Update: As of 11 a.m. Jan. 5 the stop sign has been taken down. See video above for details.
At the first meeting of the year, the newly-elected council made it official.
The council approved the removal of the stop sign after the first reading of the ordinance. The vote came after 10:30 p.m. after many Carmel residents in attendance had already left the meeting.
The new ordinance allows Carmel’s city engineer to decide which stop signs can be removed without council approval.
The 126th and Auman Drive stop sign has drawn the ire of motorists having to stop during rush hour. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has previously said that very few people exit the nearby residential neighborhood compared to the amount of east-west traffic on 126th Street, so the stop sign wasn’t necessary.
The proposed removal of the stop sign led many to speak out at meetings during the past year, even local basketball legend Bobby “Slick” Leonard, but the previous council did not have enough votes to make it happen. Many newly-elected members had publicly stated their support for removing the sign, so it was widely expected to be removed once the new council took office.
Councilor Kevin “Woody” Rider asked that the city council be notified in the future about any stop sign removals so there isn’t a tug-of-war between the city engineer and the council, who could vote to put it back where it was.
Brainard said a previous city council stripped the city engineer of the authority to remove stop signs. Under the law, the council could still vote to override the engineer’s decision, but it requires unanimous support.
“I’m not going to second guess my accountant when he tells me how to report my income taxes,” Brainard said, using the analogy to show why he believes the city engineer should be trusted.