New stop signs installed to make town of Union safer

Three signs put along North Territorial Road
New stop signs installed to make town of Union safer

Three new stop signs were installed along North Territorial Road to make drivers who speed through the area slow down.

Ed Levine has lived on the road for 24 years and said he remembers when there was almost no traffic.

“There was only these three houses here when we built. There (were) no other houses here at all,” he said.

Nowadays, it’s sometimes a struggle for Levine to make it out of his driveway because, he said, many people drive much faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

“We live on the curve, which is bad enough,” he said. “Never back out. Turn around. Drive out. I tell everybody that.”

Schneider said he’s seen numerous accidents on the road but, luckily, no one has ever been seriously hurt. His mailbox, however, often takes a beating.

“We’ve lost our mailbox five times since we’ve been here, at least five,” Schneider said.

Town Board Chairman Kendall Schneider said people who live along North Territorial Road approached the board in September to talk about their concerns over drivers passing buses and speeding on the road.

“The residents took up their own traffic study, had an engineering firm come in and do their own traffic study, and they showed on a Tuesday that they had 2,100 cars a day on a town road,” Schneider said. “That’s a class B road, so they’re only 20 (feet) wide, mostly. So with that kind of count, you should have a road that’s probably 24-26 (feet) wide.”

Schneider said many people use the road to bypass Evansville. He said the traffic study also found that the average speed on the road is 48 mph in the morning and 52 mph at night.

Schneider said the board formally discussed the topic at its October meeting and brainstormed solutions.

“We talked about traffic calming devices,” Schneider said. “They’ll do road narrowments or even, boulevard-like, split the road in two and put medians in the middle, but they were very costly effects to do that.”

The board decided to install three stops signs on North Territorial Road at West Woodworth Drive, North Morning Meadow Lane and West Travis Trace Road. The stop signs and stop ahead signs were installed on Black Friday.

“Hopefully, we’ll curtail some of the bad driving habits that some of the people are displaying,” Schneider said.

There have been efforts made in the past to slow down traffic. Levine said he remembers when the speed limit was much higher.

“It used to be 55. Then it went to 45. Then it goes to 35 and now there’s stop signs, but people just, they don’t learn to slow down,” he said.

Levine said he has seen some people run the stop signs, but he’s also seen some improvement since the they were installed.

“I think the traffic’s down a little bit, but it’s only been a week. But I think it’s been down,” he said.

Schneider said the town will evaluate how well the stop signs work at slowing down traffic. He said if there isn’t a vast improvement, the town might consider putting in speed bumps.