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Stop signs to remain near Loveland Park in Newport

Stop signs on Glen Road in front of the Loveland Park entrance will remain, despite several nearby residents requests to re-evaluate the intersection. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

The intersection near the entrance of a Newport park will remain an all-way stop, despite some residents questioning its efficacy and safety.

Earlier this spring, a few neighboring residents to Loveland Park suggested the city and local law enforcement re-examine the two stop signs on Glen Road outside the park’s entrance claiming that most motorists roll the stop sign or neglect to stop altogether.

“People are stopping, some do the roll and a few don’t even bother,” confirmed Newport Police Chief Curt Montgomery last week. He recently conducted an investigation at the intersection and said a good majority of motorists, in a one-hour timeframe, did not fully stop at the intersection.

Newport resident Gordon Bailey, who brought the topic to the council’s attention last month, said he doesn’t think the stop signs help and requested that the city look at conducting an alternatives analysis of the intersection.

“From my observations, five times out of 10 people are rolling that stop sign,” he said at a recent City Council meeting, questioning why the signs were in place.

Other residents expressed their concern from a safety standpoint and requested a speed study be conducted.

City Council member Tom Ingemann said a speed study was conducted roughly 20 years ago during the Highway 61 project and the Minnesota Department of Transportation found an appropriate speed limit for Glen Road to be 45 miles per hour.

However, another resident said speeding drivers on Glen Road run the risk of rear ending other drivers near the park’s stop signs.

Poor sight lines for southeast bound drivers hide the entrance of the park, residents said, adding to the safety factor.

“I’m not sure what the best answer for this situation is but we have to find a more reasonable, safer option that is more convenient for traffic,” Bailey said.

The council briefly discussed adding signs distinguishing the park’s entrance and potential signs warning drivers to slow down. However, it was unanimous to leave the stop signs in place.

“I would hate to remove the stop signs and have some kid get hit,” council member Steve Gallagher said. “I don’t feel comfortable removing the signs.”

Chief Montgomery added that there hasn’t been any major accidents or fatals at the intersection in recent years.

“The goal of these stops signs, however, isn’t to slow the drivers down, it’s to get people to stop,” he said.