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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Will stops signs be added along North Main?

  • Following months worth of work, North Main Street in downtown Hannibal has a drastically new look. One additional significant change could be coming.
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  • Following months worth of work, North Main Street in downtown Hannibal has a drastically new look. One additional significant change could be coming.
    Up for consideration at an upcoming meeting of the Traffic Committee will be a proposal to add stop signs along North Main, creating four-way stops where it intersects Bird and Center streets, and three-way stops where Main meets North and Hill streets. Currently there are no stop signs on North Main Street, providing motorists with an unencumbered path from North Street to Broadway.
    A leading proponent for adding stop signs is Mark Rees, director of public works.
    “That pretty much was my initiative. I’ve been here about five years and I’ve recognized the need for four-way stops for almost four years. This was just the ideal time to propose it,” he said. “The catalyst for me proposing it was I thought we were going to have raised intersections. Those are so modestly raised you almost can’t tell they’re raised intersections. It’s actually a very nice development there. I thought if we were going to have raised intersections which acted as a traffic calming speed table anyway, why not have a stop sign?”
    Because of North Main’s “density of parking,” installing stop signs along North Main will make the thoroughfare safer, according to Rees.
    “People are parked along both sides of the street almost 100 percent,” he said. “I found myself over the years nosing my vehicle out (from side streets) looking for oncoming traffic either way. I was never quite comfortable with that as a motorist.
    “Main Street is not made to move traffic. Main Street is made to get people down there, look around for a place to park and a place to shop. You want to slow that traffic down. You don’t want it running 20 mph up and down Main Street. You want it to stop, go, stop, go.”
    The proposal was due to come up for discussion at the Oct. 16 Traffic Committee meeting, but was instead tabled.
    “We wanted to table that because everybody couldn’t be at the meeting to express an opinion. We sure wouldn’t want to ‘railroad’ anything. We want to have everybody’s ideas heard and then make an intelligent decision based on the discussion,” said Rees.
    The city’s director of public works concedes that not everyone embraces his idea.
    “That opinion is not shared by everyone in the city,” said Rees, adding that a “straw poll” of merchants and building owners found “unanimous approval” for the proposal.
    Page 2 of 2 - Expressing a “wait-and-see” attitude is City Manager Jeff LaGarce.
    “I do believe it would be wise to allow the new road to function, once the elevated, decorative crosswalks are installed, and observe traffic patterns before anything draconian would occur,” he said.
    A date for the next Traffic Committee meeting, which are scheduled as needed, has not yet been set.
     

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