Opp: Goodbye downtown 4-way stop signs?

Published 12:02 am Friday, January 25, 2013




The four-way stop signs installed in downtown Opp in August 2010 are still causing confusion and near misses, which have caused the new mayor and city council to question whether it’s best for residents’ safety.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, District 4 councilwoman Mary Brundidge brought up the concerns.

“People just don’t stop like they are supposed to,” she said.

Mayor John Bartholomew said the city is in the process of conducting some traffic studies.

Bartholomew said he thinks part of the problem lies in that motorists aren’t used to stopping at four-way stops on four-lane roads.

The mayor said at the meeting that the city is exploring putting traffic lights at the intersections.

The previous administration took down the traffic signals in the summer of 2010, at the intersections of Covington Avenue and Main Street and Hart Avenue and Main Street as part of an ongoing downtown revitalization plan.

According to Star-News archives, former Mayor H.D. Edgar said that a traffic study was contracted through CDG Engineers and showed that there was not enough traffic at those intersections for lights.

The former mayor and council cited then that overhang lights were very expensive and that the four-way stops were necessary to make the city “look like we want it to.”

Bartholomew said the city will also have to see how much, if any, of the wiring is left.

As part of the revitalization process, the city moved the downtown utilities underground.

District 5 Councilman Arlin Davis said something needs to be done to slow down traffic.

“Once someone gets killed, it’s too late,” he said.