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Edgewood Intersection Should Be 4-Way Stop, Resident Says, but Police Chief Disagrees

An intersection in Edgewood was a topic of conversation at this week's city council meeting.
City councilman Rob Thelen asked council to discuss a four-way stop at Magnolia Court and Larkspur Court where his brother Mike Thelen's wife recently had an accident. Mike Thelen addressed council.
"This has happened too many times," Mike Thelen said. "Now I have a totaled car and a busted up wife."
He shook his head in frustration.  
"I want more studies!"
Mike Thelen told council that the large yellow signs that alert drivers about a two-way stop and that oncoming traffic does not stop were added after the last time he complained about the intersection. The signs have not helped enough, he said.
Councilman Jeff Schreiver described his reaction when he first drove down Magnolia, many years ago. He said he thought then that the intersection was dangerous, and suggested that the intersection be made into a four-way stop.
"The (Magnolia) residents shut me down so fast," Schreiver said. He told Mike Thelen that it made a lasting effect on him, and if he could get his neighbors to sign a petition stating that they wanted a four-way stop, he would feel better about it.
Others argued that the intersection isn't so dangerous.
Councilman Dale Henson lives on Magnolia, and he cited the police chief's report that there have only been three accidents at that intersection in the last ten years, saying that was not very much - although his own wife was involved in one of those accidents. Henson said that winter conditions can be problematic there but only for five to ten days a year.
Police Chief Tony Kramer told council that in those same ten years there were 2,700 accidents in the entire City of Edgewood. He recommended that the city not put a four-way stop at Magnolia and Larkspur.
Mike Thelen argued that the accident numbers were not accurate and said that it didn't account for near misses.
"I am constantly watching when I go through there, and many times an accident did not occur because I drove around the oncoming car," Thelen countered. "I am hearing about a lot of accidents there. Maybe if you put up a solar panel and flashing lights around the sign that is already there."
City Administrator Brian Dehner said that it would cost about $5,000 to put flashing lights around the sign, which he said wasn't a bad price, but if the city had to do the same thing at other intersections, the cost could quickly become prohibitive. In that case, two more stop signs would be much less expensive.
Ultimately, it was decided to put bigger stop signs at the intersection on the Larkspur side to see if that will help.  
Mayor John Link said that the city would do more research into the numbers of accidents there.
Meanwhile, the traffic light at South Loop Road and Thomas More Parkway was knocked out in the storm last Friday, and when the city went to replace the light, wokers found out that it had been obtained through a state grant originally. That meant that a replacement had to be obtained from and re-programmed by the state.
The city ordered two of the lights to be prepared for next time.  As of now, the light flashes red for South Loop and yellow for Thomas More Parkway, so cars have to stop for the red, and use caution for the yellow.
Other notes:
The estimated cost to renovate the white house within Presidents Park came back as $443,361. Council members and city staff cut out some of the options and reduced the cost to $348,527, which put the project within budget. That means, however, there will be no deck, no outside fireplace, and no outside stone. Councilman Schreiver said that he really wanted to keep the outside fireplace, so Dehner said the city would find out the numbers to keep the fireplace and get rid of other things, and get back to council.
The Tuesday evening summer concert series is ongoing for the next several Tuesdays at Presidents park. There will also be a free family camp-out on August 5 for Edgewood residents, and hot dogs and brats will be provided. Registration is required.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photo: Mike Thelen speaks to Edgewood city council on Monday night (RCN)