Stop Sign Information

This information has been compiled to provide information to persons interested in requesting the placement of a new stop sign. The information presented is designed to serve as a guide to better understanding the basic criterion necessary for the placement of a stop sign, as well as some common misconceptions about the proper use of stop signs.

Stop Sign Applications
Ultimately, the decision to place a Stop sign at a particular location must be made on the basis of either an engineering study or the application of engineering judgment. The conditions that traffic engineers study to form their recommendations are based on the standards and guides identified in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

The MUTCD is recognized as the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street, highway, or bicycle trail open to public travel. Please review the following 2 sections of the MUTCD that address Stop Sign Applications (Section 2B.05) and Multi-way Stop Applications (Section 2B.07). Understanding the information contained in these sections of the MUTCD will help concerned citizens understand the decision process that is followed when a new stop sign is being considered.

Stop Sign Misconceptions
Additionally, when it comes to Stop sign requests, it is important to dispel some very common misconceptions, including but not limited to the following:
  1. A stop sign can be used to slow traffic-The MUTCD specifically states that a stop should not be used for speed control. More often than not, speed-related concerns are more appropriately and effectively addressed through enforcement efforts.
  2. A block with an increasing number of young children will be safer if a stop sign is installed-stop signs are utilized to regulate traffic where two roads intersect and not erected or removed based on ever-changing residential demographics.
  3. Placing additional stop signs along a roadway will increase safety because stop signs interrupt the flow of traffic and make drivers stop more frequently-Interrupting the normal flow of traffic with unnecessary or unwarranted stop signs can actually cause motorist frustration and the resultant propensity to disobey the sign, drastically accelerate between stops to ‘make-up’ lost time, or displace the traffic onto other non-through streets.
Persons interested in learning more about the process for requesting a new stop sign are urged to read the Police Department’s traffic control device request information sheet and to contact the Chief of Police.