Drivers through Montesano soon will be hitting the brakes at another corner, following the approval of the city council to create a new four-way stop.
Currently, the intersection at East Simpson Avenue and North Satsop Street has stop signs on North Satsop Street for northbound and southbound traffic. East Simpson Avenue soon will have stop signs for eastbound and westbound traffic as well, creating a four-way stop.
The MTO committee recommended the stop signs due to increased activity and a hedge which grows along the north side of Satsop Street and impedes visibility.
“We’ve asked for the hedge to be trimmed down to four feet as per city code,” Councilman and MTO committee chairman Tyler Trimble said. “People are risking themselves and it becomes a safety issue.”
City attorney Christopher Coker was not present, but he advised the council that putting up signs also increases the city’s liability. Mayor Vini Samuel brought Coker’s message to the council.
“I would feel that a stop sign would be better than having an uncontrolled intersection,” Trimble said.
A motion to place the stop signs at the intersection unanimously was approved by the council. Councilman Chris Hutchings was excused from the meeting.
Residents will be informed of the new signs through the city’s newsletter and on the city’s Facebook page. The Montesano Police Department as is planning “educational enforcement” for the new signs.
During public comment, former councilman and resident Pat Herrington commended the council for the action.
“My house is at the intersection in question, and I want to thank the council for this decision to put a stop sign here — two of them to be exact,” Herrington said.
He also was critical of how long it took the city to take action.
“I just wish it hadn’t taken 10 years to make this decision,” Herrington said. “I brought this before the council over 10 years ago, and I would hope that in the future these type of decisions don’t take that long.”
Trimble said the whole neighborhood will benefit.
“I’m glad that as the chairperson for MTO that in my first month of that we could get that passed for you,” Trimble said during his council comments later in the meeting. “I think it’s a benefit for not only you — I know the intersection very well, I used to live right there — but it will be beneficial for the entire community.”