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Cherry and Front streets get a four-way stop

NORTH LIBERTY– For years, the intersection of Cherry and Front streets has been the subject of much discussion, debate – and frustration – with regular requests to turn it into a four-way stop.
However, a past study by the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County (MPOJC), which the City of North Liberty relies on for help analyzing and planning for traffic, found that accident rates and traffic volumes were both low and the intersection didn’t justify changes. This study is available on northlibertyiowa.org.
While that remains true in the MPOJC’s most recent analysis of the intersection, deeper analysis found short sight distances that may indicate the need for stop signs on Cherry Street.
“Without going too deeply into the technicalities of the intersection analysis, the sight distance issue is not considered a main criteria for change, but is instead an optional criteria to be used based on engineering judgment,” said Planning Director Dean Wheatley.
The City of North Liberty’s internal Traffic Group, after much discussion, decided the most logical way to proceed is to introduce stop signs at the Cherry Street legs of the intersection on a temporary basis, during the current Front Street reconstruction project, and to monitor the impact on the current reduced traffic levels.
The intent is to make the stops permanent, but because of the weak justification through the MPOJC’s analysis, there is, how ever counterintuitive it may seem, some potential that the additional signage may actually negatively impact the functionality of the intersection. If that proves to be the case, the signs will be removed.
The Traffic Group felt that the construction project impacts, where users are generally aware of changes in traffic control, allow North Liberty the unusual opportunity to install a temporary measure and monitor its effectiveness before making a permanent commitment.