As an Augusta State University employee, a St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church parishioner, and an Aquinas High School parent, I frequently pass by the intersection of Highland and Bellevue avenues. While I can sympathize with the residents of this area and understand their desire for a safer crossing, adding a stop sign is unwarranted and would greatly hinder the flow of traffic on Highland.
This area already is a traffic nightmare because of the lack of foresight and planning by whoever thought it was a good idea to have the two ends of Highland not line up with each other.
To add a stop sign on Highland would further snarl traffic on both Highland and Walton Way. A more practical and commonsense solution that would meet the needs of both automobile and pedestrian traffic can be found just across the river.
With the recent extension to the northern end of the Greeneway came the addition of an on-demand traffic light that can be activated by pedestrians and cyclists who are attempting to cross Pisgah Road. Pressing the crosswalk button activates a flashing yellow light that warns cars on Pisgah that a Greeneway user is crossing the road.
It would seem that this technology could be used at the intersection of Bellevue and Highland to activate a flashing red light to force cars to stop when there is a need to stop (i.e., someone waiting to cross). The vast majority of the time there is no need for cars to stop at this intersection.
An on-demand flashing red light would enhance safety for those needing to cross Highland -- probably more so than stop signs -- while also allowing traffic to keep flowing when there is no one waiting to cross the road. Sounds like a win-win solution to me.
Of course, the traffic engineers and/or lawmakers probably have some rules against it because it would just be too simple of a solution.
North Augusta, S.C.