MIDLOTHIAN – The Midlothian City Council voted 6 – 0 with Mayor Pro Tem Justin Coffman not in attendance for the installation of traffic control devices at the intersection of North 8th Street and West Avenue F in the city.
A motion was made by Midlothian Councilmember Place 2 Walter Darrach for the installation of temporary stop signs with a sunset clause within six months after the grand opening of the new City Hall.
Darrach said, “This will give us an opportunity to study the impact of the reduction and width of the road and the application of the stop signs with City Hall back in full operation.”
The stop signs are much needed at this location as was the consensus of all on the city council. Visibility has been impacted due to construction of City Hall, and as Wickliffe mentioned, the street between the two traffic lights has become a ‘speedway’.
Due to the heavy construction, it was said there has been a strong renewed request for traffic control stop signs at this intersection.
Councilmember Place 3 Anna Hammonds wanted more clarification on the timeline early on in the discussion. Midlothian City Manager Chris Dick said, “I think if you approve it, we are going to leave the stop signs in until you come back and say we have a problem.”
Darrach had originally asked about the design element to narrow down 8th Street in front of City Hall to naturally slow the traffic. He then suggested the sunset be added to the motion for the four-way stop for the council to bring the item back for consideration as necessary.
Before the final decision on the four-way stop sign, Place 4 Clark Wickliffe asked about the difference between a four-way stop and adding yield signs. He was told it is not possible to have both stop signs and yield signs.
Midlothian Mayor Richard Reno said that overall, “Speaking from personal experience it is pretty dangerous right now.”
Suggesting LED lit stop signs, Dick mentioned the lights be put up with good visibility “because the city needs to do what it can to bring visibility to those signs because of parking, the fence, etc. I think there needs to be some real attention drawn to those.”
While he voted for the temporary stop sign installation Councilmember Place 1 Wayne Sibley originally suggested he had a concern about putting stop signs at this location because he said, “Every block there will be a stop sign.”
However, Wickliffe responded, “That intersection is terrible now because you have to be out in the intersection before you can see around the fence to keep from getting hit.”