By Karen Daniels
Several months ago residents from Dove Country and Kingsway spoke to Stafford’s City Council about the poor visibility from Willow Drive and the high speeds on Staffordshire Road. In response, the Mayor and City Council ordered a traffic study. The results are in and were presented at last week’s Council meeting.
Representatives from LJA Engineering, Inc. were on hand to give the details regarding vehicle counts and the analysis from past accidents. Their findings: At this time the existing conditions do not warrant a traffic signal or a 4-way stop sign at Willow Drive and Staffordshire Road. The study projected, though, that within five years time with the growth of Stafford, a stop light would most likely be necessary.
In the meantime, LJA presented a list of recommendations to help reduce accidents, specifically right-angle collisions (T-bone) which are generally more severe than a side-swipe or a rear-ending collision.
1) Warning Sign (Already in place on Staffordshire)
2) Flashing Beacons (Constant or programmed when vehicle appears.)
3) Speed Reduction Pavement Markings
4) Radar Speed Signs
5) Traffic Calming (Lane narrowing with markers.)
6) Rumble Strips (Noise concern)
7) Increased Enforcement by Police
Stafford’s City Engineer, Charles Russell, advised that since the instillation of the warning signs (#1) seven months ago, “based on the data, we have already improved the accident rate” at this intersection.
Mary Hughes, a resident of Dove County, explained that the problem with exiting her subdivision is the high fences that create a visibility problem on Staffordshire. Mayor Scarcella and City Attorney, Art Pertile spoke of the difficulty both legally and financially of reclaiming personal property. The traffic study shows that reduced speed on Staffordshire will help, but everyone agreed that future monitoring of this intersection will be needed. Mr. Russell gave his recommendation for the purchase of 2 radar speed signs to be purchased and placed in both directions of Staffordshire. The Council passed this motion unanimously, adding that police enforcement would also be implemented.