On Feb. 15, the City Commission tied the vote on whether to make new stop signs on Territorial Road at 28th Street permanent. By city ordinance, a tie vote is a defeat. We removed the stop signs that Thursday, Feb. 17, adding signs to the 28th Street stop signs, saying that cross traffic (on Territorial) does not stop.
This issue is coming back to the City Commission agenda this Tuesday night, March 1. The short of it is that the commission could take a new vote on the issue. If they do, the intersection could stay as it is now, or we could be putting the stop signs back on Territorial. Keep reading to learn how this could happen.
The issue comes back to the agenda at Vice Mayor Kaytee Faris's request (she was absent from the Feb. 15 meeting). You will see the item on the agenda under the heading "Commission Comment Regarding Meeting Business." The agenda item is a motion to rescind the Feb. 15 vote, and present it to the commission at the March 1 meeting for a new vote.
This doesn't happen very often, so we want to break down what could happen at the March 1 meeting (assuming all nine commissioners are there):
- Any of the commissioners could make the motion to rescind the Feb. 15 vote and add a new vote to the March 1 agenda. It does not have to be Vice Mayor Faris, and it does not matter how a commissioner voted on the original vote.
- If that motion does not get support from a second commissioner on March 1, the issue will stop there.
- If commissioners move and second the issue, they will vote on it. If it fails, the Feb. 15 vote stands, and the intersection will stay as it is now. If it passes (at least five yes votes), the Feb. 15 vote on the stop signs is canceled, and the commission will have a new vote on the issue that evening.
- If there is a new vote, and at least five commissioners vote yes, that would mean we put the stop signs back on Territorial, making the intersection an all-way (four-way) stop permanently.
This started with a neighbor request in July 2021. Our Traffic team investigated the intersection and made a temporary traffic control order - for 90 days - as allowed by ordinance. The intersection became a four-way stop in November 2021. By our ordinance, the city commission votes on whether to make this type of order permanent, which led to the Feb. 15 vote.
Another item on the commission's March 1 agenda relates to the way the traffic control order process works. The commission will vote on whether to introduce an ordinance that would give the Director of our Department of Public Works the authority (with City Manager approval) to put in place some types of traffic control - including stop signs and yield signs at intersections. The commission would still vote on traffic issues like one-way streets, and extending a no-parking zone more than one block.
Tune in to the March 1 city commission meeting starting at 7 p.m. This meeting is in person at City Hall, 10 N. Division St. To give public comment, you must attend in person. You also can email your comments to CityClerk@battlecreekmi.gov before the meeting. The Clerk's Office will share those with commissioners, but will not read them at the meeting. You also can watch the meeting on AccessVision cable 17/917 or at the Live 17 tab at accessvision.tv. We also live stream commission meetings on the City of Battle Creek YouTube channel.