Nick Campion

Can we get a stop sign to slow down traffic?


All-way stop sign control is frequently requested by citizens in order to control speeds on residential streets. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices describes warrants for installing all-way stop signs. Numerous studies have shown the problems caused by the installation of unwarranted all-way stop signs in an attempt to control speeds. Speed reductions are observed only in the immediate vicinity of the intersection in question, and motorists often increase their speeds between stop signs to make up the time lost at the perceived “unnecessary” stop sign. Motorists tend to lose respect for all-way stop signs where little traffic exists on cross streets, and compliance is poor. Pedestrian safety is decreased at unwarranted all-way stops, especially for small children. Pedestrians expect vehicles to stop at the stop signs, but drivers have gotten in the habit of running the “unnecessary” stop sign. Noise is increased in the vicinity of the intersection. Due to these concerns, all-way stop signs are not used as a tool for neighborhood speed control.

See page 11 of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program.