Tonight, City Traffic Engineer Clint Schuckel suggested to the Public Facilities committee that they Google stop signs and traffic calming to see the policy reasons against stop signs as traffic calming.
Here's what such a search returns:
- Northampton, Mass.
Research has shown that unwarranted STOP signs and STOP signs that have been used for speed control, do not have the effect desired. Speeds between the STOP signs increase as drivers try to make up for lost time. Drivers tend to roll through the unwarranted STOP signs with higher frequency (over 50%).
- Kirkland, Washington (scroll down to the bottom)
All-way or 4-way stop signs are usually not an appropriate traffic calming tool on neighborhood streets. Citizens frequently request all-way stop signs at a neighborhood intersection to slow cars down and make the intersection safer. However, all-way stops that are placed in inappropriate locations do little to to slow traffic and can actually make the intersection less safe.
- Portland, Oregon
Stop signs may often seem like a good solution to neighborhood speeding, but traffic studies and experience show that using stop signs to control speeding doesn't necessarily work.
- Victoria, British Columbia
Stop signs should not be used as Traffic Calming devices.
- Anacortes, Washington
Overuse of stop signs may actually reverse the benefits. Studies have shown that motorists may ignore stop signs or increase speed between controlled areas if the stop signs are poorly placed.
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
The City installs STOP signs to indicate right-of-way. Installing STOP signs for speed control goes directly against federal guidelines. The guidelines are based on previous engineering practices and studies, and have determined that STOP signs can actually exacerbate problems after extended use. First, people tend to speed in between STOP signs, to "make up" for their perceived lost time. Second, when drivers must constantly stop for traffic, but do not see good reason to, they will develop contempt for STOP signs.