Hood River law enforcement officials are giving motorists a “grace” period to adjust to a new four-way stop at Ninth and State streets.
However, they have stepped up patrols at the intersection. That move was made after police observed that numerous motorists were failing to obey the sign Friday, the crossing’s first day as a four-way stop.
“It’s almost frightening if you park there and watch because people are oblivious to the stop sign,” said Community Resource Officer Aaron Jubitz, who has pulled numerous drivers over since the stop signs were installed.
The biggest problem has been the right turn for northbound traffic from Ninth onto State. Although downhill motorists were previously allowed to take the corner without stopping, that action is no longer allowable. However, Jubitz said many travelers appear to be oblivious to the change — in spite of the fact that “Stop Ahead” signs have also been posted on Ninth Street.
He said city and county officers will monitor motorists using the intersection more closely during the next few weeks. They are hoping to prevent collisions until drivers become acclimated to the new system.
Although stop signs were already in place for east and west traffic on State Street, the city decided to post signs on Ninth Street also. Mark Lago, director of the public works/engineering department, said that action was taken to address numerous “fender-benders” at the intersection.
He said most of the problems were caused by drivers sitting on State Street watching traffic coming downhill — and forgetting that vehicles traveling up the hill were also not required to stop.