Stop signs to stay

County gives final OK for 4-way stop at 22nd, 32nd

BROOKINGS – The Brookings County Commission voted Tuesday to make the temporary stop signs installed at the intersection of 22nd Avenue South and 32nd Street South permanent.

The signs were installed in June because construction on Sixth Street and 22nd Avenue was diverting traffic south and giving the intersection much more traffic than it normally carried, making for dangerous conditions.

It was originally a two-way stop, with signs posted for the northbound and southbound lanes of 22nd Avenue South; cross traffic on 32nd Avenue did not stop. This confused drivers, Sheriff Marty Stanwick said at the time.

“Some of the issues they were having was that they were stopping and proceeding forward thinking the other cars were going to stop, but then they didn’t because they had the right of way,” Stanwick had said.

In about one month’s time, there were two accidents at the intersection, including one on June 19, just before the east/west stop signs with flashing lights were installed on 32nd Street South.

“Stop Ahead” warning signs were placed ahead of the stop signs, and deputies were also on hand the day they were installed to attract drivers’ attention to the new signs. Even then, some drivers nearly drove all the way through the intersection without stopping.

An ensuing traffic study conducted by the city found that “the evergreen trees in the northeast corner of the intersection have grown wider and taller since the previous traffic study, and they hinder the visibility of southbound vehicles as they look to the east. A typical vehicle approaching the intersection southbound is required to drive ahead of the stop sign to have better visibility to the east,” according to an attachment in the city council’s Oct. 24 agenda.

“In addition, the intersection has been functioning well since the temporary stop signs were installed,” the attachment added.

The city council approved making the signs permanent during its Oct. 24 meeting.

No further work has to be done to make the added stop signs there permanent, but there are plans to replace and upgrade all four stop signs so that they also feature flashing red LEDs along the edges of the sign itself.

Contact Eric Sandbulte at [email protected]

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