Imperial Beach residents living along Connecticut Street on the south side of Imperial Beach Boulevard have been concerned for years about vehicular traffic. They complained that cars traveled too fast and something needed to be done. The wait came to an end on Wednesday morning, November 24, when a city street maintenance crew erected a stop sign at the intersection. But not everyone is happy.
When retired college instructor John Smith saw signs on Connecticut Street announcing the installation of the stop sign he became angry. “The whole world is going to hell! I’ve driven down Connecticut at least once a day for 43 years. I haven’t heard of any accidents or neighbor complaints. It’s ignorant.”
The week before the signs were to be installed, Smith says he went down to city hall and met with Hank Levine, the director of public works.
“Hank told me, ‘It’s all political,’” says Smith. “The residents at the north end of the street complained about speeders at council meetings. They made waves. They signed petitions. I told him, 'Anytime you change things, you’re creating other problems.' Mark my words: we’ll probably have a rear-ender with a distracted driver.”
Scott M., an active-duty sailor who lives within feet of the new stop sign, disagreed: “If it will slow down traffic, I’m all for it.”
Dennis, the regular mailman for the area and a lifelong IB resident, was also in favor: “I think [installing a stop sign] is a good idea. There’s a lot of knuckleheads who speed up and down Connecticut.”
Joyce, a 40-year IB resident, said, “People drive through here pretty fast. They hit the dip in the street and you can see sparks fly. I’ve been afraid for years someone was going to crash into my house. The biggest effect will be on Connecticut. It’s always been a straight thoroughfare. I’m usually not happy with what the City does with our money, but this is good. I wonder what took them so long.”