Where Main Street intersects Virginia and Commerce streets, drivers need to be aware of two four-way stops that were installed Wednesday, May 15.
The four-way stop at Main and Virginia streets replaced existing traffic signals.
The intersection at Main and Commerce streets previously had two stop signs; one coming off on Main St. and the other coming out of the Bayfront Peninsula. The intersection now has a four-way stop to slow down general traffic and traffic from Formosa Plastics, according to City Manager Bill DiLibero.
DiLibero believes the stop signs will work, as long as law enforcement enforces the stop signs.
“Patrol has monitored the two intersections once they went into effect. Officers did make multiple stops for disregarding the stop signs. Several warnings were issued,” Police Chief Colin Rangnow said.
The city has seen an influx of traffic on Commerce and Broadway as a result of Formosa Plastics’ expansion. Rangnow explained that motorists vacate Highway 35 and enter onto Broadway and Commerce to avoid red lights.
“The Department has received several complaints of motorists driving at excessive speeds on said roadways. The thought behind the stop intersection was to slow motorists in the area,” Rangnow said.
According to DiLibero, the city met with the Texas Department of Transportation to discuss how to manage the traffic on Commerce Street.
“They couldn’t do a signal,” DiLibero said. “Their suggestion was to do the four-way stop to slow the traffic.”
Another reason the city wants to slow the traffic is due to the potential upgrades at the Bayfront Peninsula Park that could lead to increased foot traffic.
“As we improve the park, more people will be able to cross the street and walk to the park,” DiLibero said. “As we are creating more commercial development and having more activities down at the park, we want people to be able to safely walk across Commerce.”
Rangnow gave some advice, saying every motorist approaching an intersection should never assume the other motorist is going to stop.
“Motorists should always approach every intersection with caution,” Rangnow said.
The police department has started a weekly driver education segment on its Facebook page to update people on the traffic rules and regulations.
“The department wants to ensure public safety and voluntary compliance,” Rangnow stated.