Wheeling Traffic Commission members believe a recent traffic study in the Elm Grove area confirms a point they've been trying to get through to residents for many years: Stop signs are not meant for speed control.
City Operations Superintendent Tim Birch studied traffic flow on two parallel roads, Patterson Avenue and Sycamore Street, from Aug. 16-21 in response to a request from Patterson Avenue resident C.E. Steinman for stop signs on his street during the Traffic Commission's Aug. 8 meeting.
The study was done on both streets for comparison purposes, as Sycamore Street already has stop signs.
During a Thursday meeting, Birch said that study showed Patterson Avenue saw less than half the traffic of Sycamore Street. More revealing, he said, was that the average speed of motorists on both streets was an identical 22 mph.
"It just goes to show you," commission member Pat Duffy said. "You can put up all the stop signs you want, it does not curtail speeding."
While a small number of vehicles on both streets traveled at a high rate of speed, the average speed is less than the posted 25 mph speed limit.
"I don't see where it's going to benefit anything," Birch said of installing stop signs on Patterson Avenue.
Duffy and commission members Chris Hamm and Ronald King voted unanimously to deny the stop sign request. Chairman Chuck Delbrugge and member H. Lawrence Jones were absent.
Steinman was not present at Thursday's meeting.
During his August appearance before the commission, however, Steinman said he believes people avoid Sycamore Avenue because of its stop signs and use his street instead, especially during baseball season when large numbers of vehicles head to the nearby field for games.