More Stop Signs Coming to Rural Linn County

By Rick Smith, Reporter


By Kayleigh Milas

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Linn County Board of Supervisors is taking steps to place stop signs and perhaps other traffic control measures at 18 uncontrolled rural intersections with 55 mph speed limits in place.

None of the 18 has had a stop sign since they became intersections in the 1800s, County Engineer Steve Gannon said.

The supervisors’ action comes a little more than two months after a second motorist died within 15 months at the uncontrolled intersection in northeast Linn County at Hills Mill Road and Upper Boulder Road.

Family and friends of the victims — Nicholas Aberle, 20, of Troy Mills, who died Oct. 2, 2013, and Margaret Holub, 44, of rural Central City, who died July 9, 2012 — asked the supervisors in October to improve safety at the county’s uncontrolled intersections.

The supervisors quickly agreed to make the intersection at Hills Mill Road and Upper Boulder Road a four-way stop.

On Monday, Gannon presented the supervisors with a list of 18 additional rural intersections that he proposed to be further analyzed in preparation for the county to take new measures to control traffic.

These 18 have roads meeting at the intersection where the speed limit is not posted and so is 55 mph, Gannon told the supervisors.
He said the county has other four-way intersections without stop signs, but those are on roads with posted speed limits under 55 mph.
John Harris, the board’s chairman, said Gannon’s analysis will help determine which of the targeted intersections will become four-way stops or two-way stops. It depends "what makes the most sense," he said.

Supervisor Brent Oleson said the goal is "some control," which he said could come with a variety of tools, including, for instance, flashing lights at intersections.

Oleson said that nothing Linn County does will prevent every crash.
Louis Zumbach, of 558 Monticello Rd. Coggon, attended Monday’s supervisor meeting to thank the supervisors for taking steps to make Linn County’s rural intersections safer.

In October, Zumbach presented the supervisors with a 220-signature petition calling for more stop signs on the county’s rural intersections.
Engineer Gannon put the cost at about $250 per stop sign with installation costs factored in. A sign itself costs less than $50, he estimated.

Gannon said his office will continue to review any rural intersection with a significant crash history, he said.

The 18 intersections that are now apt to see stop signs, he said, have low traffic volumes.

The 18 are:

Mills Road & Rolling Acres Road

Wileys Road & West Otter Road

Reamer Road & Campfire Road

Reamer Road & Lyman Road

Troy Mills Road & Deal Road

McNeil Road & Forest Edge Road

Sutton Road & Round Grove Road

Lillie Road & Indian Bridge Road

Barett Road & Austin Road

Caldwell Road & Upper Boulder Road

Linn Grove Road & Gracey Road

Taylor Road & Gracey Road

Yeisley Road & Elbow Creek Road

Linn Grove Road & Elbow Creek Road

Linn Grove Road & Goudy Road

McClelland Road & Spring Creek Road/Day Road

Morgan Bridge Road SW & Angle Road

Young Road & Lone Tree Road

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