The Carthage Press
  • County considers stop sign changes

  • Law enforcement officials and road maintenance workers made suggestions for changes to a number of stop signs in rural Jasper County.
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  • Law enforcement officials and road maintenance workers made suggestions for changes to a number of stop signs in rural Jasper County.
    The county's Road Safety Committee met on Tuesday with the Jasper County Commissioners to talk about stop signs and speed limits on county maintained roads.
    The committee suggested changes to stop signs in three locations, Civil War Road and Kafir Road north of Carthage, 20th Street and Central City Road west of Joplin and Veterans Way and Upland Road north of Joplin.
    • Civil War Road and Kafir Road: Currently traffic traveling north and south on Civil War Road has to stop, but traffic going east and west on Kafir Road does not.
    Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Bryan said changing the intersection to a four-way stop might make things safer for traffic going east and west by making them pause to look for traffic on Civil War Road.
    Bryan said the real problem at that intersection is drivers running the stop sign on Civil War Road.
    "The last crash I worked there I had four residents who lived in the area stop and voice concern about people running that stop sign," Bryan said. "We've had invitations from local residents to use their driveways, and we certainly appreciate that because it helps with enforcement. But we can't be there all the time."
    Bryan said troopers stopped one driver recently who blew through the stop sign at more than 70 miles per hour.
    "We obviously know there is a problem and we've issued a handful of summons for violating the stop sign, some at over 40 miles per hour," Bryan said. "It's an obvious danger to cross-traffic there and we think a stop sign on Kafir Road will help."
    The committee unanimously agreed to recommend that the County County Commissioners add the stop signs to Kafir Road.
    The three County Commissioners, John Bartosh, Jim Honey and Darieus Adams were all present and voiced support for the proposal, but it won't happen for at least a month.
    State law calls for any change to traffic rules in counties to be published in two local newspapers for three weeks and for three public hearings to be held.
    The commissioners won't meet on Tuesday, June 17, because the county clerk's office needs the commissioners office to count ballots from an election in Carl Junction, so the process won't start until June 24 at the earliest, meaning the signs wouldn't be approved until July 8.
    Public hearings will be held at the regular commission meetings on June 24, July 1 and July 8 so people interested in the issue can make comments at those meetings, which start at 9 a.m.
    • 20th Street and Central City Road: The committee recommended making the intersection of 20th Street and Central City Road west of Joplin a four-way stop.
    Page 2 of 2 - Currently traffic going north and south on Central City Road has a stop sign, but traffic going east and west on 20th Street does not.
    Commissioner Honey said one challenge at this intersection is a rise immediately west of the intersection, meaning drivers going east can't see traffic crossing the intersection until they are too close to react.
    The committee recommended putting stop signs on Central City Road and adding lights, signs and markings on Central City Road in either direction to make sure drivers know well in advance a stop sign is coming.
    • Veterans Way and Upland Road: The committee also voted to move the stop signs for traffic going north and south on Upland Road north of Joplin to west-bound Veterans Way, a short street that was cut off when the Zora Street interchange was completed last year.
    Veterans Way now only serves the VFW Hall on that street and ends at the railroad tracks, but traffic on Upland Road still has to stop for a sign that is left over from when Veterans Way crossed the tracks to a stop light on North Main Street and was the only way to connect the east and west ends of Zora Street.
    The committee discussed offering to donate the road to the VFW Hall, but no decision was made on that idea.
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