This is by far the most frequently requested sign in residential areas. The most common reason given is because of the speeding vehicles in the neighborhood. This is followed by other reasons such as the "near misses" several vehicles have had, the increase in traffic volume, cars don't stop for the yield signs and finally concerns over neighborhood children who play on or near the street.
Stop signs should not be used to control speed. Studies have shown:
- Stop signs do not solve a speeding problem, but often times increase the problem by making drivers speed up to make up for the lost time from stopping
- An increase in traffic violations from speeding drivers not stopping
- An increase in rear end collisions from those who don't expect a stop sign in a residential area
- A greater threat to the safety of children who anticipate that cars will stop and then don't
- Other concerns with stop signs, including:
- Hindering traffic patterns
- Increased noise from the stopping, starting, squealing of tires, etc.
- Increased pollution from the stop and go movement of vehicles.
Requesting a Stop Sign
In reviewing a request for a stop sign, a determination has to be made whether or not the intersection meets certain "warrants," or requirements outlined in the MUTCD.
These warrants take into consideration such things as:
- Traffic volume
- Types of roadway (arterial versus feeder street)
- Crash history
- Engineering characteristics of the roadway
Many residential streets already have adequate signing in place in the form of a yield sign. This sign does require vehicles to come to a stop when there is another vehicle approaching or at the intersection. The placement of yield signs is largely determined on the expected traffic pattern of a residential area and what will assist in the smooth movement of traffic through the area.