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North Stonington residents win 2 stop signs and want more

NORTH STONINGTON — The addition of two stop signs at the intersection of Rocky Hollow Road and Main Street has already proved successful in slowing traffic, but some residents say more needs to be done.

Community members have been complaining about traffic safety in the area for years, and had asked for a three-way stop at that intersection.

In October, engineers from TranSystems Corporation, hired to evaluate several intersections in town in the fall, suggested using a dashed yellow line to define the curve at the Rocky Hollow-Main Street intersection to keep drivers within their lanes. After continued letters and comments from residents, however, the Board of Selectman voted 2-1 to add two stop signs, which were put up at the beginning of December.

“The selectmen responded to concerns, and residents are happy,” said First Selectman Nicholas Mullane, who originally encouraged the town to follow the advice of the engineers.

Selectman Mark Donahue, who said he has been in favor of a stop sign at the intersection for a long time, also said the initial feedback has been positive.

“Personally, I think it’s a good location for added traffic signs,” he said. “The geometry of the road lends itself well to a three-way stop.”

Main Street resident Katherine Davis said that in her frequent walks around town, she has noticed that drivers are stopping, or at least slowing down, at the intersection since the stop signs were added.

Michael Crutchley, who lives on the other side of town, called the new traffic signs “fantastic.”

“For safety’s sake, I have to think it’s going to make a big difference,” he said, explaining that the signs in the village bearing the slogan “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” were a good suggestion, but did not carry the weight of the law the way a stop sign does.

Though their petitions for a stop sign at one intersection were met with success, Crutchley and Davis both said they would continue to ask the Board of Selectmen for more stop signs in the area along Main Street, and the town as a whole.

Several previous letters and requests also called for a three-way stop at Village Hardware, where Wyassup Road and Main Street meet.

“That intersection begs to have three stop signs,” Crutchley said, citing blind corners and high speeds as a cause for potential accidents. Currently, the intersection has two stop signs.

According to Davis, a third stop sign was promised after the Town Hall Bridge was restored in March, but that promise has not become a reality.

Donahue said that for the time being, he thinks it wise to evaluate the success of the recently installed stop signs before adding any more.

“I want to study how the Rocky Hollow and Main stop sign works out,” he said. Donahue also said he was concerned that there is not sufficient space for a third stop sign between the hardware store and the road. The state Department of Transportation requires that stop signs be placed a certain distance from the edge of the pavement.

Both Donahue and Mullane said they did not think that the board would be discussing another stop sign at the hardware store intersection in the next few meetings.

Davis characterized some of the opposition to new traffic signs throughout the town as indicative of a larger problem.

“As a rule in North Stonington, they don’t like change,” she said.

With only three state troopers available to monitor traffic in the large town, Davis said that more traffic signs in town could only help.

“We can always ask; that’s all we can do,” she said, encouraging town residents to write letters and attend the Board of Selectmen meetings to express their concerns. The next Board of Selectmen meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m.

nlavin@thewesterlysun.com



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