Residents voice discomfort with traffic sign removal

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Some residents are hoping the trial period for traffic sign changes on Plains Avenue and Main Street will go no further.

Jessie Ellison, who has lived at her house on Plains since 1954, said she doesn’t understand the reasoning for the removal of stop signs at the intersection of Plains and Main.

Highland Elementary School is located at that intersection.

“It’s been there ever since they built the school, and I don’t know why they would take it out,” Ellison said. “It’s such a surprise to see people race through that intersection at the corner of a grade school.”

The intersection of Plains and Main, traditionally a four-way stop, is a two-way stop during a 90-day trial period created by the city’s traffic committee.

The trial period also includes a switch from a two-way stop to a four-way stop at the intersections of Main and Manana Boulevard.

Clovis City Manager Joe Thomas said the trial period is an experiment to see if traffic flow in the area can be improved.

“We’ve not received any comments at all about the addition,” Thomas said. “We have had at least one individual who’s given concern about the removal of the four-way stop at Plains.”

Nancy Gallagher, who has lived near the Main-Manana intersection since moving to Clovis six-and-a-half years ago, is among the concerned.

Changes to the intersections’ signage were made largely in response to her questions about the safety of a two-way stop at Main and Manana.

“When it was two-way, it was dangerous,” Gallagher said. “You could not get across Main, and that’s one of the reasons I went down to the traffic committee.”

The intersection is located near an ice cream shop, a supermarket and a school, and Gallagher feared for herself and other pedestrians crossing Main, which curves in that section of Clovis.

Gallagher said she greatly appreciates the committee taking the time to listen and act on behalf of citizens, but felt the committee shouldn’t have touched Plains and Main.

“They needed (a four-way stop) at both places. I hope now that this has been up, they will put the stop signs back by the school and put the stop signs back on Main and Manana.

Thomas said the changes were made Nov. 24, meaning the 90-day trial period ends Feb. 22. The committee members will continue to watch developments on the intersections.

While the members hold the ultimate decision in what signs stay and go, he said the city commission could be asked to make a decision in the rare instance members reach an impasse.

The traffic committee meets 1 p.m. at the Clovis Police Department on the second Tuesday of each month.