Looking for ways to slow traffic down in their community, Banker's Hill residents are gaining ground on bringing in additional stop signs along 4th, 5th, and 6th avenues.
The residents compare the streets to speedways, where drivers that feel the need for speed can step on the gas unimpeded by traffic lights or signs.
From April to July, the residents tracked more than 40 accidents in Banker's Hill, several with serious injuries and one involving a car running through a print shop storefront narrowly missing the workers inside.
With the accident data in tow, the community's initiative to install stop signs on 4th, 5th, and 6th avenues at Hawthorne, Quince, and Nutmeg streets to reduce speeds along the Banker's Hill corridor appears to have finally worked, but it's been a long, slow road to action.
During the past three years, Banker's Hill residents have repeatedly asked City officials to respond to their wishes and calm traffic through their neighborhood.
In a May of 2006, a letter from a City traffic engineer to Leo Wilson, chair of the Banker's Hill/Park West Community Association and Uptown Planners, said the city denied the community's request for four-way stops along Nutmeg Street, from 4th to 6th Avenues, as a way to calm traffic.
"Stop signs are intended to establish right-of-way for motorists entering an intersection," the traffic engineer wrote. "An inappropriately placed stop sign may decrease safety. Accordingly, our evaluation of these intersections included analysis of key factors such as traffic and pedestrian volumes, reported accidents, visibility and other special conditions. We concluded that all-way stop signs are not recommended at these locations."
After the denial from the City, the community submitted a 450-signature petition from Banker's Hill residents. There was no response.
Two years and several requests from the community later, councilmember Kevin Faulconer is taking action and is now the driving force behind installing the nine additional stop signs.
To speed things up, Faulconer advised the residents to have the local community planning group vote on the issue as a way to bypass the City's traffic engineering department. His office also expedited the required traffic report needed in order to add the stop signs.
"I was very impressed by Faulconer's decisiveness on this issue," read a letter from Bankers Hill resident and chair of the Uptown Planning Group Wilson.
The Uptown planners will decide on the issue at a September 1 meeting.
Councilmember Faulconer's office failed to respond to a request for comment.