City Council considers stop sign removal

A car stops then goes through a stop sign City Council is considering removing. City Manager Chris Dalton said removing the stop sign would remove the illusion of safety pedestrians feel, as the sign is ignored relatively often.

NEW ULM — To keep the stop signs or not to keep the stop signs?

That was the question pondered during the City Council work session Tuesday. The stop signs in question are at the intersection of Lincoln Lane and Summit Avenue near the golf course, Flandrau Park, and Nehls Park.

City Manager Chris Dalton started the discussion by saying if there was no support for the measure it could die then and there. He said he wanted to gauge reception to the idea and move it through the proper channels if there was interest.

Dalton said the stop signs do not need to be there. He said there are other intersections like Lincoln Lane and Summit Avenue by Washington and Lincoln Park which have houses but no stop signs.

In addition, Dalton said it was a stop sign many do not obey.

“We got a lot of people running through that stop sign whether it’s on purpose or a [rolling stop],” he said. “When you look at during the summer when people are going to Flandreau they’re hauling trailers as they’re going through. They don’t necessarily stop because they don’t expect a stop sign to be there.”

Dalton said removing the stop signs would remove the illusion of safety created by the stop signs.

“I have to look left and right now,” he said, “I’m actively being safe to make sure I can cross the street.”

He suggested putting rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) there instead, like the ones by the rec center.

Councilman Les Schultz said if they had to vote on the stop sign least followed in New Ulm, he believed the Lincoln Lane and Summit Avenue stop signs would be first hands down.

Councilman Larry Mack asked to hear from Police Chief Dave Borchert who was in attendance. Borchert said he understood the concerns but wasn’t sold on removing the stop signs.

“I heard the comment it’s a common roll stop,” he said.” We’ve been up there and we do get a lot of citations so I would agree with that. I think there’s value with having that stop sign there. When we talk about the RRFP like what we have done by Harman. I think that works very well.”

Borchert supported sending the matter forward to the Safety Committee for further study. Dalton and Borchert said the matter would go in front of the county board if it reached a natural conclusion, as that intersection technically has county roads.

While work sessions don’t have votes, City Council agreed there was enough credence from concerns raised for potential stop sign removal at Lincoln Lane and Summit Avenue to move forward.


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