AGRIBUSINESS: Dockstader Says Safety Is Priority

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While Mingo-based organic fruit and vegetable grower Larry Cleverley continues to receive signatures in support of halting a potential Iowa DOT project that would put an interchange through his farm, Cleverley's supporters are still asking why a stoplight wouldn't work.

Scott Dockstader is the Iowa Department of Transportation District 1 engineer, who oversees central Iowa. He says a crew couldn't just wire up a stoplight at a given intersection.

"The main reason is when we install stoplights, we use a set of guidelines that are national guidelines across the country," Dockstader says. "In this particular case, there were eight warrants for putting up a stop light. We've gone through the particular location and it doesn't meet any of those warrants, and we believe that putting a stoplight up in a rural area does not meet driver's expectations."

Those eight warrants don't apply for something like a four-way stop sign, but Dockstader stresses the project's goal is reducing the number of deaths at the intersections near Cleverley's farm. By Dockstader's reasoning, a four-way stop sign, much like a stoplight, would catch drivers off-guard and does not guarantee safety in the way that an interchange would.