Although two more surveys are required, Lee County supervisors approved the first to install a stop sign at the intersection of 120th Avenue and 150th Street in Cedar Township.
County Engineer Ben Hull said he was asked to look into the situation by Supervisor Ron Fedler, who received a request from a citizen.
“I’ll be honest with you, at first I was a little reluctant. I don’t believe that stop signs are the answer to all our problems, the reason being that it’s two gravel roads with extremely low volume. There’s also research that shows stop signs can be counterproductive in these situations, largely because people have a false sense of security that someone else will notice and heed.” , Hull told supervisors during their meeting on Monday.
However, Hull said it changed its mind after reviewing visibility issues at the intersection.
“On the one hand, harvesting at this time of year really hinders visibility and that is important in the context of the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). You must have a reason, something to justify a stop sign, something in addition to a citizen’s request.
Second, Hull said, all other intersections in the township are controlled by a stop sign.
“I think it would be reasonable for someone to expect there to be a stop sign because everyone else has one.”
Because the roads are gravel, supervising chairman Matt Pflug asked about dust also impacting motorist visibility.
Fedler said like all gravel roads, dust is a factor when the weather conditions are dry.
“The 150th goes east and west and the 120th goes north and south. On 120th, when traffic is coming from the south, going north, they have a hill they cross just before the intersection, so there is a limited time to react. But when it continues on 120th, there are only 4 to 5 farmers who have land there. He (the citizen contacting him) is just worried that someone will jump off that hill and maybe have an accident.
Fedler said he was unaware of any accident there, but the stop sign would be a preventative measure to increase safety.
Supervisors approved the first reading of a resolution authorizing the new stop sign on a 4-0 vote, from which supervisor Garry Seyb Jr. was absent.
Also at Monday’s meeting, supervisors:
– Approved a 2022 DERA (Diesel Emission Reduction Act) grant application for $130,779.60, which Hull says will go towards the cost of replacing two dump trucks for the Department of Secondary Roads. The total cost of the project is $373,656.
– Reduced taxes on Lee County EMS buildings in Keokuk, Donnellson, and Fort Madison, as they are now owned by the county-run ambulance service.
– Approved the first reading and amendment of the county election ordinance to reflect changes to certain boundaries of the Keokuk precinct.
– Approval of a software services agreement with InTech for election management to assist the Office of the Auditor during the elections.
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