STOP! New England puts up new stop signs, changes intersection from yield to all-way stop

Drivers in New England recently saw a change in traffic signs near the post office on McKenzie Avenue.

The city council of New England voted to change the McKenzie Avenue and 8th Street intersection from a two-way yield control to an all-way stop in hopes of preventing an accident. (PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald)
The city council of New England voted to change the McKenzie Avenue and 8th Street intersection from a two-way yield control to an all-way stop in hopes of preventing an accident. (PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Drivers in New England recently saw a change in traffic signs near the post office on McKenzie Avenue.

Previously the street was controlled by two yield signs that were directed at drivers going in the north and south directions. But after concerns were brought to the city council by town residents, the intersections is now controlled by an all-way stop.

Residents approached the city council during their July 6 meeting, and according to City Auditor Jason Jung, a decision to add the new stop signs was made that evening.

McKenzie Avenue is home to many children, over 20 kids live or play along that block, and with the added traffic from the post office, putting stop signs up was a preventative measure by the council.

“There’s big potential for an accident at that intersection,” Jung said. “So the city council is trying to be proactive instead of doing something after something happened.”

Hettinger County Sheriff Warner was present at the meeting during the discussion. She was asked her opinion on the issue, and according to Jung told the city council that she believed adding the street signs would be a good idea.

Though the issue had not been address prior to the July 6 council meeting, once it was brought to the table everyone agreed that it was something that needed to be dealt with.

The city checked with the Department of Transportation and the League of Cities to make sure there were not any legal guidelines or processes the city need to follow. Jung said when it came to street signs there were no specific set of procedures, only if it is a street light that is in question does the council need to go through a few more channels.

Jung said the city as given a set of recommendations that they can look at when making a decision on street control in the future. He said that much of the criteria listed fit into the situation on McKenzie Avenue such as high traffic, potential intersection for accidents to occur and if it is a concern to town residents and their governing board.

The stop signs were put up during the third week of the month, and it carried very little cost. The city already owned the stop signs, they only needed to purchase the little signs that hang below the stop signs indicating that it is an ‘all-way’ intersection.

Residents will need to get use to the new change. One resident on McKenzie Avenue said she frequently sees people coming through the intersection without stopping, even after the new traffic signs have been in place for a few weeks.

The council discussed and passed it unanimously, the hope is that this will be a positive change for the people.

“It was unanimous, and all on the positive end that it would be beneficial for the residents of New England to put those (stop signs) in,” Jung said.

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