WARSAW — The way Jerry Frush sees it, the use of four-way stop signs could improve some traffic issues in Warsaw, including at Husky Trail where a youngster died earlier this year at a crosswalk.
The District 4 City Council member spoke up at the Warsaw Traffic Commission meeting Wednesday, Oct. 2, and said he thinks a four-way stop at Husky Trail and North Pointe Drive could have prevented the death of 8-year-old Gidieon Cook who was struck and killed by a motorist on June 10.
He also thinks they would be beneficial in other locations, including Market Street at the Indiana, Buffalo and Lake street intersections.
He said he believes four-way stops can make some intersections safer and are less expensive to install compared to traffic signals.
Frush said he’s talked with police in other towns that rely more heavily on four-way stops and that they are satisfied with how they function.
“I think it’s worth trying and why you don’t try it is beyond me,” Frush said.
He specifically thinks a four-way stop at Husky Trail and North Pointe would be better than plans for traffic warning signs that tell motorists how fast they are driving.
A traffic study and a pedestrian count are being conducted for the area and will be used to consider other changes at the intersection, according to Plan Director Jeremy Skinner.
Frush was adamant that a stop sign could have made a difference.
“Putting a four-way stop in there at Husky Trail, I think, would have saved that young boy’s life,” Frush told the traffic panel.
But two members of the traffic commission objected to the use of stop signs to slow traffic.
Public Works Superintendent Jeff Beeler said state regulations prohibit the use of stop signs specifically for slowing down traffic. He also said that trial runs to test the effectiveness of a four-way stop cannot be done because of the potential to cause more confusion.
Skinner said using a series of four-way stops along a street to slow traffic is not practical.
Frush also pointed out the cost of new traffic signals at Center and Buffalo streets, which is currently in the construction phase. The total price is expected to be about $358,000.
Beeler said the improvements are part of a bigger traffic signalization effort that will improve traffic flow and will eventually be coordinated with train traffic to the east on Center Street.
The improvement, which is still about two years away, will result in dramatically better traffic flow, Beeler said.