Traffic concerns prompt Nevada City to install new stop sign |

Traffic concerns prompt Nevada City to install new stop sign

A new stop sign has been installed on West Broad Street at Spring Street in Nevada City.
John Hart/ | The Union

There’s a new stop sign on Nevada City’s West Broad Street, and it got there through the combined efforts of nearby neighbors and city hall. It’s been there for a month, and the city is assessing how the stop sign is affecting traffic patterns.

Residents had concerns about the speed of traffic passing through their neighborhood.

“My daughter’s almost been hit twice, and I almost get hit probably once every two weeks,” said Karla Miller, a teacher who moved to Nevada City last year.

Miller lives on East Broad Street.

“I got really tired of it, and everybody on the street complains about it,” Miller said. So the neighbors started a petition. Once it had about 40 signatures, they brought it to City Manager Mark Prestwich.

“We identified some ideas that might be helpful to address some of those concerns,” Prestwich said.

That included the stop sign on West Broad Street, which city officials hope will improve safety conditions for pedestrians and motorists alike.

“It’s intended to slow down traffic, but also create more of a safe experience for drivers turning onto West Broad from Spring Street,” Prestwich said. “It’s a hard intersection to see left or right, and you’re also dealing with traffic that was moving pretty fast.”

Stenciling was added on the road surface of East Broad to remind motorists of the 25-mph speed limit. They also followed up with nearby schools regarding traffic hazards associated with picking up and dropping off students.

“Some enforcements happened in that area, and we haven’t had reports of speeding there since,” Prestwich said. “That means the parents are doing a good job of obeying the speed limit.”

Now that they’ve installed some new traffic control measures, Prestwich said, the city really wants to take an opportunity to evaluate the impact of the changes they’ve made.

Nevada City Police Chief Tim Foley said benchmarks for success with those changes will include seeing reductions in the speed of traffic through the area, the number of accidents, and the number of complaints.

If future targeted enforcement efforts come back empty-handed, that will also suggest that new traffic control measures are working.

They’ll also be watching for unintended consequences associated with changing the flow of traffic.

“If you make people stop here, what does that do?” Foley asked. “What other issues are caused? It’s going to be a process.

“I think it’s important to know that people are concerned about being safe when they walk through the streets of Nevada City, and they need to be aware that even though a speed limit may be posted it may not be safe always to drive that speed limit because of parking or additional people on the streets,” Foley added. “People need to be aware of those factors while driving, and adjust their speed accordingly.”

Miller also hopes to see speed bumps and an additional stop sign on East Broad Street in the future. That’s not on the agenda for now, according to all parties involved.

But Miller credits Prestwich for getting this done.

“I know it wouldn’t have happened without him, because people have been complaining about this for 20 years,” Miller said.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.

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