Stop signs aimed at slowing cars near school

Stop signs will be installed on South Second Street at Bain Street in Talent as a temporary measure to slow traffic.

Residents have complained about speeding vehicles since 2015 after more traffic started coming down their street, which is in a school zone, following completion of a roundabout at East Main Street and Valley View Road in fall 2014.

Despite additional school zone signs, traffic still speeds through the area.

“I think they are coming up with the most cost-effective solution right now,” said Derek Volkart, who has lived on the corner of Second and Bain since 2010.

Part of the problem is that drivers go from collector streets, Wagner and Main, that have sidewalks and improvements, to Second, which has no sidewalks, said Volkart.

“Eventually improvements will be made, but I’m also familiar with the city budget,” said Volkart. “It feels narrow because there are no improvements. It’s county road style.”

The stop signs may send some drivers back to Wagner, a traditional route before the roundabout was built, Volkart said.

“At the very least it will get people’s attention and make them drive differently on that street,” said Zac Moody, community development director. “I think it’s a good measure to use on a temporary basis so we can immediately solve the problem of slowing down the traffic.”

Traffic engineers said stop signs are not advised as a way to control speed on a permanent basis, Moody reported, so long-term solutions should be sought.

The signs will cost a couple hundred dollars each. “Traffic Control Change Ahead” signs will also be installed, and stop bars will be painted on the street.

South Second is 16 feet wide with no sidewalks. Pedestrians walk on the road or in adjacent right of ways. The street runs from Main Street for one full block and one shorter block, crossing Bain Street before ending at Wagner Street close to Talent Elementary School.

City Council earlier had requested a study to see if speed bumps would help slow traffic. Council directed staff to include money in the 2018-2019 budget to conduct a study.

Sandow Engineering of Eugene estimated it would cost $2,880 to do a study. Southern Oregon Transportation Engineers LLC estimated $3,620 for a similar study.

A flier has been prepared that shows the school zone streets in the neighborhood. It will be sent out by Talent Middle School to all families that have an email address registered with the school, Moody reported.

— Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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