Stanfield residents pushing to make a dangerous crossroads safer got what they wanted. Umatilla County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 at their meeting Wednesday, Nov.22, in Pendleton to change the intersection of Feedville and Edwards roads into a four-way stop.
Heidi Carver and Angie Connell of Stanfield said they would be watching to make sure the county made good on its word.
Carver’s husband, Dustin Scott, suffered serious injuries in a crash at the intersection in September 2016 when another driver blew through the stop sign at South Edwards. The crash also seriously injured a passenger in that car and killed its driver. And the crash there in early November seriously injured two teenage girls.
“I just feel if that intersection was a four-way stop,” Carver told the board, “you would decease drastically the number of accidents that are there.”
County Public Works Director Tom Fellows said the traffic at the intersection is “relatively low,” with about 1,200 vehicles using it a day. He explained the county operates under the federal “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices,” which sets standards for traffic signs and the like, and the two stops there now exceed the standard for the road’s traffic.
Speeding, however, is a problem though the intersection. Fellows said the county a few years ago found 16 percent of drivers go too fast to stop there. He also presented options to improve road safety, including adding beacons to warn drivers to slow down and stop. Adding signs to make the stop a four-way was the cheapest option at about $1,000 total.
County Emergency Manager Tom Fellows told the board whatever option is worth the cost when they consider lives are at stake.
Commissioner Larry Givens, Bill Elfering and George Murdock agreed the site was dangerous and approved the additional stop signs. The board also told staff to research and make a recommendation on what lighting will improve sign visibility.