By Jordan Puckett
New Richmond Village Council discussed the stop sign at Front Street and Cobra Road that has been altered recently. The sign had been changed to a full stop from a stop “except when turning right.”
Council member Nick Wolf brought up the subject, stating that he had seen several people miss the stop sign while he was eating in Frisch’s Big Boy.
“Most of the people who stopped at the stop sign are turning left and going down Cobra Road and would be stopping anyway,” Wolf said.
Wolf suggests reverting back to the original signage, allowing vehicles to continue on Front Street when turning right, eliminating the stop.
“The reason I’m saying that, is there are very few people on Cobra Road, where everyone coming down Front Street has to stop for the stop sign,” Wolf said.
He also suggests making an alteration to the sign on Cobra Road by adding “oncoming traffic does not stop.”
Other council members gave their own input on the newly added full stop.
“I’ve slid sideways into it twice,” said council member Richard Hilt. “You don’t think about it until you’re on top of it.”
Council member Rich Matthews said that he had received several complaints on the sign. Mayor Ramona Carr admitted that she has run the stop sign.
Several of the council members agreed that alterations should be made to each stop sign. Police Chief Randy Harvey disagreed.
“Stop means stop,” Harvey said. “Any stop sign anywhere, even a traffic light, you have to stop before turning right. Somewhere along the lines, New Richmond said ‘if there’s a stop sign, don’t stop, just round the corner.’ It’s contradictory to what the law says.”
“What if you change the whole thing entirely and put a yield sign (on Front Street) instead of a stop sign,” Hilt suggested. “That will get somebody’s attention right away, because it’s a yield instead of a stop sign.”
There was also a suggestion to put a sign on Front Street that says “stop except when turning right” with no actual stop sign.
“That’s not a legal stop sign,” Harvey said. “All your signs have to be adopted by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. That’s not in the books.”
According to Harvey, the sign that had been on Front Street for many years had been illegal.
“It’s hard for me to understand why a three second stop at a stop sign is causing so much grief for everybody,” Harvey said.
“I think it’s because it’s new and it’s a change,” council member Amanda Davidson. “I would be more upset over a sign being changed so frequently instead of letting it run its course.”
Davidson suggests waiting until the end of summer to make a decision about the sign. This would allow people to grow accustomed to the new full stop on Front Street.
Harvey suggested that council take Davidson’s advice and wait before making any further decisions regarding the stop signs.
The police department will continue to give out warnings instead of citations while the public grows familiar with the full stop. If complaints continue to be made at the end of summer, further alterations may be made to the signage at Front Street and Cobra Road.