55th St./Upton Ave. Intersection
The City's traffic engineers have identified a potential need for a change to the right-of-way control of the 55 th St./Upton Ave. intersection to improve the safe operation of the intersection and to ensure the intersection is consistent with similar layouts throughout the City.
Below is a map showing the existing (as of 2007) stop signs in the area for reference.
a. Reverse the stop sign orientation at 55 th/Upton – i.e., 55 th St. would be through at the intersection while drivers on Upton would stop in both directions.
b. Reverse the stop sign orientation at 55 th/Cumberland
Option 1 is the simplest solution to the problem at 55 th/Upton but necessitates a change at an additional intersection to avoid allowing non-stop traffic all the way from Washburn to Richmond Cv.
Install additional stop signs at
a. Eastbound 55 th St. at the intersection with the southern leg of Upton.
b. Westbound 55 th St. at the intersection with the N
c. Northbound Upton at 55 th
d. Southbound Upton at 55 th
Option 2 would be a challenging installation given that it creates a situation where drivers would be expected to stop twice in a short amount of space. The Traffic Department is concerned that drivers would be more likely to roll through the stops in this scenario.
Because this change will affect so many residents in the area, the Armatage Neighborhood Association has agreed to host a community meeting to allow affected residents the opportunity to provide feedback.
Armatage Neighborhood Association
Tuesday, October 19 th
Update: November 1, 2010
The meeting on October 19 th was attended by roughly 15 people. The discussion opened with a brief summary of the request for a change and the potential solutions offered by the City’s traffic engineer.
- Concerns about cars rolling through the stop signs if a four-way stop is installed can be allayed by posting a police officer there.
- A school bus stop has been created on 55 th St. in both directions and the current configuration makes it dangerous for kids crossing Upton as they get on and off the bus. The bus stops at the westbound sign in the AM and the eastbound sign in the PM. A request has been made to the school to move the stop.
- Drivers are using the route to avoid Penn and Xerxes Avenues.
- The City’s traffic engineer noted that in general a four-way stop does not make an intersection more safe but doesn’t make it less safe either.
- Crossing 55 th St. at the intersection is difficult for pedestrians because there is not a crosswalk.
- All commenters agreed that a change of some sort is needed at the intersection.
- Discussion about whether Option 2 was necessary to solve the problems raised about the intersection.
The ANA board voted 6-1 to support Option 1.
Council Member Hodges will meet with staff to review the information gathered and to come to a decision.
Update: November 10, 2010
After meeting with staff and reviewing all the input folks gave me about the options surrounding the 55th and Upton intersection, I have decided to ask staff to proceed with Option 1, reversing the stop sign orientation at 55th and Upton and at 55th and Cumberland. I wanted to thank everyone for your feedback and explain how I came to this decision.
First, it is clear the current control at 55th and Upton is problematic and some change is needed. Because of the geometry of the intersection, installation of an all-way stop as proposed in Option 2 does not decrease the potential for dangerous driver confusion that exists there now. The simplest and least-confusing solution is to allow traffic on 55th the right-of-way and stop traffic on north- and southbound Upton.
However, absent other changes, providing that right-of-way at Upton creates an unreasonably long stretch of non-stop traffic on 55th St., something that can lead to increased speeds and a potentially dangerous condition. This indicates a need for an additional stop sign somewhere between Washburn and Richmond Cv. City policy frowns on such a control on the through segment at a T-intersection such as Thomas. Therefore, the stop is proposed at Cumberland Dr. Because I heard concerns from residents about the removal of the north/south stops on Cumberland, we considered the possibility of installing an all-way control at that intersection. It is our policy to use State traffic control standards to determine whether such an installation is appropriate - we use these standards at every other intersection throughout the City as well. Those standards do not provide for an all-way control at Cumberland. However, it is my belief based on discussions with our engineer that re-orienting the control will not create any safety issues. The change falls in line with the City’s policy to create a basket-weave stop pattern in all residential areas – essentially providing for no stretches of non-stop stretches of traffic flow longer than two blocks.
We are also working with the Armatage Neighborhood Association to address concerns raised during the process about the new location of the school bus stop at 55th and Upton.
Again, I want to thank you and all the residents who provided me with helpful feedback during this deliberation. We sent a postcard soliciting input to over 300 affected residents and heard back from many folks, including the Armatage Neighborhood Association board, which voted to support Option 1.
Last updated Apr. 25, 2012