Motorists you’ve been warned: Be prepared to stop



Two new stop signs are up in Brownstown, and soon, two more will be put in place.

On Tuesday, town employees installed new stop signs at the intersection of Main Street and Vallonia Road. The signs, which are for traffic traveling in both directions of South Main Street, have blinkers on them to draw motorists’ attention.

Police may be patrolling that area a little more, but officers will allow an adjustment period for residents to get used to stopping.

The third and final reading of the ordinance for that new four-way stop passed during the Nov. 7 town council meeting. The stop signs were not put up until now because weather conditions had prevented town employees from painting white lines on South Main Street.

During a recent council meeting, a proposal to make the intersection of Elm and Walnut streets a four-way stop passed on third and final reading 3-1.

Councilman Bill Sweeney cast the dissenting vote on the second and third readings, saying he didn’t like the idea because it would make an area already congested more congested. Before the ordinance passed, only those traveling on Elm Street had to stop.

The intersection is just east of Brownstown Central Middle School, and many parents and other caregivers use Walnut Street to drop off and pick up students on weekday mornings and afternoons, Sweeney said.

The new stop signs on Walnut Street may be placed sometime in January.

The four-way stop at Main Street and Vallonia Road was proposed by Darrell Crockett during a council meeting in September. That was his third time attending a council meeting to bring up the issue since he moved into his home in 2003.

At the time, stop signs were only on the Vallonia Road side and an alley leading to Hoosier Christian Village across the road. Motorists traveling on South Main Street did not have to stop.

The speed limit is 30 mph, but Crockett said some people drive faster than that in the area, and some fail to stop at the stop signs.

One time, a motorist traveling south on Main Street took the curve onto Vallonia Road too fast and wound up striking Crockett’s home. Another time, a car ran into a pole in his yard.

Crockett also said the intersection is dangerous for him and his neighbors when they have to pull in and out of their driveways. Traffic comes from both the stop sign at the intersection of Vallonia Road and Poplar Street and as Main Street curves onto Vallonia Road.

Motorists often use the road as a shortcut to get from State Road 135 to U.S. 50. Crockett and the council agreed making the intersection a four-way stop might be a good way to reduce the amount traffic in the area.

The four-way stop at Elm and Walnut streets was proposed by Duane Davis during an October council meeting.

During the meeting, Davis said recreational vehicles, semitrailers and smaller vehicles parked along Walnut Street make it difficult for those pulling off of Elm Street to see. He didn’t have a problem with large vehicles being on the street. He just thought changing the intersection to a four-way stop would make it safer for everyone.

The speed limit in the area is 20 mph and is designated a school zone.

The town doesn’t have an ordinance prohibiting large vehicles from parking on streets, but during Monday night’s meeting, council members discussed changing that by creating an ordinance. No action was taken at that time.

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