Frequent travelers of Winchester Drive and West 10th Street will be noticing some changes next month.
What was previously an intersection located at Winchester Drive and West 10th Street will be transitioned into a four-way way stop by Sept. 17, according to the city.
The Sedalia City Council approved the installation of the stop during its meeting Monday evening. According to Public Works Director Brenda Ardrey, Mayor John Kehde directed the placement of the four-way stop and the Public Works Department put together a plan to place the stop into service.
“The current signs that warn people of the upcoming intersection will be replaced with a stop ahead sign to warn people. The stop signs that are installed will have flashing LED lights on them for maximum visibility,” said Ardrey. “The thing I like about these LED flashing stop signs...you will see it in heavy fog where a normal stop sign you won’t. These at least in a fog or in snow you’ll be able to see them.”
The stop signs will also have reflective bases and speed limit signs will also be installed in close proximity to the stop. To further help warn people the city will paint on the roadway to inform about the upcoming stop.
“I am concerned about people that are used to going down Winchester recognizing that there is now a four-way stop. We’ll be putting ‘stop ahead’ warning on the pavement so as long as the weather is good, you’ll be able to see that,” said Ardrey.
Public service announcements will be issued a month before, two weeks before, and the day of the installation.
“The concern of course in this area is, you’ve got a wide open area coming off the roundabout at 16th Street. You come into that intersection and before we put the beacons up people weren't recognizing that they were in an intersection. Now with the beacons up I think people are better recognizing that. We’ve seen fewer traffic accidents in that intersection since that time,” said Ardrey.
Another concern is the speed at which people travel on the road. Ardrey said when the department did its traffic counts on the area, people were traveling significantly faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit. The department is working to try to get people to slow down before the stop is put into place. The Sedalia Police Department has set its speed sign on Winchester in the hopes of making people aware of their speed.
Ardrey said the department’s focus in the month leading up to the installation will be to get people used to slowing down and the idea of the stop being there. Signs have already been installed on the roadways warning people of the upcoming stop installation.
“This one, it needs a lot of attention. First, we get them to slow down and then in basically 28 days they have to stop,” she said. “Reprogramming people, you know they talk about the syndrome where you're driving and you remember starting and you know you made it to where you were going, but you missed the part in between.
“That’s what we’ve got to prevent here is people are programmed to there not being anything there that requires them to stop. We’re going to try to sign everything going into this.”
According to Ardrey, this is a “short-term solution” to the intersection with the area’s commercial development continuing to grow. The department is continuing to monitor it and look at options. Ardrey said the option of putting a regular-sized roundabout in was considered, but there was not enough space.
“We do not have space for a roundabout like the one they have on 16th Street. They’ve allowed construction to occur on these corners closer in than would allow for a large one,” she explained. “They’re now starting to develop these mini-roundabouts which we believe we’ve got enough space there. While we are putting up the stop signs we’re going to do some measuring to see if this will be our next goal.”
Ardrey did caution the city has to keep the U.S. Route 50 intersection just down the street in mind as they make any plans. As of now, a mini-roundabout is just an option the city is looking into.
For more information, contact the Public Works Department at 660-827-3000 ext. 1166.