By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
The city of Havre is working with the Montana Department of Transportation to find out if some intersections in Havre need additional stop signs.
The Havre City Council's Streets and Sidewalks Committee earlier this week asked director of public works Dave Peterson to find out if MDT studies could be done on seven intersections.
Peterson said today that Mayor Bob Rice and Police Chief Mike Barthel have already contacted MDT about doing a study on one of those intersections - the intersection of Second Street and Second Avenue. He said the other six intersections might be added to the study.
"Hopefully, we might be able to do that," he said.
Barthel contacted MDT, and Peterson said he is waiting for the police chief to return from Missoula, where he is testifying in the Laurence Jackson homicide trial, so they can coordinate the new requests.
Peterson said he won't know what would be involved in the process, including if the city would have to do any preliminary work, until he talks to MDT.
He said he doubts that the city would have to pay MDT to do the studies, but that he would find that out when he contacts the department.
Council member Emily Mayer Lossing said she thinks the stop signs are needed because people don't seem to remember or obey the rules of right of way at intersections, although she added that obeying right of way should be common sense.
"It exists for a reason," she added.
Havre police Capt. Stan Martin said the rule at uncontrolled intersections is that drivers must yield to traffic on the right.
Council member Allen "Woody" Woodwick said during Monday's committee meeting that he received a petition after two cars crashed on Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue on Sept. 23. The petition, signed by 54 people, asking that stop signs be erected at that intersection. The petition asked that the stop signs be placed on the avenue, stopping north-south traffic and giving east-west traffic the right of way.
"We have witnessed far too many accidents from people treating Fourth Avenue as a through street," Woodwick read from the petition.
At the committee meeting, Mayer Lossing read from a letter dated Sept. 23 she had addressed to Rice and the rest of the council members.
In the letter, Mayer Lossing suggested Havre place four-way stop signs at the intersection of Second Avenue and Second Street, which already has a two-way stop on the avenue; at Second Avenue and Third Stree, which already has stop signs on the street; and at First Avenue and Second Street, which already has stop signs on the avenue.
Mayer Lossing also suggested placing two-way stop signs at Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue and at Fourth Street and Second Avenue.
The committee agreed that those intersections should be studied by MDT.
Tom Farnham and Jack Brandon said that although there are stop signs on the avenue at the intersection of Second Street and Second Avenue, traffic has difficulty entering the intersection from the avenue because of problems seeing cars approaching on the street.
Brandon suggested that if a study is done, it include the intersection of Second Street and Seventh Avenue.