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Updated: Are These Woodbury Stop Signs Really Necessary?

Councilwoman Amy Scoggins says the city should examine whether the stop signs at the top of the Valley Creek Road hill east of Woodbury Drive are truly needed.

Nobody stops there anyway, so what’s the point?

Councilwoman Amy Scoggins says it’s time for the city to revisit the need for the Valley Creek Road stop signs at the top of the hill between Woodbury Drive and Settlers Ridge Parkway.

“It’s inconveniencing a lot of people every day,” she said. “I don’t even know if many people stop.”

Several years ago the city closed off Cottage Grove Drive at that location, preparing for Washington County’s plans to redo Valley Creek Road and knock down the hill, Scoggins recalled. With roadwork plans now on hold until 2015, she said the time is right to take another look at the signage there.

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Scoggins said.

She said the stop signs were initially put up to make conditions safer for a resident’s nearby driveway.

But she said she’s often questioned by citizens about the stop signs and added that she would be open to other types of signage at the location.

“We don’t want to create any safety issues for the family that lives there,” Scoggins said.

She broached the topic at a council meeting last week and asked that it be put on the agenda for a future workshop.

Here are some comments from the Woodbury Patch Facebook page on the matter:

Girish: Yes, I always wondered too. It is really peculiar spot - tip of the hill - where doing stop-and-go feels unintuitive.

Kathryn: To me it seems like a relic from when the road used to go through at that point.

Rachel: I thought it was left because of the blind driveway on the backside. Hate to be the person that would have to pull out of that driveway in 50 mph traffic.

Amy: It was supposed to be a temporary situation...only meant to be in place for a year or so. Then the county delayed their plans to redo Valley Creek Road. So, here we are, 5-6 years later, and no plans for any changes for another 4 years. I don't know what will happen as a result of the discussion, but enough people have asked me about it that I believe it warrants examination.

Rich: How would you like to be the one pulling out of that driveway with how fast the cars would be going without the stop sign?

 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section.

 

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Jennifer June 05, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I drive that road 4-5 days/week, and I Always stop. It makes sense to me, as there is a driveway very nearby, and it is at the top of a hill; it is essentially a blind intersection. This is not something that needs to even be discussed. I would rather focus time on locations that Need stop signs.
Kristen Klein June 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I agree with Jennifer. I'm alright with stopping especially since it gives me peace of mind that I will not hit someone entering or exiting their driveway. Just because a few people feel inconvienced, it's no reason to take away a family's safety and peace of mind.
Kris Janisch June 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I have to say that of the dozen or so cars I saw yesterday while I was taking photos, not one of them made a complete stop.
SomeGuy June 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I can understand the questioning of a stop sign there instead of a blind driveway warning sign. But I think Woodbury has other, more pressing traffic concerns (namely, the longest red lights in the Twin Cities, staying red for minutes after the crossing traffic has cleared - this seriously impedes flow and I have seen more than a few drivers decide to just run the red light rather than continue waiting for a red light to change; and the traffic backup which occurs every weekday morning on Bailey Road at Woodlane).
Skippy A June 05, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I would have to say I travel the road several times a day. Not many people stop completely. I don't think there is a need for a stop sign but perhaps signage to indicate there is a blind driveway ahead? If it is a matter of having people slow down for the resident, that would make more sense than having a complete stop there.
Kris Janisch June 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Sometimes I'll stop completely because I think it's an easy spot for cops to bust people for not stopping, though I've never seen a squad car camped out there.
Jim June 05, 2012 at 08:27 PM
IF the sign is there to slow down traffic for one driveway maybe there is a better solution like a light that would sense a vehicle exiting the driveway and display a message to warn moving vehicles to slow down. Seems silly to force everyone to stop or come to a near stop just so it's safer when a vehicle exits the driveway once or twice a day, doesn't it?
Kris Janisch June 05, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Not a bad idea Jim. I just wonder about the cost.
Kris Janisch June 05, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Someone on our Facebook page posted this from the city: http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/engineering/traffic-a-signals/985-valley-creek-road-and-old-cottage-grove-drive-traffic-control
Natasha Fleischman June 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM
That stop sign has seemed utterly ridiculous to me, and I seldom make a complete stop. In all of the times that I have been through, I have never seen a car using the driveway. It seems silly to me that we make every car stop just on the off chance that someone MIGHT be exiting the driveway. I think speed is the actual problem. Perhaps the speed limit can be reduced to make the road safer rather than keeping a non-essential stop sign that is a relic of the road that used to intersect.
mark singer June 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
How about a different idea...go back and open up the Cottage Grove intersection and Valley Creek. Keep the stop sign there for saftey of the blind intersection and help reduce the traffic on Woodcrest Drive. The flow of traffic is wrong coming and going out of Fairway Meadows, Eagle Valley,West side of Stonemill Farms, Ashwood and now Ryland's Highland Knoll nieghborhood. Majority of the poeople use Woodcrest Drive to come and go out when going to St. Paul or to Woodbury which isn't designed to handle all this traffic. There are town houses on Woodcrest Drive and many of those people park on the street leaving basically one lane on a very small and busy road. Plus, the Woodbury Police will often set a speed trap there because it is 30 mph on this street. They know it gets heavy traffic and they want to have people slow down for the safety of the residences. The planners thought that people would take Settlers Ridge in and out, but just like water people take the shortest path to their destination with the price of gas and busy schedules. If you opened up the Cottage Drive intersection like it was a few years ago you would solve several traffic and safety concerns until 2015 when the city reviews the master plan.
SomeGuy June 06, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Mark raises many good points to consider. Though the city will review the plan in 2015, there are some temporary measures they can and should examine which would benefit in terms of safety and traffic flow (which benefits drivers, bikers, walkers and businesses).
Lynn Pien June 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
If people don't stop at a stop sign what makes anyone think a blind driveway sign will do anything? There's a stop sign there for a reason! So STOP! And don't think your time is so valuable that a few seconds in the interest of people's safety is too much to ask. This issue really irritates me. Please spend time on issues that really need to be addressed. There's a stop sign there for a reason and it should stay forever!
Kate S. June 06, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Yes!!!! Please re-open Cottage Grove Drive to Valley Creek! That was one of the biggest mistakes the city had made! Then, they cut it off on the south end as well! Never should have happened! Mark.... You need to run for City Council! Btw.. I believe the stop signs are there to avoid the hill being used like "roller coaster road" with the teen drivers! Dangerous situation for all!
Joel Hampton June 06, 2012 at 11:59 PM
The stop sign is pointless. The driveway is far enough down the other side of the hill not to cause issues if there was no sign. For those that say the stop sign is for that driveway on the West side of the hill, then what are you stopping for when you are traveling East bound? Squirrel crossing? Take it down and give everyone some gas mileage back.
HHF34 June 07, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Mark & Jim for Woodbury City Council or Washington County Commissioner... I avoid that road and "roundabout city" for a reason (and yes, I do make a full and complete stop at a stop sign anywhere - extra enforcement by WBY PD would nip the no stopping in the bud). A stop light with a sensor is a good idea if it could be done on the cheap but the problem is that. The better idea for the long term would be to eliminate it being a blind intersection in the first place. Shrinking the grade of the road in that section such that the driveway might be slightly steeper and not the road is a better long-term solution. What about slowing down the speed limit and putting up a yield sign at the top of the hill such that you're nearly at a complete stop already by the time you make it up the hill.
Kris Janisch June 07, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Just for fun, somebody posted this on our Facebook page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S7AyiVfNdA
Kate S. June 07, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Hey, while we are at it, can the city please add a right hand turn lane at the intersection of Valley Creek and 19! Talk about a waste of gas! Sitting behind one car that is NOT turning right is enough to cause some major road rage for many!
Jennifer June 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I agree with you, Lynn. How is it really affecting your life by stopping? I think this whole discussion is a waste of time that could be better spent on more important things. Yeah, maybe some people find it pointless and annoying, so what? Just stop and go on with your life. It will affect you life for ~5 seconds.
HHF34 June 08, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Classic!!! (and appropriate for the grading on that stretch of road!)
Stephanie November 30, 2012 at 04:30 AM
I posted this on the updated piece related to this, but thought I'd add my comment on this article as well: Not to beat a dead horse, but, I think another solution to this would be to put in a large speed bump on both sides of the hill (with signs warning drivers) and remove the stop sign. This will force people to slow down, but they don't have to stop. Stopping is an issue when the roads are slippery and I've seen vehicles have issues trying to make it up the hill.
Kris Janisch November 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Thanks Stephanie, you never know if folks who were tracking this earlier saw the update.

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