Stop signs went up this week in the Montrose area of Copley Township at the intersection of Brookwall Drive and Flight Memorial Parkway. The intersection will change from a two-way stop to a four-way stop.

The new stop signs were placed on the main drag, Brookwall Drive, eastbound and westbound, near Steak and Shake and the Winking Lizard.

Stop signs were already in place north and south coming from West Market Street and out of the Market Square at Montrose where anchor stores JCPenney and Levin Furniture are located.

“Folks have been wanting a four-way stop there for some time,” Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker said. “Motorists north and south are sometimes stuck there unless someone on Brookwall stops to let them out and because there wasn’t a stop sign there someone coming in the other direction would hit the vehicle at that intersection.”

He said the intersection was tricky because sometimes people would stop as if it were already a four-way stop.

“Some folks are concerned that traffic might back up a little bit because of the stop signs but based on the engineering statistics for four-way stops the intersection will operate fairly efficiently and make it safer for everyone,” Brubaker said.

According to the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), which works with highway safety, from 2012 to 2014 there were 23 car crashes at the intersection.

Five involved injury and the others were property damage only. So far this year, there have been eight crashes there.

The intersection is ranked 82nd (out of 275) in the entire AMATS area and is ranked fifth (out of 20) for high-crash intersections under Summit County’s jurisdiction.

The volume of traffic going through the intersection in 2005 was 4,740 vehicles per day.

Jason Segedy, the director of AMATS, said that was before the Rothrock Road closing, so it is probably higher now since traffic that might have cut through Rothrock is now forced to use other routes.

Jack Groetz, 67, of Akron, said it was always hard to get through the intersection because of all the traffic.

“They finally did it,” he said. “Anytime you put up a stop sign, it’s a good thing.”

Dan Andrews, 40, of Medina, said he is in the area often. “This parking lot has always been confusing [Market Square at Montrose] trying to figure out who has the right of way, and even with the new stop signs, a few people rolled out before their turn,” he said.

Mary Kay Robertson, 66, said she never saw the stop signs there before. She entered the plaza from West Market Street.

“I like it. Before it was so much traffic when others had the right of way on Brookwall that you had to wait and wait and wait,” she said. “I think the stop signs will be better, at least with everyone stopping we’ll all get a chance to get out. It’ll just take some getting used to for some people because some people just don’t pay attention to changes.”

The engineer’s office also installed Stop Ahead signs with orange flags and changeable message boards on Brookwall Drive to warn motorists of the newly installed stop signs.

He said it’s a first step and sometimes the simplest improvement is often the best.

But Copley police Chief Michael Mier said there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed in the area.

“Although a four-way stop might be appropriate for that intersection, it would have been beneficial to study the traffic needs for the entire Brookwall corridor,” Mier said. “If you come one more intersection east at Brookwall and Brookmont Road, where Laser Quest and Swensons are located, that’s also a problem area — a sight distance problem.”

He said there are also problems at the intersection of Springside Drive and Brookwall. The four-way stop in place is troublesome because there are two lanes of traffic in each direction.

“We would have preferred a traffic light or a roundabout on Brookwall but we weren’t included at all in the discussion, and that’s very troubling,” the chief said. “The whole thing makes me think how much thought was put into all of this especially with the work being done on Springside in the middle of the Christmas season.”

Heidi Swindell, a spokeswoman for the engineer’s office, said concrete on all of Springside Drive is being replaced and the outer lanes should be complete by Wednesday evening.

“We have asked the contractor to not work on Black Friday and the following Saturday. They will have all four lanes open for Black Friday,” she said. “We are actually in discussions to put off doing the inner lanes until the spring.”

Swindell said a new traffic signal could be discussed in the future but the engineer’s office was looking for a quick solution.

“Cost was also a major factor,” she told council members. “Stop signs only cost a few hundred dollars, traffic lights cost $100,000 and a roundabout, $1 million.”

Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or mmiller@thebeaconjournal.com.