After a series of incidents, Norton moves to end Congle’s curse once and for all
Can you blame homeowners on Congle Road in Norton and New Franklin if they think there might be a curse on their road?
After waiting years to repair the collapsed bridge, residents breathed a sigh of relief when the work was completed in November.
Then came the traffic problems.
Oddly placed stop signs at the Congle-Eastern intersection helped spark a series of accidents, at least five, by one resident’s count. Norton residents have complained to the council and taken to social media to warn of the dangers.
On Wednesday, city officials shut down the intersection in four directions while they examined traffic to determine the best long-term solution. A community alert was sent out Wednesday afternoon about the change, advising residents to drive with caution.
During Monday’s City Council meeting, a resident inquired about plans to make the intersection safer.
City Manager Dennis Loughrey said the city will move quickly to add signage and temporarily create a four-way stop.
“At this intersection, by the end of the day Wednesday, there should be a total of six stop signs and two stop signs,” Loughrey said at the meeting.
He pointed out that after the completion of the Eastern Road project, a traffic study will be conducted to determine the best solution in the long term.
John Cernick, a Norton resident who lives near the intersection, posted video of some of the incidents, including the most recent on February 2.
“I was afraid for my family when they came here for Christmas,” he said. “…It’s almost scary to pull out of the driveway.”
Cernick said he’s skeptical the new signs will slow traffic, but he thinks a four-way stop might help a little. He said drivers slow down when police are deployed nearby. The city has increased police presence in the area.
The problem is exacerbated by the lack of lighting at night, as streetlights near the intersection have not been working for two years, Cernik said.
Council President Doug DeHarbert said he and Councilman Don Harbert observed traffic at the intersection recently and saw drivers who seemed confused by stop signs in both directions.
He said: “I saw a car stop in a place where there was no stop sign.” “(Another) car gets off at Kungle and crosses the eastern lot and never stops at the stop sign.”
Cernick said he’s glad the city is paying attention to the problem, even if he’s skeptical about the results. He said before the bridge was replaced, the intersection was not dangerous.
“I’m glad they stopped in the East again,” he said. “I don’t think it’s ever gotten to the point where you have five accidents in two and a half months.”
Leave Alan Ashworth a message at 330-996-3859 or email him email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @newsalanbeaconj.