3-way stop sign down for the count

July 13, 2009 at 8:57 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The debate over the legality of a 3-way stop sign at Willowdale Boulevard and East Heather is over for good after the Parish Council decided to delete a 1984 ordinance that called for the sign’s installation.

However, some residents who live near the intersection told the council that something must be done to curb the number of speeders that make their way into the Willowdale/Willowridge neighborhood.

The 1984 ordinance called for the installation of the signs at the Willowdale intersection, but they were removed shortly after being put up, according to Councilman Shelley Tastet. For almost 25 years, residents made do without a 3-way stop, but one resident who lives nearby threatened a lawsuit against the parish if the signs were not reinstalled.

That’s when Tastet asked the parish to resurrect the signs, and they stayed up for two days before being taken down again due to safety concerns.

Gary Brasher told the council that he has been trying to get the signs reinstalled for years, and has no idea why he has had so much trouble getting the council to follow the law.

“We have a big problem with the amount of speeders on Willowdale Boulevard,” he said. “This is a road that has a pool on it and if you pass by Willowdale Country Club you will see bikes parked in front.

“Every one of those kids has to go down across that road to get to that swimming pool. Kids’ lives are being jeopardized.”

Bruce McDonald, who lives two doors down from Brasher, also said that residents travel too fast down Willowdale Boulevard.

“People ignore the speed limit sign and I invite everyone on the council to come to my house so you can see for yourselves - I’ll provide the refreshments,” he said.

McDonald said that he noticed residents slowing down during the two-day period that the stop signs were installed.

“If you want to take the signs down for good, I suggest you rename Willowdale Boulevard to Willowdale Highway,” he said.

However, other residents were in favor of deleting the ordinance, saying that the intersection has never been dangerous.

“Going back to 1996, there have been zero accidents that are 90-degree intersected accidents coming from Willowdale and Heather,”  Willowdale resident Julie Hebert said.

Danny Hebert, who agreed that speeding is a problem on Willowdale Boulevard, said that national, state and parish guidelines do not call for stop signs to be used as speed control devices.

“Residents should monitor and report speeders whenever they can - I think that would make an impact,” he said. “With a stop sign, there’s going to be people that don’t stop or won’t stop or have a rolling stop, all of which could contribute to accidents that that intersection does not presently have.”

The ordinance to remove the 3-way stop passed 8-1 with only Councilwoman Carolyn Schexnayder voting against it.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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