Commissioners voted 4-0 to install flashing stop signs on eastbound Ayers Road and westbound Hayman Road approaching the intersection at Culbreath Road. Additionally, extraneous signage will be removed, most likely blue signs displaying route numbers. Commissioner Steve Champion was absent during this meeting on November 29, 2022.
At the direction of the board, Public Works Director and Public Engineer Scott Herring and his assistant inspected the four approaches to the intersection on November 19, 2022.
Herring also reported that after reviewing accident history, two recent accidents were caused by driver inattention and inebriation. Herring reported that during the inspection, an impatient driver drove on the grass to pass a vehicle that was stopped at the intersection.
The engineers reported that they found no sight distance issues, except for a tree limb that Herring reported will be trimmed. They did note that the amount of signage may be a distraction to drivers. Herring did not specify which signs were extraneous but mentioned the numbered route signs may not be required for this intersection.
They also noted that most of the collisions at the intersection were rear-end collisions sustained when a driver was stopped at the flashing yellow light while waiting to make a turn.
Chairman John Allocco asked if installing rumble strips or additional signage to alert drivers who have the right-of-way (approaching the flashing yellow light) could serve as an early warning device to prompt drivers to approach the intersection with caution. Herring answered that rumble strips are used at intersections with limited sight distance.
“We don’t have a sign specifically for that. We really expect people who have passed the drivers’ test to understand what they’re supposed to do.”
There are currently warning signs before the intersection approach from Ayers and Hayman, warning that “Cross Traffic Does not Stop.”
The board and Herring decided that converting the intersection to a four-way stop would not be optimal. They determined that the long-term solution would be either a full four-way signal or a roundabout.
Herring said, “Unfortunately, it’s not just putting in stop signs. If we convert that to a four-way stop, I would bring an agenda item back in January because a resolution would need to be adopted in order to be able to be enforced. I’d probably extend the no-passing zone about 1000 feet on all four legs. The other thing is we’re going to have to have a significant Sheriff’s Office presence out there when we change that.”
The general consensus was that instituting a full stop where there was none could increase the number of collisions at the intersection, increase congestion, and incur additional costs for the work involved ahead of the final project to overhaul the intersection.
The intersection will continue to be monitored after the installation of the flashing stop signs on Ayers and Hayman.