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Salisbury approves two new four-way stop signs

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — The Brooklyn-South Square neighborhood won approval from City Council for four-way stop signs, but Thomas Street did not.
Brooklyn-South Square leaders were grateful for two new four-way stops on South Shaver Street but not satisfied. They asked City Council on Tuesday to find more ways to slow drivers and make the area safer for pedestrians, especially children.
“We’re moving in the right direction, and that’s great,” Anne Lyles said.
Lyles and neighborhood president Ken Weaver asked the city to do more to ensure the safety of children crossing Old Concord Road (South Long Street) to Lincoln Park Pool, where the city has installed a new splash pad.
“You’ve got to be a very good athlete to cross Long Street,” Weaver said.
The city last year slowed the speed limit through Brooklyn-South Square to 25 mph. But because Long Street — a five-lane road that divides the neighborhood — is state-maintained, the N.C. Department of Transportation must approve any changes.
The city plans to study the Long Street corridor and recommend design changes. In the meantime, Weaver and Lyles asked for signs to alert drivers to children.
“I would hate to wait until something bad happens, as is too often the case,” Lyles said.
Mayor Paul Woodson said they had a good point and asked City Manager Doug Paris to look into the issue.
Traffic Engineer Wendy Brindle said traffic volumes and speeds on Shaver Street do not warrant four-way stops. However, four accidents in a 12-month period at Shaver and Fisher streets may have been prevented by a four-way stop, she said.
She recommended either stop signs or eliminating on-street parking near the intersection to improve visibility.
Council voted for the stop signs, which will be installed at Shaver and Fisher and Shaver and Bank at a cost of about $500 per intersection.
Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy recused himself because his office is located on East Fisher Street, and his property has been damaged twice during accidents.
Brindle did not recommend four-way stops on Thomas Street, which were requested by a person who owns property on the street but does not live there. Volumes, speeds and crash history do not warrant them, Brindle said.
City staff surveyed the neighborhood to gauge support for four-way stops, but nearly half the residents did not complete the poll.
Councilman Brian Miller said four-way stops have worked well to calm traffic in Fulton Heights, even though volume and speed also did not meet the requirements.
However, Miller said he will not advocate for stops on Thomas Street unless he senses more support from residents.
Councilwoman Maggie Blackwell, who helped lead the effort for the Fulton Heights four-way stops, agreed.
“If they feel differently, they may want to make some noise,” she said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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