Friday, July 18, 2008

Removing Four Way Stops

Open Letter to Wasatch County Council:

I would like to strongly urge the removal of the Stop Signs on 1200 South at 2400 E, 3600 E, 4800 E and, possibly, 1200 E.

These intersections are currently all 4 way stops.

Reasons for removal:

  1. 1200 S is designated a major collector and the recent General Plan called for upgrading and less access.
  2. I'd guess 90% of the traffic at the intersections is on 1200 S vs. crossroads. Four way stops are generally used for "equal" traffic for intersection scheduled for traffic lights.
    "Total vehicular volume entering the intersection from all approaches must average 500 vehicles per hour for any eight hours of an average day and the combined vehicular and pedestrian volume from the minor street or highway must average at least 200 units per hour for the same eight hours, with an average delay to minor street vehicular traffic of at least 30 seconds per vehicle during the maximum hour."
Institute of Transportation Engineers.
  • The traffic is getting much more worse.
  • Many are already using 'cowboy' stops. I've witnessed a few totally full speed running the 1200 S stop signs now.
  • 1200 S is the main road for access to the LDS girls' camp with lots of buses Mondays and Fridays.
  • Removal of the signs would decrease the pollution and noise of requiring the buses to make 3 extra stops.
  • No stops would create a better flow of traffic and would be much more fuel efficient.
    "Multi-way stop signs have high operating costs based on vehicle operating costs, vehicular travel times, fuel consumption and increased vehicle emissions. " . . . "The cost to install two stops signs is $280. The cost to the traveling public is $210,061 (1990) per year in operating costs. This cost is based on about 8,000 vehicles entering the intersection per day. "
    Institute of Traffic Engineers
  • Reasons to Keep 4 way stop (and rebuttal):

    • They keep the speed down. "Before-After studies show multi-way stop signs do not reduce speeds on residential streets. Nineteen references found this to be their finding."
    Institute of Traffic Engineers "there is no real evidence to indicate that STOP signs decrease the overall speed of traffic. Impatient drivers view the additional delay caused by unwarranted STOP signs as “lost time” to be made up by driving at higher speeds between STOP signs. ." Institute of Traffic Engineers
  • If speeds DO increase, there a source of revenue in speeding tickets. ; -)
  • They enhance safety. "Unwarranted STOP signs breed disrespect by motorists who tend to ignore them or only slow down without stopping. This can sometimes lead to tragic consequences." Institute of Traffic Engineers
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