Man About Canton: Stop Signs Legal?

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MAC recently received an email from one of his readers, which stated the following: “It appears that all of the stop signs scattered around town to ‘calm traffic’ do not meet any of the standards and should be removed … They are not to be used to control speed.” Also included with the email was five pages from “Standards Governing Use of Stop Signs by Municipalities,” a document prepared by the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research that outlines federal regulations pertaining to stop signs. MAC wonders if any town official has ever read those regulations.

In the past few years, stop signs have been installed at an alarming rate: Over 14 appeared overnight in the Cedarcrest Road area, eight stop signs were installed in the Blackman Road area all at once, and recently 12 stop signs were installed in the Wentworth Road area. Are they legal? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and its Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, “Stop signs should not be used for speed control.” Stop signs should be installed in a manner that minimizes the number of vehicles that have to stop at intersections where a full stop is not necessary at all times. Consideration should be given to using less restrictive measures such as yield signs. A stop sign should not be installed on a major street unless justified by a traffic engineering study. Once a decision has been made to install two-way stop controls (and Canton now has many of them), the decision regarding the appropriate street at which to stop should be made based on engineering judgment. In most cases, the street carrying the lowest volume of traffic should be stopped.

MAC doubts that this standard has ever been followed in Canton as stop signs were installed on both streets. In fact, it does not appear that the Canton Traffic Committee has ever followed any of the above criteria on stop signs. Canton officials should read the “Standards Governing Use of Stop Signs by Municipalities” to see if any changes need to be made and to hopefully get it right the next time stop signs are installed.

Lower gas prices may mean no Social Security increase for next year. For only the third time in 40 years, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled vets, and federal retirees can expect no increase in benefits next year, which is unwelcome news for more than one-fifth of the nation’s population. They can blame low gas prices. By law, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) is based on a government measure of inflation, which is being dragged down by lower prices at the pump. Only twice before, in 2010 and 2011, have there been no increases. The COLA affects payment to more than 70 million Americans. The average monthly Social Security payment is $1,224.

Bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers will headline “Author’s Night” with her latest novel, Accidents of Marriage, at the Canton Public Library on Wednesday, November 18, at 7 p.m.

Orchard Cove, a senior living community off Route 138 in Canton that stresses fitness, was a sponsor of the Canton Fall Classic road race that was held on Sunday, October 27. It was the 27th annual race organized by members of Temple Beth Abraham. This year also marked the debut of the one-mile Senior Friends and Family Walk.

The Canton Historical Society newsletter reported this past month that it is working to restore an 1,800-pound bell cast by Henry Hooper. Hooper was an apprentice of Paul Revere at the Boston Foundry and later purchased the foundry and established Henry N. Hooper and Company to produce lamps, lighting fixtures, bells, and in 1862, artillery for the Union army. This bell is estimated to be worth $15,000. It is in poor condition and is presently located at the Charleston Navy Yard. George Comeau and Jim Roache will work to move the bell to the Canton Historical Society as a temporary home. Eventually, once it is repaired, it is hoped that it will have a permanent home at the Revere barn, which is located at the former Plymouth Rubber site.

Here’s a fun fact: The state of Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state in the United States. Pumpkins are grown on over 12,000 acres of land in the state. Eighty percent of all pumpkins produced commercially in the U.S. are produced within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois. Most of those pumpkins are grown for processing into canned pumpkins. Ninety-five percent of the pumpkins processed in the United States are grown in Illinois. Morton, Illinois, just 10 miles southeast of Peoria, calls itself the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.” Over 100,000 tons of pumpkins are processed and canned there each year. That is enough pumpkin to bake more than 50 million pies!

No matter how small and unimportant what we are doing may seem, if we do it well, it may soon become the step that will lead us to better things.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at manaboutcanton@aol.com.

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avatar Posted by on Nov 6 2015. Filed under Featured Content, Man About Canton, Opinion.
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