By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
The Westminster City Council approved the Traffic Commission’s recommendation to install four-way stop signs at the intersection after a long series of requests, the first dating back to March 2009, from area residents.
The signs will cost a total of $520 to install for material and labor.
Stop signs were originally denied for the intersection because it did not meet the state standards for a four-way stop. Instead, speed advisory and “radar enforced” signs were installed as deterrents.
The average speed in the area is 34 mph, higher than the posted limit of 25 mph but lower than the standard 40 mph, according to reports from city staff. Also, the intersection doesn’t see much traffic, and there have been no reported accidents since 2007.
Despite no apparent need for stop signs, residents said they didn’t want to wait until a need became apparent.
“We know that generally speaking these types of things don’t happen until there is a problem,” resident Natalie Mercado wrote in a letter to the city’s traffic engineering department. “We are trying to fix this now so there is never a problem.”
So residents continued to ask for stop signs. A petition with 102 signatures, representing 49 households, was presented to the traffic commission in May alongside Mercado’s letter.
Many commercial trucks use Chinook Avenue as a shortcut between Springdale and Edward streets, and commuters will use the street when traffic is heavy on Springdale, Mercado wrote.
Nearly all drivers exceed the speed limit, making the street unsafe for children, the petition stated.
The commission voted 4-1 to recommend the stop signs to the council despite staff recommendations to say no again. Vice-chairman Linh Nguyen voted no, stating he was unsure about spending money when the state standards hadn’t been met.
The Chinook and Cascade intersection is west of Springdale Street and south of Westminster Boulevard, near the Huntington Beach border.