Kim Potter, Tim O’Brien and I attended the Rye City Council meeting (agenda item 4a) this past Wednesday evening in support of Bradford Park’s 4-way STOP sign request. We know you think you want to watch Grey’s Anatomy or Law and Order, but you really have to tune in to the Rye City Council meetings on Cablevision Channel 75 to see the nearly 25 minutes of raw STOP sign smack-down cage match action.
[You can see Rye City Council meetings re-broadcast (between now and the next next council meeting on February 28th) on Channel 75 daily at 11am, 4pm, 10pm; Sundays 11am, 4pm and 7pm; and Wednesdays at 8pm. That’s about 46 opportunities to see your elected reps and Bradford Park neighbors hashing it out on the STOP sign ;)-]
Here is the agenda item as submitted by Mayor Otis:
Agenda item: Discussion regarding reviewing and establishing revised criteria for determining stop sign requests.
Background: The City periodically receives requests for additional stop signs throughout the community. These requests are referred to the City’s Traffic and Transportation Committee and City staff for review.
Federal standards and criteria currently exist for determining placement of stop signs to insure uniformity from state to state and to establish a basis for decisions based on generally accepted criteria.
The Committee and staff have applied these standards for reviewing such requests. The City has approved some requests and rejected others.
The number of such requests before the committee has increased in recent months. The Chairman of the Traffic and Transportation Committee and the City Manager have requested additional guidance from the City Council on what criteria and process should be applied to review these requests.
Towards that end I recommend the following:
1. The federal standards used to make these decisions be provided to the City Council for their review.
2. The City Council consider additional criteria and guidance in the form of a stop sign policy that incorporates safety concerns of our community and are consistent with the federal standards.
3. Local initiatives from other communities providing additional guidance to stop sign decision-makers be assembled and provided to the Council for review.
4. The City Council provides direction to City staff regarding the drafting of a new stop sign policy for reviewing current and future requests.
The Traffic and Transportation Committee has offered to meet with the City Council, staff, and residents in a City Council workshop on a new policy if the Council so wishes.
The federal standards for determining stop signs are based upon a variety of factors. One consideration is the experience that stop signs placed in inappropriate places can cause accidents, especially rear-end collisions.
In discussing this issue with City staff and residents it is clear that further policy direction is needed so that safety requests from residents can be addressed. The purpose of this agenda item is for the Council to discuss what information they need and steps they can take to clarify and update the City’s policy on stop signs.
A few years ago the City adopted a local policy on speed hump requests. In the same manner it makes sense that we establish a guidance document for stop sign requests. Much of the material needed for this review is currently available through City staff. I recommend that we be in a position to adopt this change in one of our March meetings.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Generally, the Council was extremely supportive of both Bradford Park’s specific request for the 4-way STOP (many council members had driven thru the neighborhood prior to the meeting, which was terrific) and the design of an approval process to determine the validity of STOP sign requests (see our suggestions in a prior post) so future requests can be expedited instead of taking 7+ months.
Many Council members went on record Wednesday as supporting our request. We’ll review the TV replay and post the names of those council memebers who expressed clear support of our request.
Between now and the end of March (March 28th) the City will determine an approval process. This will involve circulating documents and process suggestions among city staff, council, the Mayor and residents. The Mayor may hold a workshop as well. MyRye.com will post any documents and sugeestions. Anyone wanting material from the City can call the city manager’s office on 914-967-7404 (we suggest speaking with Scott Pickup, assistant city manager, who is very knowledgabe on this issue, also asstmgr (AT) ryeny.gov).
Once the process is in place, we expect an expedited (two week) approval process for the Bradford Park and the other 14-20 outstanding STOP sign requests across Rye.
It is our hope and expectation we can have our 4-way STOP installed before our children are out riding bikes and enjoying the spring weather.
Thanks again to Matt Fahey, Steve Otis and Andy Ball for their support in advance of the last week’s meeting and to all the council members and city staff for their time on this issue. We look forward to completing this process post-haste and delivering a process that benefits all Rye residents.