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Stop Signs

The purpose of a STOP sign is to assign right of way at intersections that are not busy enough to justify the installation a traffic signal.  It is not intended to be used as a traffic calming device and is not used to control speed.



Recently, City traffic engineers reviewed multiple studies which determined that multi-way stop signs do not typically control traffic speeds.  Instead, they can create liability issues, traffic noise, pollution, enforcement problems and poor stop compliance when drivers believe the signs have no justification.

  

Fifteen studies found that unwarranted multi-way stops increased speeding away from intersections because motorists try to regain lost time spent at stop signs they deem unnecessary.

 

In addition, multi-way stop signs impose higher vehicle operating costs, longer travel times, excessive fuel consumption and increased vehicle emissions. Engine exhaust, brake, tire and aerodynamic noise may increase when cars brake and then accelerate to speed.



Researchers also discovered that pedestrian safety, especially that of small children, may sometimes be decreased.  Pedestrians expect vehicles to stop, but many drivers run the “unnecessary” signs.  

 

 

Finally, where unwarranted multi-way stops have been removed with public support, compliance at justified stop signs has improved.

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