New stop signs prompt opposition from resident

November 22, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

A West Annapolis resident has objected to new stop signs posted on Annapolis Street at Giddings Avenue, prompting the city and a neighborhood association to poll the community.

Richard Kibbe of Shiley Street petitioned the city council to remove the signs, which were posted late last month, after his wife's car was nearly hit as she passed through the intersection.

"The concern is the potential for a serious accident," Mr. Kibbe said. "I wonder how a stop sign can be placed without a traffic study and without consulting the neighborhood or businesses."

At Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins' direction, the city Department of Public Works and the West Annapolis Civic Association are polling the community to determine if it wants the stop signs.

Molly Smith, president of the civic group, said she has mailed questionnaires to all 111 members.

Replies are expected by Dec. 1.

Meanwhile, John Patmore, director of the public works department, said the stop signs will remain in place.

Public works employees posted the signs at the end of October to slow traffic passing through the West Annapolis business district, Mr. Patmore said.

Commuters appeared to be using the road as a shortcut to Route 50, Mr. Patmore said.

The problem is particularly severe weekdays from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., when the civilian work force leaves the Naval Academy, he said.

Leaving Gate 8, those commuters are trying to avoid the traffic light at Taylor Avenue and Rowe Boulevard by traveling up Annapolis Street, through the small-business district, turning left Melvin Avenue, then right onto Rowe.

"We wanted to slow the traffic down and eliminate its status as thoroughfare," Mr. Patmore said.

Ms. Smith said she requested the signs after she met with State Highway Administration officials about the potential impact of the new lower Severn River bridge on her neighborhood.

"People used to fly through there oblivious to the people shopping there," Ms. Smith said. "The traffic is much safer and slower now."

Mr. Kibbe said he believes the signs are a hazard because motorists are unaccustomed to them, leading to last-minute screeching stops.

"By putting the signs up, you really created more of a problem than you solved," Mr. Kibbe said.

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