Stop sign change is the right way to go on Reed

YOU HAVE TO BE of a certain age to remember ambulances and emergency vehicles roaring south on Selma Street past Reed Street to the emergency room at Valley View Medical Center.

You get extra age points if you remember when they took that route on their way to Plymouth Hospital.

It has been more than a decade since Plymouth had its own hospital and emergency room.

But at least one relic of those days still remains – stop signs on Reed Street at its intersection with the block-and-a-half Selma Street.

Those stop signs were installed when Selma Street was the aforementioned route to the emergency room and could be traversed by speeding emergency vehicles at any time of day or night.

But now that there is no emergency room – and no emergency vehicles – on Selma Street, the reason for the stop signs on Reed Street is gone.

Yet traffic heading east and west on the nearly-mile long Reed Street has to stop at Selma along with South Street and Mead Avenue on its way from Dewey Lane on the east to South Milwaukee Street on the west.

That makes for a less-than-efficient traffic flow along a major city street.

Indeed, Reed Street could easily be classified as a secondary eastwest arterial across Plymouth.

While Eastern Avenue and Western Avenue are the main streets through the city, and County PP provides the second major way to get across the city from east to west, Reed Street offers a popular alternative between the at-times heavy traffic on Eastern and the out-of-the-way County PP for people looking to get from the city’s west side to businesses, offices and other destinations on the east side.

Indeed, for those whose memories stretch back far enough, there was the memorable summer when Reed Street served as the bypass for State 23 (when State 23 ran through downtown and didn’t bypass the city) when Mill Street was being repaved.

The point is that Reed Street is a major city street with a significant amount of traffic.

That’s why the proposal from Council President Charles Hansen to the Public Safety Committee to move the stop signs at Reed and Selma from Reed onto Selma makes sense – and is long overdue.

The committee wisely took the suggestion one step further and recommended moving the stop signs at Reed and Mead as well, off of Reed and onto Mead, which only a few blocks long.

The committee made that recommendation to the City Council and the council has scheduled a public hearing on the changes for its May 31 meeting before taking final action.

The proposal would certainly mean a change in driving and traffic patterns all along Reed and connecting streets.

That kind of change can be difficult for many, but it’s a change that makes sense for the city and its residents as a whole – which is and should be the first priority for the council and city officials.

It will mean one less reminder of the long-gone hospital, but it will make getting around the city easier for all.

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