowing down in time. When people are coming from the east, they have too much time to pick up speed by the time they reach the corner.”

Other members of the city council have suggested that yield signs might be a better option to avoid traffic congestion, and members have also discussed installing flashing yellow lights to the east and west sides of the building.

Nelson said he is not concerned about traffic problems. He added that a stoplight or caution lights would be more expensive than adding signs.

“People worrying about traffic flow is a common complaint I hear,” he said. “I really do not believe that traffic is a problem.”

Winslow said discussion of this issue will continue at next month’s regular city council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 18.

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