To The Daily Sun,
I wish to thank the mayor and the City Council members for listening to my objections to the petition to erect a 3-way stop sign(s) at the corner of Summit Avenue and Wentworth Cove Road. To support my argument I have included the following portion of the Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia's content on stop sign uses in North America (verbatim). I have not included the references however, they can easily be found online.
"In North America stop signs are often used to control conflicting traffic movements at intersections which are not busy enough to justify the installation of a traffic signal or roundabout. In the United States, the stop sign is not intended for use as a traffic calming device; it is meant to be installed mainly for safety and/or to assign right-of-way for a certain direction. Nevertheless, in the United States, Mexico and Canada, stop signs are commonly deployed as supposed safety measures in residential areas and near places where children play or walk (such as schoolyards), or which experience frequent automobile accidents, making extra precautions necessary. Stop signs may be erected on all intersecting roads, resulting in three- and four-way stops. benefits over the yield approach adopted in the countries listed above based on original European research dating back many decades.
More recently, Georgia Traffic Engineer Martin Bretherton Jr. reviewed over 70 technical papers to find that multi-way stop signs do not typically control traffic speeds, and can create a variety of problems, including liability issues, traffic noise, pollution, enforcement problems and poor stop compliance when drivers feel that the signs have no justification. Fifteen studies found that unwarranted multi-way stops actually increased speed away from intersections as motorists try to make up lost time spent at "unnecessary" stop signs. Multi-way stop signs impose high vehicle operating costs, longer than needed travel times, excessive fuel consumption and increased vehicle emissions.
Researchers also found that safety of pedestrians (especially small children) may sometimes be actually decreased. Pedestrians expect vehicles to stop, but many drivers run the "unnecessary" signs. Engine exhaust, brake, tire and aerodynamic noise may all increase as cars brake and then accelerate up to speed. While the initial cost of installing stop signs is low, enforcement costs can be prohibitive, and one 1990 study estimated extra travel costs per intersection as $210,061/year. Finally, where unwarranted multi-way stops have been successfully removed with public support, results have included improved compliance at justified stop signs."
I believe this clearly supports my position and I pray the City Council will not approve the petition which in my mind would constitute the reckless application and misuse of two stop signs in a rural area that is sparsely populated with pedestrian traffic most of the year. The installation of stop signs should be reserved for intersections that present the risk of vehicular collisions. Since there is an existing stop sign at the end of Wentworth Cove Road at Summit Avenue, this is clearly not necessary.
I noted that the petitioner stated that all of the residents of Summit Avenue have signed the petition which is understandable because only two residents would need to stop at the new signs unlike all of the residents of Governors Island and Wentworth Cove Road who would be needlessly inconvenienced.
- Category: Letters
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