Where should the stop sign be?

Jason Henry and Jason Henry

The stop signs on Clough Street will switch to Troup Street after the city Traffic Commission approved the measure at Wednesday’s meeting.

The decision, which was approved Aug. 25, had to be reconsidered after the previous meeting was made null and void due to improper public notice.

Commission Chairman Dick Mazzeo said the requested change of the two-way stop was made by the city.

City Municipal Administrator John Fawcett said the catalyst for the proposal was a single complaint about line-of-sight issues for those at the stop sign on Clough Street.

“That forced us to look into what the factors in play were,” Fawcett said. “If visibility was one of them, then a good way to solve that was to allow the secondary route, in this case Troup traffic, to come to a stop and allow Clough’s traffic to continue on.”

Fawcett said the city’s recommendation to swap the stop signs was determined based solely on traffic patterns, not traffic accidents. There has not been a single crash at the intersection in 2010 and only five accidents the previous year, according to police.

The switch will likely go into effect within 10 days, he said. Supplemental signs will be posted to indicate the change to drivers used to driving through on Troup.

Fawcett said an increase in traffic accidents in the area is likely during the transition.

“There is an immediate spike in the accidents then it levels off over time,” he said. “That is why we want to put a lot of effort on the supplemental signs as a way to draw their attention.”

Drivers should be aware as signs are not always a perfect deterrent.

“We know … just by seeing some of the temporary changes we’ve put in place as a result of East Wooster being closed, that people can drive through three or four or five signs and not see it,” Fawcett said.

To determine which street was the primary route and which was the secondary, the city’s public works department conducted a traffic count, which involves a member of the staff sitting in a vehicle recording the amount of vehicles utilizing the intersection.

“It showed that Clough Street is the major approach, with that there is far more traffic on Clough Street than there is on Troup. So the stop sign should be on the major approach not on the minor approach,” said Brian O’Connell, the city engineer.

The count, which measured traffic volume from 10:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on April 23, found that 705 cars traveled through the intersection on Clough with on 240 on Troup. Troup, however, was found to be more pedestrian-heavy with 57 pedestrians on Clough and 134 on Troup.

The original proposal presented to the Traffic Commission was to change the intersection to a four-way stop, this was voted down by the commission upon the recommendation of O’Connell.

“It is not utilizing an intersection as efficiently as it could be to require traffic to stop that probably shouldn’t be,” O’Connell said.

The state of Ohio also mandates that four-way stops only be used in high-traffic areas through the Ohio Manual of Uniformed Traffic Control Devices.

The manual requires 300 vehicles on the primary route per hour during an eight hour period with 200 vehicles per hour for the same period on the secondary route.

“Most intersections will not meet that criteria,” O’Connell said.