The stop sign on Sycamore Street at Laurel Street is preceded by two 'stop ahead' signs to alert motorists.
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
Whether an individual, a company or a city, when one makes changes, it's wise to evaluate what effect those changes have had later on to see if they are working as planned. Despite complaints from many following the decision to put stop signs and many Lincolnton intersections last May, the signs appear to be doing their job quite well.
Effective last May 18th, the City put stop signs at several Lincolnton intersections:
Sycamore at N. Laurel St. - travelling west.
Sycamore at N. Poplar St. - travelling west.
Pine at N. Laurel St. – now a four-way stop.
Pine at N. Poplar St. - travelling west.
Pine at the Marcia Cloninger Rail Trail - traveling east.
Congress at S. Poplar St. – now a four-way stop replacing the traffic light.
Last week, after the changes had been in effect for over seven months, the Lincoln Herald asked Lincolnton Police Chief Rodney Jordan how the changes were working. He told us: "After weighing several options, I believe the Council made the correct decision. While motorists may not like the idea of the signs because it does require you to stop, they have done exactly what they were intended to do. Since their inception, we have had only one reported accident at any of the four-way stop locations [that was in early December]; traffic has slowed down on both Pine & Sycamore streets and pedistrian traffic has become much safer for our citizens utilizing the rail trail system."
Prior to the changes, the Lincoln Herald joined Chief Jordan in clocking motorists on Sycamore Street approaching the rail trail and found many were speeding through the crossing (speed limit there is 25 mph). The first talk about the changes was related to making the rail trail crossings at Sycamore and Pine streets safer.
One of the changes related to making through traffic easier on Congress Street where motorists often sat waiting at the stop light needlessly when there was no traffic on Poplar St. at that intersection. Now, motorists have to stop, but then--if there is no traffic on Poplar--can move on immediately after stopping. The speed limit there was also (and still is) 25 mph, but drivers quite often exceeded that--many in an effort to get through the signal before it changed.
Another mentioned advantage of the changes is that with the stop signs, through traffic now finds the difference in time it takes to travel west on Main St. isn't much different than the time it takes to go from Flint to the Courtsquare on Sycamore. That change sends more traffic down Main where most of the downtown businesses are located.
While shortly after the changes were made, many--accustomed to their former habits--failed to stop at the new signs. The stop signs were accompanied by signs announcing the stop ahead, and most motorists now appear to be obeying the law and stopping as required.
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