The Door County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved two ordinances involving the stretch of County Highway DK between Stevenson Pier Road and Stone Road.
The first ordinance will establish a 45 mph speed zone on County DK between the two roads. Currently there is a shorter stretch of County DK in which the speed limit is reduced to 45 mph when lights are flashing near the Southern Door School District. This ordinance will expand the length of the 45 mph zone and make it permanent.
The second ordinance implements stop signs for both eastbound and westbound traffic crossing County DK to stop on Cloverleaf Road in the Town of Nasewaupee. It will also remove the existing stop sign for traffic coming off Cloverleaf Road.
The speed zone ordinance passed with a vote of 18-1. The stop sign ordinance passed with a vote of 15-5. Two supervisors were absent.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Southern Door School District, Door County Sheriff’s Office and Renard’s Cheese wrote letters in support of these efforts to improve traffic safety in the area. Renard’s Cheese is located in the affected area.
“What really brought that intersection into the spotlight is that we had a fatal crash there on Oct. 23, 2019. Since then we’ve had numerous crashes,” said Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty. “One of the issues is congestion on the turn lane coming off the highway to turn onto CTH DK. By reconfiguring the stop signs on that intersection, the hope is to remove that congestion and eliminate the visibility issues that drivers coming off of DK trying to come onto the highway are currently experiencing.
“There’s a high volume of traffic at that intersection depending on the time of day because it is a corridor to the schools. The speed reduction and stop sign reconfiguration would be ways to make that intersection safer,” said McCarty.
These two ordinances are immediate steps towards the ultimate reconfiguration of the intersection which will be a state project for 2025.
The driveway at the end of Cloverleaf Road connecting to Renard’s Cheese will be removed as part of the state project. Ann and Christopher Renard of Renard’s Cheese said in an email to the Board of Supervisors they plan to remove the driveway by summer of 2024 “depending on construction scheduling and availability.”
Supervisor David Enigl was one of the supervisors who voted against the stop sign ordinance.
“I don’t believe the stop signs will really help. I’d rather wait on putting the stop signs up until after the driveway has been gone for some time,” said Enigl. “I’d rather see that intersection ripped right out of that side of the road and be done with it, stopping its use in general. Too many people are using it. That intersection is just a poor spot. I recognize its value to the entity there, but people are not paying attention.”
Supervisor Bob Bultman said he wanted to acknowledge the owners of Renard’s Cheese for proactively removing the driveway entrance. “It certainly is in a convenient spot and I could see why a business might be resistant (to removing it),” he said. “We, as a body, really appreciate Renard’s Cheese taking initiative. Hopefully they can do it soon.”
“We’re making incremental changes to try to make improvements,” said county administrator Ken Pabich.