It all started innocently enough with a Post Road resident wandering up to the podium to address McMinnville officials during a city meeting.
The resident said cars were driving too fast on Post Road and she wanted a stop sign to slow the speeding masses. She wanted to protect young children in yards, and old ladies at mailboxes, from motorists who were treating cozy Post Road like Talladega Superspeedway.
So the lady asked for a stop sign, a request benign enough. Anyone who has driven though Westwood knows McMinnville is proud of stop signs and should be renamed McStopSignville.
Our Board of Mayor and Aldermen struck with viper-like quickness on this stop sign request.
It seems I’ve waited longer to have a pizza delivered than this lady waited for her stop sign. She asked for one -- and actually received two!
City officials, for some reason, acted like a NASCAR pit crew. It was so fast, in a matter of days they changed their own decision and removed one of the stop signs.
Now they’re pondering other ways they can meddle with Post Road traffic, perhaps even placing a speed bump or dropping the speed limit to a Woodbury-like 20 mph. Noooo!
In taking the glass-half-full approach, I should applaud our city officials for their attentiveness to this lady’s stop sign request. As a proud McMinnville resident myself, I’ve never had to muster the courage to go before the city board with an issue.
If I ever did, I’d like to imagine the city would hear my request, agree fully, and act in about the time it takes me to make a sandwich, which is what happened here.
I know our city has been criticized for acting too slowly. That tends to happen when it takes 12 years to make a decision on the Blue Building. But I think middle ground needs to be found that falls somewhere between the reaction time for the Blue Building and the Post Road Stop Sign Fiasco of 2022.
Perhaps the best suggestion is for city government to return to, you know, being city government. When a request is made, take a painfully long time to resolve it. Discuss it in meeting after meeting, with those talks often going around in circles.
Conduct studies – at least two or three – before ever considering action. Just make sure the third study parrots the results of the first two. And the studies should escalate in cost. This is what we’ve come to expect from government.
In closing, this column has been a long and winding road for me to make one simple suggestion I believe should be implemented here in McStopSignville.
Before city officials vote on placing another stop sign anywhere in McMinnville city limits, it should be mandatory for every elected official who votes on the matter to spend 15 minutes observing the intersection in question. Also crucial is whether there have been any accidents, which I don't recall Post Road having any. That’s my idea.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.