Franklin City Council members focused on traffic safety during their monthly meeting Monday.
City Manager Tracy Jamieson and police Chief Kevin Anundson outlined options for council they believe would reduce the severity, if not the number, of accidents at the intersection of Elk Street and Washington Crossing, as well as Elk and 9th streets.
"Washington Crossing and Elk is one of our more dangerous intersections," Anundson said.
The chief said this isn't due to the percentage of crashes recorded at the site but rather the speed at which vehicles travel on both streets, making the wrecks that do happen much more severe.
Councilman Mike Dulaney asked Anundson if motorists on one street or the other are more to blame, and Anundson told him the blame is equal among motorists on both roads.
"Like most traffic violations, people don't mean to do it," he said.
Anundson said most of the crashes are caused by drivers not paying attention rather than intentionally disobeying traffic laws.
"It comes down to human error," said Anundson. "(Drivers are not) paying attention when they should...they're not watching."
Anundson's recommendation is to install a stop sign at 11th and Elk streets to slow drivers down before they get to the intersection and to get them to pay more attention.
"So instead of cruising along at 35 miles an hour they'll be starting out from, hopefully, zero miles per hour," he said.
Councilman Sam Lyons asked Anundson if the sign would create more congestion during busy hours such as when the courthouse lets out for the day. He also said that adding a stop sign would hinder traffic.
Anundson said he doesn't foresee a sign causing any more congestion than what already exists. He also told council he has spent time researching what the sign would do to drivers and said the sign only adds about five to seven seconds to what the drive is currently.
The other location for a potential sign, 9th and Elk, would add extra security to those crossing Elk, especially during times Riverfront Park is being used for a festival or by city employees driving to the water treatment facility.
"I worked as a crossing guard there. It's scary," Dulaney said.
Jamieson said she believes the addition of the signs would help "raise the quality of living" in some areas of the city.
Lyons, who said he is "dead set against" a stop sign at either location, said the addition of the signs would only make getting through the city harder.
"It's cumbersome enough getting through Franklin as it is," he said.
Mayor Doug Baker said he is very much for the addition of the signs and recommended motorists "leave a few minutes early and drive respectfully through our neighborhoods."
"I really honestly think our priority needs to be living here, not driving here," Baker said.
No action followed the discussion.
In other business Monday, city solicitor Brian Spaid told council a hearing to bring the city's noise ordinance into effect will be held at 10 a.m. July 12 in council chambers.
"It's important to remember that we're having this hearing because we're replacing Pennsylvania law with our own," Spaid said.
The proposed ordinance will protect downtown businesses if noise is produced beyond the businesses' property line.
Spaid said there has been a lack of outdoor music so far this summer because businesses are "concerned" they could be fined by the state police Liquor Control Enforcement bureau.
Spaid said another important reminder is that the ordinance isn't intended to support drinking, as most people think that loud, nighttime music is played solely in bars, but instead "is to support music and outdoor activities" in Franklin.
In other matters, Jamieson told council the obsolete vehicles approved by council in May to be taken to auction sold for a total profit of $9,602.
Jamieson also said the city has been awarded two grants that total $100,000. She told council this money will be used for various projects at the Miller-Sibley recreation complex.