At a recent Block Head Gathering, a number of building and business owners talked about a couple of issues that were important for folks “south of 5th Street” on Division. These issues were making those blocks on the south end of 5th Division feel more like the north end of Division and slowing down the speed of vehicular traffic on that segment of Division.
As the discussion developed, it seemed that the two issues were related. Because folks driving cars tend to get up a good head of steam on the stretch between Woodley and 5th, it seemed designed more for vehicular traffic and less designed for pedestrian shopping. People seemed to think that a stop sign at 7th Street would be a good way to address both the speed and the feel along that stretch of Division.
Council Members Davis and Pokorney were in attendance at the Block Head Gathering. They both thought that it was a good idea. City Engineer Hamilton was also present. She thought that it was something that could be done. It seemed like a good idea that could be implemented quickly.
Weeks passed. We then heard that someone on City Staff thought it would be a better idea to put the sign at 6th Street. We thought about it a bit more and realized that soon hundreds of new residents would be coming up 7th Street to downtown from the Village on the Cannon. The 7th Street location seemed like an even better idea.
Friday afternoon, Roger DuFours Sr. called me at my office. He had heard that the City was putting in a stop sign at 6th Street. They also told him that he’d be losing parking spaces in front of his store for the stop sign. He had already spoken to me about the tight parking situation on that block. He doesn’t want to lose any spaces.
EconoFoods and Lansing’s both have parking lots. If it’s necessary to remove parking spaces for a stop sign, it would have a less of an impact at 7th Street.
Roger also pointed out that 1st National Bank’s drive-through facility is located at the corner of 6th Street. He suggested that if traffic was backed up at the stop sign, it would be difficult for folks to exit left out of the facility.
For pedestrian safety, economic vitality and parking preservation, the stop sign should go at the 7th Street intersection instead of 6th Street. We hope that Council Members Davis and Pokorney and Mayor Lansing will look into the matter. The folks south of 5th Street are counting on them.