In response to public complaints, a request from Councillor Cody Oschefski and presumably by Midland Police (who were out in force yesterday witnessing the traffic hazards and tweeting about it), the Town of Midland has taken the additional step of adding temporary stop signs in the middle of the King Street to educate drivers who seem unaware of the new stop sign trial.
Online comments to our posts calling for better safety and alerting mechanisms met with a mixed support. Many people recounted their experiences of cars failing to stop, rolling stops and the general lack of clear visibility of the new signs. Others were concerned that there was not enough public notice and that the reliance on social media does not reach enough residents and visitors. A single newspaper story was not enough notice, nor were the many online stories that we published both on the web and social media.
The standard process is to place the signs warning of a “new” stop sign well ahead of the new stop signs for a prescribed period, but they seem to have been lost in the background “visual noise” as many drivers seem to be on “auto pilot” and fail to take notice of changes in the main street. That speaks to a whole different issue with driver attentiveness and general complacency.
The key is that failing to stop for a stop sign is solely the driver’s responsibility; but that will be little solace to the grieving family that has to deal with a tragedy easily avoided by taking more than the basic and required steps to notify drivers (local and visiting) of major changes to our small town’s main street signage and traffic flow.
So, we are not publishing an “I told you so” story, nor are we going to try to take credit for this reaction by the Town to concerns that we and others have raised for weeks, but we are happy to see the new signs and look forward to a more permanent solution in the days to come during this three month trial.
The question still remains as to who and how is monitoring being effected for this trial? Who will measure the outcome and how is the town collecting metrics?
Once again, why put 24/7 365 stop signs when a push to cross device like in the video above would have done the trick. Nobody would miss this unit activated and it would install on the existing poles.