Motorists are getting used to the stop signs at Church and State streets.
That is according to city officials who said police have witnessed fewer cars running the signs.
Monday night, Police Chief Norman Brune told the Union Board of Aldermen that Friday night a police officer parked near the intersection of East State Street and Church Street did not see any vehicles drive through the intersection without stopping.
When an officer was stationed at the same location for six hours in late September he saw 56 cars run through the stop sign.
“It is greatly reduced from three weeks ago,” Brune said. “They are obeying the stop sign.”
In late September there was a four-way stop sign installed at Church Street and East State Street for a 90-day probationary period.
The stop signs were added after representatives from Oltmann Funeral Home approached Union aldermen last month.
The funeral home is located just south of the intersection.
City Administrator Russell Rost said there were comments on the city’s Facebook page about the intersection, but there were no specific0 reasons that people were for or against the stop sign.
Prior to Sept. 23, there were stop signs for traffic on eastbound and westbound State Street only.
Last month, Oltmann representatives said there are safety issues that affect the intersection, including pedestrians, a school bus stop and poor sight visibility due to a steep hill while southbound on Church Street.
Southbound Church Street shifts to the east while traveling, which limits the sight from motorists traveling west on State Street.
Rost said a resident who lives in the area has stated that he has watched the intersection, and foot traffic to Oltmann’s does not cross at the intersection, but directly in front of the funeral home.
In August, Brune said there have been one, or possibly two, vehicle crashes at the intersection in the past 10 years.
He added that the new signs could create some safety hazards if drivers, who are not used to stopping at the intersection, don’t notice the signs.
Brune offered an example of the Highway 47 and East Main Street intersection where there had been a few accidents until a traffic light was installed.
There are electronic signs on Church Street notifying drivers that there are stop signs ahead.
State Street Residents
Also in August, some East State Street residents spoke in favor of the four-way stop.
One resident said she has to “ease” her vehicle into the roadway before turning onto Church Street.
She added that the future site of Frick’s Market, located at Central Avenue and Church Street, will create more traffic all along Church Street.
Tom Stahlman said he has lived on East State Street for 27 years, and has both walked and driven to work at public schools and Immaculate Conception Grade School.
“You’ve only got a couple of seconds to get across that street,” he said. “Once you start, you better go — you can’t see cars.
“Once you are two to three steps in the street, you’ve got to run or they have to stop,” Stahlman added.