I spent 15 minutes in traffic last week in the stretch of Enterprise Road between Valley Road and Evans Avenue. With cooperation from the Regional Transportation Commission, I don’t have to live like this.
RTC announced plans for a new traffic light at the intersection of Evans Ave. and Enterprise Rd. The light is part of their Traffic Engineering Spot 8 Project—Package 1 and is planned to be installed during summer 2020.
While a traffic light may alleviate some of the traffic I experience far too often, here’s my pitch for a four-way-stop between Evans Ave. and Enterprise Rd., which could be completed before summer 2020 and for much less.
The intersection allows for the only direct access to the university for students without driving 5-10 minutes out of the way of campus.
The only businesses directly connected to Enterprise Rd. are two student apartment complexes—the Highlands and the YOUnion—and a storage unit company. As a current resident of the Highlands Apartments, and unlikely future tenant, the solution isn’t coming quickly enough.
A much simpler proposal, which because of its simplicity, could be done well before I suffer through nine more months of the same ridiculous traffic, would be to just convert the intersection of Evans Ave. and Enterprise Rd. to a four way stop.
According to the Federal Highway Administration in their Traffic and Safety Informational Series, “Because a stop sign is an inconvenience to through traffic, it should be used only where needed. A stop sign may be warranted at an intersection where one or more of the following conditions exist:
- intersection of a less important road with a main road where application of the regular right-of- way rule is hazardous;
- street entering a through highway or street;
- unsignalized intersection in a signalized area;
- other intersections where a combination of high speed, restricted view, and serious accident
- record indicates a need for control by the stop sign.”
Enterprise Rd. is not bustling enough to demand the use of a stoplight signal, but it does adhere to the administration’s main requirement, that the standard right-of-way rule is hazardous.
“Other intersections where a combination of high speed, restricted view, and serious accident record indicates a need for control by the stop sign,” are listed as warranting conditions for a stop sign.
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s cost benefit analysis takes into consideration the value of time, different types of crashes, greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
According to the Traffic and Safety Informational Series, often stop signs are called for when “a traffic signal is going to be installed and the intersection needs a temporary solution to control the traffic.”
The base materials for a four way stop, excluding other costs, is around $75-$200. Adding the cost of labor increases the price a few hundred dollars more.
In comparison, a new stoplight would cost around $250,000-$500,000. Requiring installment of two stop signs on either side of the cross would cost several thousand dollars less than a traffic signal.
The flashing walk lights, which are already installed on either side of Evans Ave., would be pointless if a stoplight were installed, and likely would be removed.
The obvious solution is to add to what is already existing, instead of spending more money tearing everything down to start new.
Traffic Engineering Spot 8 – Package 1 additionally includes: a Flashing Yellow Arrow at eight locations, and battery backup systems for 9 locations. The project’s total budget estimate is $1,200,000.
Adding two more stop signs along Evans Ave. would not cost nearly as much, would take far less time and would allow Evans Ave. and Enterprise Rd. to be a much more enjoyable intersection for those driving through it daily.
Jayme Sileo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Jayme_Sileo.