Two Delaware City Council members Dec. 19 voiced support for a resident's request to install a stop sign to slow traffic on Executive Boulevard.
Konrad Young lives on the road, a residential street that runs north and south just west of the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
Young told council he addressed his concerns at the Oct. 21 meeting of council's parking and safety committee, when he called a 0.6-mile straight section of the street near Rutherford Avenue a "racetrack" because of speeding vehicles.
"You can hear their engines just roaring through there," he told the committee.
The committee, he told council, cited statistics showing the street's average speed is 30 mph -- 5 mph higher than the speed limit -- but he said he is concerned about the straight section, which he told council is used as "a drag strip, one car at a time."
He described a recent traffic accident in which a car struck a parked vehicle hard enough to move it 80 feet.
He called for a stop sign at Executive and Rutherford to slow the speeding traffic and protect local children.
A stop sign also would protect motorists driving along Rutherford who now face the risk of speeding cars -- which he described as traveling between 50 and 70 mph -- moving along Executive.
In the northwest residential section of the city, he said, stop signs are "all over the place, everywhere" along streets that probably have less traffic than Executive.
The parking and safety committee, he said, didn't like his recommendation for a stop sign.
The committee instead focused discussion on Executive's curved sections, he said, which are both north and south of Rutherford.
"If they're going fast in the curves, they're going even faster when they come out of the curves," Young said.
Council member Kent Shafer said he would ask the city manager to have the city engineering staff consider Young's request because the intersection seems to need a stop sign.
Shafer said he has led the parking and safety committee for several years and doesn't always understand when city engineers say an intersection doesn't warrant a stop sign.
"There are some reasons we don't want to put up an unwarranted stop sign because the studies tell us when you put up unwarranted stop signs, people tend not to stop for them," Shafer said.
A copy of the city's "Traffic Calming Guide for Neighborhood Streets" was included in council's May 13 agenda, when council was discussing complaints of heavy traffic volume on Hull Drive.
Appendix E, which appears on page 33 of the guide, says in part, "As with speed limits, drivers must recognize the need for the controls or they will eventually begin to ignore the control that they deem unnecessary. In the case of stop signs, that would mean disregarding the sign and potentially posing a risk to another motorist or pedestrian.
"Studies on the use of stop signs as a standalone, nonconstruction, traffic-calming solution for speed control indicate that drivers will actually exceed speed limits between signs to make up for lost time if they feel that the stop signs serve no other purpose than to slow traffic down."
A policy-requirements section elsewhere in the same agenda says council could approve installation of a stop sign, if not recommended by the parking and safety committee, with five affirmative votes. Council has seven voting members.
Council member Cory Hoffman also supported Young's request, which, he said, seems reasonable.
Even if some cars don't come to a complete stop at the sign, at least they will slow down, Hoffman said.
Council member George Hellinger said he also lives on Executive.
In overall terms, he said, he also sees vehicles traveling fast, and the ones that are loud "seem to go faster because of their noise."
Hellinger said the majority of traffic in any neighborhood originates or terminates in that neighborhood.
"The best way every citizen can work to do traffic calming in their neighborhood is to drive the speed limit when they're in their neighborhood and every other neighborhood," he said.