Removing stop signs divides Sudbury councillors

A discussion to decide to future of a handful of all-way stops turned into an hour-long debate at a Sudbury city council meeting Tuesday night — and also prompted councillors to talk about their roles in a democracy.
Sudbury staff members say stop signs installed at four intersections in New Sudbury aren't working, because drivers aren't stopping. The situation poses a hazard to pedestrians, they warn.

A discussion to decide to future of a handful of all-way stops turned into an hour-long debate at a Sudbury city council meeting Tuesday night — and also prompted councillors to talk about their roles in a democracy. 

Fabio Belli is a city councillor in Greater Sudbury. (CGS)

A year ago, new stop signs were installed at four intersections in New Sudbury. But city staff now report the signs aren’t working because drivers are not stopping. 

Staff said it’s less safe for pedestrians and recommended the signs be removed. 

But not everyone agreed, including some people who live nearby the stop signs. Coun. Fabio Belli said the signs should stay. 

“That’s what they want, let’s give it to them,” he said.  “We’re elected by people to give them what they want, not what we want.” 

‘Lives at stake’

But Coun. Terry Kett warned against ignoring the professional advice of city staff, especially when public safety was involved. 

“So, if you just want to be a 'yes' man, go right ahead,” he said. “But remember, people’s lives are at stake.”

Jacques Barbeau is a city councillor in Greater Sudbury.

Coun. Jacques Barbeau said he saw no reason to remove the stop signs, adding he wouldn’t lose much sleep over the decision. 

“Why don’t we give each councillors three stop signs per term? Put them up wherever you freaking want to put them up, and when you’re done, you’re done.”

City council voted to keep two of the all-way stops and send the other two back to committee for further discussion.

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