Public Input Session November 20, 2019

    DATE: November 20, 2019
    6:31 p.m. Council Chambers, City Hall
    711 Pennington Avenue, Havre de Grace, MD 21078

    Public Input Session concerning Traffic Signage/Controls along Canvasback Drive
    Patrick Sypolt, Director of Administration – recording.

    Purpose: To gather public input from citizens regarding their concerns for the removal of stop signs along Canvasback Drive.

    Mayor, City Council and City Staff Present: Mayor William T. Martin; Council President Glenn; CM Ringsaker; CM Zinner; CM Boyer; Steve Gamatoria, CoS; Tim Whittie, Dir. of Public Works and Captain Jonathan Krass.

    Minutes: Mayor Martin greeted those in attendance and gave a brief history of the use of stop signs throughout the City, some placed arbitrarily. Mr. Whittie, the City Traffic Engineer, was tasked with determining where stop signs are needed and where they are not. The Mayor went on to say that the administration is interested in the citizens’ concerns and idea. Council President Glenn echoed the Mayor’s sentiments.

    1st Citizen: Questioned what was the justification for removing the existing stop signs along Canvasback Drive? Is removing a 4-way stop a positive step with regards to public safety?

    CM Ringsaker stated that he stopped at the stop signs in question every day.

    Tim Whittie stated that one issue, which is a constant, is speeding on Canvasback Drive, according to the Street Traffic and Safety Committee. Stop signs are not employed as traffic calming devices. The signs currently in place were placed there without the appropriate traffic study. One Federal highway study states that a false sense of safety occurs as a result of stop signs which can lead to greater tragedy. None of the five criteria outlined in traffic design manuals where met as it relates to those signs employed along Canvasback Drive. A true, unbiased traffic study needs to be performed to determine what, if any, traffic control devices are warranted.

    1st Citizen: I understand the argument for a traffic study, but based upon personal observation, the removal of the existing signs will not help.

    Tim Whittie, stated that stop signs do not help with speeding, but perhaps narrowing the road visually with striping may have a positive effect on reducing speed.

    CP Glenn suggested rumble strips.

    Tim Whittie went on to say that another alternative could be the employment of mini round-about or bump-outs with mountable curbs.

    1st Citizen: I strongly recommend incorporating some of your other suggestions in addition to keeping the stop signs in place.

    2nd Citizen: A former Councilmember was the reason that the stop signs were installed in the first place. There was never a traffic study performed. I am not in favor of a traffic study, because whomever pays for the study gets the results that they are looking for. I was originally opposed to the stop signs but they have been there for twenty years so leave them alone. The complaint is speeding. Where are the police? Keep police in the subdivisions and enforce speeding.

    3rd Citizen: You can spend the money on a study and get the results you want. If you remove the stop signs you will have a similar situation that you do on Chapel Road – the Chapel Road Speedway. 99.9% are speeding on Chapel Road. I would like to install a stop sign along Chapel Road just to slow them down. I see people passing school buses on the right. The school bus situation is very important. People just don’t care. We do not have police enforcement for speeders on Chapel. So we expect that if you remove the stop signs the same will occur on Canvasback Drive.

    4th Citizen: I live near Blue Bill and Canvasback and I do have a police presence and they pull a lot of people over for running the stop sign. If you remove the stop sign the traffic speed will increase. The stop signs do help.

    5th Citizen: Read letter (see attached letter from 717 Ruddy Ct.) Then commented that they are concerned that the City is acting in an arbitrary fashion by removing the stop signs without first performing a traffic study to support a final solution. They recommend performing a study as it currently is then proceed from there. The grade proceeding to Canvasback and Snow goose is steep and with limited visibility. People cannot cross the street at Snow goose without a stop sign in place due to limited visibility. It is the responsibility of government to provide public safety. Removing the stop signs will make our community less safe.

    Mayor: Nothing has been done yet and we won’t make a bad situation worse. Everyone’s comments matter and I thank you for your input.

    CP Glenn: Thank you to everyone that came out to speak. One thing is for sure, if they are using Canvasback Drive as a cut-through then they are using Grace Manor Drive as a cut-through too. I hope when we make a final decision it takes everything into account.

    Captain Krass: The average speed at Canvasback is 31 mph. He cited other statistics from the “speed spy”.

    Mayor: The Street Traffic and Safety Committee initiated this request. I owe them a conversation. Thanks again everyone for your input.

    Adjournment: Meeting ended at 7:20 p.m.

    No additional meeting was scheduled.