Ask a Cop: Getting a New Stop Sign
Director of Public Works Doug Fawcett explains the process.
Question: What's the procedure for getting a stop sign placed on the corner of Caroline and Pitt Streets. This is a dicey intersection and having the traffic come to a complete stop on Caroline Street would break up the acceleration trajectory of vehicles traveling "25 miles" per hour.
Answer: From Fredericksburg Director of Public Works Doug Fawcett
Stop signs are not recognized speed control devices. When two streets intersect and one is the "major" street (significantly more traffic) and one is the "minor" street (significantly less traffic), stop signs are placed on the minor street approach(es)to the intersection. Four way stops (or other scenarios requiring traffic to stop on both streets at the intersection) are used in situations in which the volume of traffic on the intersecting streets is approximately the same or if there are other factors (sight distance, etc.) in play.
Caroline Street is clearly the major street at this intersection, so traffic on that street has the right of way.
Stop signs placed in an effort to control the speed of traffic potentially create significant issues, especially when they are placed at locations at which the average motorist would not expect the sign (as I would assert would be the case if a Stop sign were to be erected on Caroline at Pitt.) These issues include an increase in rear end collisions, widespread violation of the stop requirement and speeding up immediately after the intersection to "make up for lost time".