State adds stop signs at Salem, Loop intersection

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 29, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 29, 2013 at 11:30 p.m.

Texas Department of Transportation veered from its original traffic plan at the Salem Road and Loop 463 intersection in Victoria.

After complaints, concerns and meetings with city staff, the state agency opted to add stop signs on Salem Road to bring the intersection to an all-way stop.

The change came less than two weeks after the agency installed stop signs for north- and south-bound traffic on the Loop 463 feeder road.

Mark Cross, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman, said the change is about safety.

"While this was not our initial plan for that intersection, once we saw that motorists had some concerns about safety, we wanted to make sure we could do what we needed to make it safe and comfortable," he said.

After meeting with city staff last week about the change, the transportation department installed the additional stop signs Monday, according to a news release from the city.

Assistant City Manager John Kaminski said the initial change was significant because it flipped the traffic patterns.

"The city is in agreement with TxDOT on their change of the intersection to an all-way stop as opposed to just stopping the frontage road traffic," Kaminski said.

Cross said the original plan for the intersection created confusion.

"Even though the stop sign was on the Loop, there were people stopping on Salem Road because they were confused," he said.

Although the original stop sign setup was studied and approved by state engineers, the agency took drivers' concerns to heart. The intersection opened April 16.

"What works for engineers sometimes takes people a while to figure it out," Cross said. "We just decided let's mitigate it and make it as safe as we can right now."

Councilman Tom Halepaska, who serves on Victoria's metropolitan planning organization, said the state agency worked with the city to come up with a better method for the intersection.

"The long-term solution is to put a light there, just as there is at every other intersection on those feeder roads," Halepaska said.

He said he expects more talks about a traffic signal once development grows on Salem Road.

Cross said at this point there is no plan for a traffic light.



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