Rutland stop signs spark controversy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland stop signs spark controversy

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"I moved here in 1971, so I've been here roughly 42 years. And at that time, there was no sidewalk here," said Raymond Mooney.
Mooney says over the decades that his family has lived on Stratton Road in Rutland, business has built up around them -- and that means more traffic. But he says he doesn't mind the added traffic -- what does bother him is a new stop sign down the block. "At 6 to 7 in the morning, traffic is backed up -- I've heard as far as Giorgetti Blvd, because there are so many people trying to get to the hospital, GE, schools, whatever and it's massive," he said.

A traffic backup of over half a mile. City officials say the stop signs were installed on behalf of residents at Maples Senior Living Community -- a complex located just off Stratton Road. Rutland Department of Public Works Commissioner, Jeff Wennberg, says that intersection has been an issue for years and the city decided to install temporary stop signs to monitor the impact on traffic.

Several Maples residents say the new stop signs could not have come soon enough. They say they have spent up to 10 minutes sitting, waiting for a break in traffic. They say even once they are able to pull onto Stratton Road, safety is the biggest concern.

Stratton Road runs from the High school to the hospital and is a main by-pass around the city. Mooney says heavy traffic flow during the work week has created massive back-ups -- and he isn't the only one. The DPW has been flooded with driver reactions -- most of which, Wennberg says have been negative. "If it's just a matter of people not liking the inconvenience and getting used to it, maybe that is acceptable just from a standpoint of the problem that it is in fact solving. But those are the things that would have to be weighed and we probably would have to wait and see what the surveys from the patrol officers show up," he said.

The police have been video taping traffic flow to see what impacts the stop signs have. Whether or not the stop signs will stay is ultimately up to the police chief. He says a final decision is expected within 7 to 10 days.

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