Stop signs raise residents ire | May 15, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - May 15, 2009

Stop signs raise residents ire

Neighbors call for traffic study on Del Amigo

by Geoff Gillette

More than a dozen residents turned out for last week's meeting of the Danville Town Council to protest plans by the town to put stop signs at several side streets along Del Amigo Road.

Transportation Engineer Associate Andy Dillard presented the proposal to the council, explaining that there had been concerns regarding traffic moving down Del Amigo and suggesting that stop signs be put in to control access to Del Amigo, which is considered the main thoroughfare in that area.

Residents in attendance disagreed with Dillard's assertions, saying that the alleged complaints may have come from biased sources.

"I think this is all a ruse by the residents up on the west end of Del Amigo who want to go barreling down there at 50 mph," said neighbor David Vose. Vose maintained that there had only been one accident in the area in the last several years and that the stop signs were unneeded and unwanted.

Another resident, David Schmidt, said the stop signs don't address the main issue - speeding. "Putting the stop signs there would only encourage the speeders. A large volume of the traffic on there exceeds the speed limit by a lot. I appreciate the concern about adding traffic control to our streets but I think we need to address this by other means."

The two main areas brought up by residents were the intersections of Emerald Drive and Del Amigo Road and Valleyview Court and La Gonda Way. In both cases, residents said that not only were the traffic signs unwarranted, they felt having them exacerbated an already difficult situation.

Dillard said he could understand residents' frustrations but the fact remains that there is some danger along that road and traffic control will reduce that risk.

"We're trying to be proactive and not wait until there is an accident at this intersection," he said. "Regarding the issue of speeding on Del Amigo, these stop signs are not intended for that. Any speeding issues, we have a mechanism for that."

Mayor Newell Arnerich asked Dillard to address the concerns expressed by the neighborhood residents regarding the implication that putting the stop signs on the side streets would encourage speeding along Del Amigo.

"Traffic engineering doesn't really take that into account," said Dillard. "It's a subjective thing."

"I think it's something that has to be taken into account," Arnerich responded. He said that if there is the sense that speeding is being encouraged then the town needs to take action to reduce the speeding along that road.

Councilman Mike Doyle expressed agitation with the plan, saying that stop signs are not the answer to the problems in that area.

"I walk along there with my wife, with my grandkids - you take your life into your hands when you walk along there," said Doyle. "I think putting stop signs on those side streets is rather dumb."

Councilwoman Candace Andersen suggested approving the other stop signs proposed, except for the two brought up by residents.

"My inclination in most cases is to defer to staff when there's a safety issue; however, if there are neighbors who are vehemently opposed to it and who know the situation I'm inclined to not impose stop signs," she said.

After a short discussion, the council unanimously agreed to approve the signs, except for the two being disputed.