Police Chief explains the new traffic sign at St. Clair and Williams Avenue

Chief of Police

NPJ sat down with City of Natchitoches Police Chief Micky Dove to talk about the new traffic sign explaining the proper way to turn off of St. Clair Avenue onto Williams Avenue. The new signs states “Vehicles Entering Bridge Must Obey Traffic Light.”

Chief Dove explained that this means that vehicles on St. Claire Avenue turning onto Williams Avenue must come to a complete stop at the stop sign and use their turning signal to indicate whether they are turning right or left. Vehicles wishing to turn right to head north on to Williams Avenue or cross onto the Church Street Bridge will then merge onto Williams Avenue and must obey the traffic light before proceeding.
“If the vehicle on St. Clair that is heading north on Williams Avenue or crossing the Church Street Bridge doesn’t follow the traffic light, then there is no control of traffic. This may cause an accident and if it does, then the vehicle coming off St. Clair is at fault,” said Dove. “This intersection is very complicated. Before we start issuing tickets we are going to give the public time to get used to the sign, at least 30 days. I have been in communication with the City Court and the City Prosecutor so everyone knows what is going on.”

Before the meeting with Chief Dove, NPJ observed the corner of St.Clair Avenue and Williams Avenue for an hour to see if residents are catching on. Three out of four vehicles turning off St. Clair Avenue completed the action properly while some others still had difficulty. It seems that when one car pulls up to the stop sign everything goes smoothly but once a second or third car approaches things get sticky. The first car pulls up to the stop sign, makes a complete stop, uses their turn signal to merge right on to Williams Avenue then uses their turn signal to indicate if they are crossing the Church Street Bridge, which is correct, but once the light turns green the second vehicle waiting at the stop sign would also merge on to Williams Avenue which is incorrect. Sometimes, even a third or fourth car would attempt to dart through the intersection which is illegal. Another common mistake is rolling through the stop sign to merge on to Williams Avenue without making a complete stop at the stop sign, which is also illegal. A few vehicles, that may have not noticed the new sign, stopped at the stop sign and proceeded without observing the traffic signal. Then there were the vehicles who did everything correct except they would fail to use their turning signal at all. Hopefully, the new sign and instructions from Chief Dove will sink in before the 30 days are up.

19 thoughts on “Police Chief explains the new traffic sign at St. Clair and Williams Avenue

  1. The light needs to work like any other cross section light. It’s just stupid the way that intersection works! There’s no wonder why it confuses so many people. I understand how it works but it’s still a dangerous intersection with the way y’all have it going because even knowing how it works you’re never sure whether people coming from St. Clair are going to dart out there or not. Makes everyone involved nervous!! Just put up a light allowing St. Clair to Church and Williams to Williams like any other!!! It’s not rocket science!

  2. Hello Natchitoches: just to let you know, that intersection is a bad wreck waiting to happen, cause people run the red light on Williams coming off St Clair. I have been almost hit there several times in the last 2 months, cause no stop sign will they obey. Plus St Clair should be closed to one way off the bridge, like a few other streets in this town . but , i can tell you it is a very large problem , an the state and city both will be held accountable , when there is a wreck when some one runs the red light , i can tell you i will sue someone it i get hit cause this is a problem they just want to over look an not fix right to start with, has been a problem for years , an the state should build a new bridge 3 lane like the pine street bridge an would fix the problem. now would be the time as the historic look of down town is no more with the redesign of the river bank, so that should no longer be a problem right. so you want more tourist to come, but yet streets need repair in this town in a bad way an drainage as well. therefore , down town Natchitoches , is not , i repeat is not all of Natichitoches, there is more parts to this city than just down town, the postage stamp that it is , has now been completed ! now work on the rest of this town , like finish south drive to rest of the 4 lanes by lott oil, replace the fish hatchery bridge, make south drive as beautiful as the I 49 highway as the cane river historic homes an tourist area needs the same attention an its terrible to even drive that way , an the trash that lines the roadway is not nice for our community an to have tourist drive that way an see that at all. Just saying down town is not all there is to Natchitoches, same thing about highway 6 to the red river , we should have a welcome sign like going to an from I49 at every entry into our town!

  3. I agree with the majority the stop sign will still cause confusion becuase most people stop there anyway. Adding a signal light that corresponds to that of the bridge would be much safe and less confusing and complicated.

    • So the person living on st clair closer to the intersection has to go all around the block just to cross the bridge. Thats not fair. What if you lived there, would you like that?

  4. Maybe the best solution, since there are a lot of cars coming off St. Claire, would be a traffic light for them that worked in conjunction with the lights already up at the intersection. I have seen this done in larger cities where one of the streets was a little offset.

    • That wouldn’t work because Williams Avenue is the thoroughfare and has the right-of-way over all side streets.

      • I dont see any reason why it wouldnt work. I think ot would be less confusing than a stop sign that still does not give direction. It basically just tell you to stop.

  5. I don’t get how the second car did something wrong if they were waiting at the stop sign and merged onto Williams Ave once the light turned green. We’re they supposed to wait until it turned Red? It’s a stop sign so..you stop then you go right? This sign is also positioned slightly in front of where the cars stop on Williams Ave at the light. So if a car was to turn off St. Clair then they would be in front of the other cars. So are they supposed to wait until all the cars have gone before they go? It’s confusing and the instructions are not very clear.

  6. I live on Willams and don’t agree with your assessment I have witnessed people time and time again go through the light on St Claire going to the bridge when the light on Willams turns green and red on their side
    You are going to have to do better than a stop sign because this will turn into a money trap for most people, kinda like the stop signs on St Clair that have limbs covering them in the spring where cars are hid down the side roads because they know people are going to make a mistake

    All I’m saying is fix the problems right Maybe speed bumps as reminders

  7. I wish someone would have came up with a solution a long time ago. Its the design or outlay of the bridge that had people confused. I have always stopped @ the STOP sign, but have actually had people honk their horns, go around me, an proceed thru the light. I hope in 30 days people catch on, or better yet don’t use the street if you don’t know what’s legal.

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