The recent positioning of two stop signs at the intersection of Taber Blvd. with two virtually untraveled streets in Glen St. Mary as a way of slowing traffic is, well, not a good solution.
You’ll recall last June the county commission balked at the Glen First Baptist Church’s request to close the road altogether, opening the door to a compromise that recognizes the public’s need to use a well-established right-of-way (10,500 weekly trips by latest count) and the church’s concern for safety.
So we have two stop signs (at Andrews St. which is going to be closed anyway and South Boulevard south of church property) where they are simply not needed, and they’re for safety reasons?
That’s hardly a compromise. It’s overkill, and a needless nuisance to motorists.
Recently the county re-surfaced Taber from US 90 south to CR 125 and placed an elevated walk where church pedestrians cross from buildings on the west side of Taber to the main complex on the east side.
That’s a compromise.
The elevated walkway and clearly marked pedestrian crossing, along with the 25 mph speed limit on Taber, clearly cover the county’s concern protecting churchgoers during Sunday and Wednesday service times, and other events, at the church.
Stop sign placement hundreds of feet either side of the crossing is pointless.
A reasonable addition would be stop signs in both directions at the crosswalk, mounted on rotatable posts that can be turned toward traffic during church and church-activity times.
Motorists would then be required to stop at the crosswalk. The signs, manned by either church volunteers or off-duty deputies as crossing guards, constitute more than adequate diligence to protect pedestrians.
As was pointed out in this column last year, Glen Baptist created the problem by having buildings on both sides of the established right-of-way. The county commission heard from citizens who want Taber to remain open, and support for closure failed to get a seconding motion so it died.
That part, then, is settled.
Apparently the dual stop signs are the result of compromise discussions between the county and the church’s architect in wake of the county’s refusal to close Taber.
A cynic might say the church pushed for the signs as a back door way of discouraging motorists from using Taber as a thoroughfare to and from Interstate 10, thus strengthening a future effort to close it.
But you know those cynics. They can be cynical.
This problem is easily fixable employing less drastic measures. The county needs to remove the stop signs and offer the church the option of placing them at the crosswalk to be activated only during church activities.
(Full disclosure: the columnist resides just west of Taber Blvd. and uses it to access I-10 and points south.)
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