Green Park aldermen clash over installing no-left-turn sign at county facility on Kohrs Lane

Green Park aldermen clash over installing no-left-turn sign at county facility on Kohrs Lane

By Mike Anthony
Executive Editor
news1@callnewspapers.com

James Jones

Two Green Park aldermen clashed last week over the installation of a sign prohibiting left turns onto Kohrs Lane from the county Department of Transportation’s District 4 maintenance facility at 10996 Kohrs Lane.

The Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 to adopt an ordinance calling for the installation of the no-left-turn sign.

Voting in favor of the measure were Ward 1 Aldermen Carol Hamilton and Michael Broughton and Ward 2 Aldermen James Jones and Tim Thuston.

Opposed were board President Fred Baras of Ward 3 and Ward 3 Alderman Joe Monteleone.

Jones and Monteleone clashed over the ordinance at the Feb. 20 board meeting, with Jones contending the installation of the sign will help increase safety and reduce cut-through traffic through the Ronnie Hills subdivision.

But Monteleone questioned the fairness of the measure, as it will directly impact employees who work at the county’s District 4 maintenance facility.

The installation of the no-left-turn sign is the latest in a series of efforts by the board to prevent cut-through traffic and speeding motorists in Ronnie Hills.

Aldermen voted last year to adopt an ordinance calling for the installation of three stop signs at the “T” intersection of Bobmar and Flori drives. But the board voted last month to adopt another ordinance removing the stop signs after a Flori Drive resident said he could no longer park in front of his home because one of the stop signs was next to his driveway.

Joe Monteleone

State law prohibits vehicles from being parked within 30 feet of a stop sign.

And at last week’s meeting, aldermen voted to have an ordinance drafted to install a yield sign on Bobmar where it intersects with Flori.

Mayor Bob Reinagel said, “… As you all know, we tried to put up some stop signs and discovered we had created some issues and took those down. Now we’re taking a look at perhaps some other issues, and Alderman Jones, you had said something about a yield sign?”

Jones said, “Yes, one yield sign on Bobmar because people don’t — it’s a ‘T’ (intersection) and people don’t stop when they come around. So nobody actually yields … So if you make the people coming off of Bobmar yield because people are going on the straightaway (Flori), I think that would be the best …”

“I kind of agree with you,” Reinagel said, noting that traffic-control guidelines state that yield or stop signs should not be used for speed control. “But they could be used for safety on that corner.”

During the discussion on the ordinance to install the no-left-turn sign on Kohrs, Monteleone noted that the installation of the sign would only impact motorists exiting the county’s maintenance facility, but not residents who live and work on Kohrs Lane.

“How is it fair to stop these people (county employees) from going home at one time during the day, and talking about more signs that we’re going to end up putting in, creating more problems,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. To them, it’s not fair.

“How would you feel if you were working there and they’re going to tell you, you can’t go that way when I work here? And how are you going to stop them from coming in when they go to work?” he said, later adding, “… I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. There’s a few cars that leave at a certain time, and this is all about Ronnie Hills. All these signs that have been taken down, put up. It’s getting out of control, to me.”

Jones said, “The reason why is because this board and the city until we get sued by somebody getting hit in my subdivision, the traffic, the cut through, the running the stop signs — every citizen in my subdivision is fed up with the cut-through (traffic).”

Monteleone said, “They’re not here. I don’t see them up here.”

Jones said, “You know what? They call me. They talk to me.”

“… I see a handful of people and there’s two that I know of that are complaining about it,” Monteleone said, adding, “… I live there. I drive through there every day and I don’t see a problem.”

Jones, who lives on Patsy Drive, said the solution would be to close that street.

Monteleone said, “That won’t happen.”

Jones said, “I know it won’t happen because everybody wants to cut through my subdivision.”

“No, because people live there. People live there. I live there. Fred (Baras) lives there,” said Monteleone, a Southtowne Farms resident. Baras lives in the Village at Green Park.

Jones said, “… If they cut that off, everybody who lives in there, they’d have to go around like everybody else, but we can’t have that. Why? Because it’s not …”

Monteleone interjected, “We’ve had surveys. We’ve talked about speed bumps. We’ve had the police, we’ve had the fire saying ‘no.’ We can’t close that street. We can’t put speed bumps. I think I’ve had enough of Ronnie Hills.”

Jones replied, “I understand you. I live there and I deal with the traffic every day. I live right on that street. Everybody in that subdivision lives right on that street … Everybody’s fed up. They’re 100 percent fed up.”

Monteleone said, “… That’s going to take care of the problem with them leaving at 3 o’clock or 3:30, that’s going to solve the problem? If you tell me that’s going to solve the problem, I’ll vote for it.”

Jones said, “… It’s not going to solve the problem, but it’s going to help, isn’t it?”

Monteleone said, “No.”

Jones said, “You don’t live — oh, it won’t help?”

Monteleone said, “No.”

Jones said, “So when you’re trying to back out of your driveway and there’s 15 cars in line at the stop sign trying to go through and then you’re trying to back out, then you’ve got to sit there and wait.”

Monteleone interjected, “I’m not going to argue with you.”

Jones said, “I’m not going to argue with you … I’m not telling you to vote for it. All I’m just saying is something is better than nothing …”

After a further back-and-forth between Monteleone and Jones, Reinagel gaveled them down and called for the first reading of the measure, which Monteleone opposed.

Monteleone also opposed the second reading. On final passage, Monteleone and Baras cast “no” votes.