Illegals signs to be removed

April 10, 2008 4:15:35 PM PDT
Many speed limit signs, and stop signs in Hamilton Township aren't supposed to be there, in fact, they are illegal. Officials in Hamilton Township are beginning the process of removing dozens of illegal speed limit and stop signs that were put up around the township, but never approved by the state Department of Transportation as required by law.

The DOT told the township that was the case back in 2005, but not until last week did crews begin removing any of the signs. The first to go were the illegal stop signs on George Dye Road at Estates Blvd. Now in their place are signs warning of a new traffic pattern, which is causing some confusion.

"You see 20 or 30 cars that are still going to stop there because they're used to stopping there. By pulling them out, all you're going to do is cause an accident," Shawn Tomko of Hamilton said.

Some residents say the stop signs may not be legal, but they made a difference.

"People speed down George Dye Road and it slows them down and it really makes them this a lot safer," Monica Doherty of Hamilton said.

Officials say the signs were put up under the last administration without consulting the DOT, which regulates speed and traffic signs, leaving the township liable to lawsuits if someone blew an illegal stop sign and there was a crash.

Police don't know if tickets have been issued in connection to the illegal signs, but the DOT says drivers would have grounds to dispute such a ticket. In the meantime, the signs will be taken down and the township will ask the state for waivers to put them back up.

"What we're doing is meeting individually with the neighborhoods that are affected by the removals and discussing alternatives at each location," Bill Guhl of the Hamilton Township Business Administration said.

Because they'll be going sign by sign to review the situation in each neighborhood, this project could take months to complete.