Is it possible to have too many stop signs?
Palmetto Bay residents pressed village and county officials Tuesday night on a decision to remove two stop signs near Coral Reef Elementary School. There used to be four signs at the intersection of Southwest 82nd Avenue and 148th Drive.
Darlene Fernandez is assistant director at the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works. She says Miami-Dade removed the 82nd Avenue signs because county data shows they’re unnecessary.
"When you have a high volume of traffic and people see there's nobody on the side street... they're just going to take the stop sign," she said. "You also have rear-end accidents because you don’t tend to think if you’re in a major avenue that you’re going to have to stop in the middle of the avenue."
Right now, there’s a temporary crosswalk and a “Yield to Pedestrians” sign where the stop signs were removed. County and village officials say options for the intersection include a crossing guard, eye-catching crosswalks, a refuge island and speed tables to slow drivers.
Robin Bachin lives at the intersection along with her teenage son and daughter, who like to run and bike near their house. Bachin says she thinks county officials listened to residents complaints, but that she’s still skeptical about not having the stop signs.
"We would have to see data that shows that... pedestrian safety and biker safety is as effective with a crosswalk as it is with a stop sign," she said.
Officials and residents agree the underlying issue is the overall increase in traffic through Palmetto Bay. Many residents say they’re worried about other areas as well -- as drivers avoid traffic by cutting through residential streets.