Breckenridge officials admitted there was a lack of communication prior to the removal of a stop sign that has some residents in the Valley Brook area upset.
Residents who live near the stop sign, which has been in place on Airport Road since before the new neighborhood was built, say they were not given adequate notice that it would be removed.
“Bottom line, they put many people at risk by not communicating,” Valley Book resident Kelley daSilva said in an email. “Even people who don’t live in Valley Brook reported that it took them multiple drives down Airport Road to notice the stop sign was gone.”
Town officials sent an email to the manager of the neighborhood’s homeowner association just a day before removing the sign. The manager, James Just, said he passed the email along to community members.
“That did not work real well,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra DiLallo said. “We will, as the town of Breckenridge, admit that our communication was not as good as what it could have been. We learned a lesson.”
Some people who live in the area insist that the intersection is more dangerous without the sign and have asked that it be replaced.
Dykstra-DiLallo said that currently there are no plans to put it back.
The sign was removed for safety reasons, town officials said, after a community member suggested that it be taken out on EngageBreckenridge, a new website created to provide a forum for public input to the town.
Town public works staffers monitored the intersection for some time, although they did not conduct a scientific study of traffic flows in the area, and determined that because many drivers were running the stop sign anyway, it should be removed to dispense with the expectation that oncoming traffic would stop.
In that regard, locals say the change has not been effective.
DaSilva reported that her boyfriend was nearly hit in the intersection because he didn’t realize that a driver coming in the other direction would not be stopping.
Before the sign was removed, the intersection was a four-way stop. Dykstra-DiLallo said that national standards dictate that unless traffic flows in all directions are equal, a four-way stop is not necessary.
“It’s a much safer intersection now,” she said. “(The sign) was a safety issue and it was not warranted by these national standards.”