Facts about All-Way Stop Controls
The City of Niagara Falls takes your concerns for safety very seriously. Our role is to maximize traffic and pedestrian safety.
By ensuring the appropriate level of evaluation is carried out, this goal can be achieved without compromising safe and efficient traffic flow and also allow for responsible utilization of staff and financial resources.
The purpose of an all-way stop control is to provide alternating right-of-way to relatively equal volumes of opposing traffic.
Provincial regulations state that an all-way stop control should not be used as a device to control vehicle speeds.
Numerous studies have shown that excessive speeding is not affected by this device; speeds are of course affected within approximately 30metres(100 feet) of the stop location as vehicles are required to stop. Speeds outside of the 30metre range usually increase as drivers attempt to make up the time lost at the stop locations.
When a request is made for an all-way stop control, the proposed location is evaluated under the City Of Niagara Falls All-Way Stop Warrant, which addresses vehicle and pedestrian traffic, collision history, sight distances and through traffic (short-cut traffic). Staff will recommend the installation if the warrant criteria is met. Inappropriate use of all way stop controls has the following impacts/effects:
- creates disrespect for stop signs and other traffic control devices in general
- provides false sense of security to pedestrians as drivers tend to roll through the intersection or fail to stop if it is perceived to be unnecessary (i.e. Little or infrequent side street traffic encountered)
- negative impact on emergency services (police, ambulance & fire vehicles must stop at stop signs)
- negative impact on transit routes (if applicable)
- environmental impacts, i.e. Increased emissions, increase in fuel consumption, noise generated by braking and acceleration
- cost of installation (signs, pavement markings, etc.) for a typical 4 legged intersection is approximately $3000.00
- inconvenience to local residents who legitimately use the roadway
- does not alleviate speeding problem
Generally, residents look to stop signs to control speeds or eliminate cut-through traffic. As stated above, unwarranted or unecessary stop sign installations do not necessarily accomplish what the residents are looking for. Therefore, staff are always actively pursuing other methods to alleviate neighbourhood concerns. Alternative solutions may include such minor modifications as parking restrictions or speed reductions to such major modifications as traffic calming reconstruction projects.