MILTON — At its March 12 meeting, City Council voted 5-to-3 to place three temporary stop signs in the subdivision of Cedar Ridge in response to residents' complaints about traffic safety in the neighborhood.
Casey Powell, Shannon Rice and Heather Hathaway cast the "no" votes.
On Feb. 16, the city held a meeting for residents to gather input on possible solutions for the traffic issues along Ridgecrest Drive, a street all residents of the subdivision must use to cross Stewart Street. According to City Manager Randy Jorgenson, several suggestions were presented to the 25 residents at the meeting, including installing speed humps, speed bumps and stop signs.
Jorgenson said the majority of residents at the meeting voted to have speed humps placed, with the placement of stop signs coming in second.
"Stop signs, although not recommended for traffic management purposes, are more expeditious and inexpensive," Jorgenson said.
Jorgenson said Milton Police Chief Tony Tindell had collected data on speeding on the street and found the speed captured was, "at mile posted or one mile over."
Councilman George Jordan moved to place three stop signs in the subdivision for a period of six months and then revisit the issue to determine if they were helping traffic safety.
Councilwomen Shannon Rice and Heather Hathaway voiced concerns over the proposal, saying they believed the stop signs were not the best solution.
"I don't agree with stop signs to control speed," Hathaway said. "Speaking as someone who lives at a stop sign, I can tell you it only helps at that intersection. Once they leave they are right back going to speed. It just doesn't help."
Rice said the Florida Greenbook, a state publication that provides building standards for vehicle and pedestrian travel, states that stop signs should not be used to deter speeding.
"This is not what the experts say to do," Rice said. "I don't think we should pretend to be experts."
Councilman Casey Powell, who lives in the subdivision, said he has not personally witnessed the issues brought to council by those in Cedar Ridge.
"But I have no reason not to believe the residents," he said.
Councilwoman Sharon Holley, who was in favor of placing the stop signs for child safety, said that she felt it was the council's "moral responsibility to do a trial run."