A new, four-way, stop sign was approved for the corner of N. Lemon and W. 3rd streets at the meeting Thursday night.
Council disagreed over the process of determining whether a stop sign was needed but it was passed in a 5-2 vote with Council Members Dr. Eric Stein and Monica Simpson voting against it.
Councilman Jim Cunningham requested council’s approval on the stop sign and said, "it’s a judgment call to promote pedestrian and traffic safety."
He said residents in the area have requested a stop sign at that location and a stop sign will be needed even more.
"We should take the initiative and try to make the area safer, not then, but now," Cunningham said.
Stein asked if the stop sign could be included with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation construction with the 3rd Street Bridge but the borough solicitor said no since the road is not owned by PennDOT.
Stein, Simpson and Councilman Peter Williamson requested the issue be tabled until a traffic study could be completed or more research done on the issue.
"It seems premature to vote on this tonight," Stein said.
Tabling the motion was defeated 4-3, with Stein, Simpson and Williamson voting in favor of tabling the issue.
Stein said process is important when making decisions like these.
"I think process is very important in how we make decisions. Certainly we try to fill the requests and needs of citizens but we don’t acquiesce to everything, that every particular neighborhood wants," he said. "We try to balance the needs of a few with the state and federal requirements and all the other requirements that go along and the needs of the whole. We’re not traffic engineers. I don’t strongly oppose this either accept on the basis of principal."
Williamson said he was not opposed to the stop sign but wanted more perimeters to judge whether it was needed instead of just council’s opinions.
"I want a process for council to consider these things," he said.
Cunningham said the major perimeter was that, "the residents in the area want it."
"You never do wrong, doing what the people want," he said.
Simpson said at the public safety meeting, emergency management officials and the police chief said there were no documented car accidents at that location that warranted putting a stop sign there.
Mayor Bob McMahon said the fire chief was also not in favor of a stop sign.
Council President Pete Alyanakian said there hadn’t been a traffic study done because the engineers have noted that the stop sign is not warranted there because there is no through traffic.
"But in the case of public safety, I believe a stop sign is needed there," Alyanakian said. "It’s a very dangerous pull out there."
Councilwoman Monika Rehoric said , many of them were concerned with safety.
"I think it would behoove us to be proactive in this instance as part of our traffic calming," she said. "Whether it’s warranted or not, in this particular instance, looking forward, I think that we really need to be proactive with this."