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Stop Signs

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A stop sign, when used appropriately, is intended to help drivers and pedestrians decide who has the right-of-way at the intersection. 

Uncontrolled intersection (those without stop signs, yield signs, or traffic signals) may initially appear unreasonably dangerous; however, they have proven to be safe when traffic volumes are low. 

Stop signs are commonly misused as a means of solving the non-intersection speeding problem. Stop signs installed in attempts to slow traffic in Appleton have resulted in a high incidence of intentional violation, speed reduction in the stop sign's immediate vicinity, and higher speeds a half-block from the stop signs. Setting a reasonable limit, posting speed limit signs where appropriate, enforcement, and a public information effort are more effective in curbing speeding.

Some drivers tend to disregard stop signs, especially those where a stop does not appear to be necessary. If the "less attentive" motorist meets the "stop-sign-ignoring" driver, the potential for accidents is great. If a school crossing has a stop sign, then a vehicle which had been a problem for three seconds while approaching and passing an intersection becomes a problem for a much longer period. Neither the pedestrian nor the motorist is sure when to proceed as intersections become busier and consequently, less safe. 

Appleton uses several criteria to determine where intersection traffic controls are necessary. Several crucial factors taken into consideration are vehicle volume, sight distance, and accident rates. Often the review of traffic control at an intersection reveals that other measures are needed to maintain a safe situation, such as parking restrictions, tree or hedge trimming, pavement markings, and speed enforcement. The Traffic Engineering Division works with the Police Department and other agencies in reviewing locations and implementing recommendations. Citizen's requests for intersection control studies can be made directly to the Traffic Engineering Division, at (920) 832-5580.