Cumberland stop signs need legal backing

Cumberland stop signs need legal backing

CUMBERLAND – The next step in the town’s efforts to get its traffic management systems in order is to legalize stop signs at nearly 200 intersections that currently have no legal backing.

The Town Council, at its meeting June 2, sent “an ordinance codifying the placement of stop signs at various intersections throughout the town of Cumberland” to its ordinance subcommittee for review.

Similar to Mayor Jeff Mutter’s move to replace unlawful 15 mph speed signs that are unenforceable and replace them with 25 mph signs that have legal backing, the mayor and his administration are now doing the same with stop signs.

Mutter told The Breeze this week there are a variety of reasons for stop signs to be put up without an ordinance that gives them legal backing, including some placed as part of residential development projects in response to traffic studies done by the developers.

The mayor said he was a bit surprised to see just how many signs across town are on the list for having no legal backing.

“It’s a fairly substantial list,” he said.

Asked if there have been many stop signs put up simply because a resident asked for one and the town obliged, he said he hasn’t heard of that being a significant issue.

Mutter said he’s not sure how the number of unlawful stop signs compares to the total number of stop signs in town.

Asked if there’s any way to know how many people have received tickets for running stop signs that were not legally authorized, he said it’s impossible to say.

Last August, The Breeze reported that the Town Council had authorized the placement of temporary stop signs on Hines Road and at other future locations around town as traffic-calming measures without the council’s approval, though permanent stop signs still need council sign-off.

The Town Council formed the Traffic Management Group last May to accept and analyze resident complaints on traffic using real data and to take specific actions in response.

The multi-faceted approach to traffic issues in Cumberland includes everything from greater enforcement and radar equipment to potential new striping and sidewalks, more stop signs to speed bumps and creative striping.

An explanation on the blanket stop sign ordinance now before the council states that as part of Cumberland’s traffic-calming initiative, the ordinance “provides legal backup to existing stop signs placed throughout the town of Cumberland in order to make them enforceable by the Cumberland Police Department.”

Some stop sign locations that don’t currently have legal backing include Crestwood Court and Alaska Street at Bear Hill Road, England Street at five locations, Bryant Street at five locations, Colonial Avenue at Rhode Island Avenue, Britts Ridge at two locations, Arnold Mills Road westbound at Abbott Run Valley Road, Ann Street, Bear Hill Road at Abbott Run Valley Road, Bill Street, Alan Avenue, America Street at Louise Avenue, Canal Street at River Bank Drive, Christine Drive at America Street, Factory Street at Main Street, Garvin Street, Hilltop Road at Bryant Street, Highland Avenue at Bryant and England Streets, Howard Road, Iroquois Road at Hines, Lonesome Pine eastbound at Abbott Run Valley, Maybury Street, Meadowcrest Drive, Massasoit Lane at Womantam Lane, Mowry Avenue at two intersections, Newell Drive at Rawson Road, Old Angell Road, Pennsylvania Avenue in two locations, Rawson Road at Abbott Run Valley, Rocky Crest Road, Packard Avenue, Whispering Pines at Sweet Hill, Webber Street, Wagon Road at Woodcrest Drive, Torrey Road, Terrace Avenue, Tingley Drive, Streamview Drive, Spring House Lane, Stoney View Street, Shale Ridge Court, Silo Drive, Sleepy Hollow Drive at Glen Oaks Drive, and Quaker Road, among many others.