LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Unintended consequences of Dover stop sign

I have lived for 30 uninterrupted years now on both the north side (nine years) and south side (21 years) of Wyoming Avenue and Westview Terrace. I have never witnessed a traffic problem or vehicles speeding at any consequences that might be mitigated by a stop sign.

Here are a half-dozen arguments – possibly overstated in total, but, really, not at all exaggerations – about the unintended consequences of an unnecessary stop sign.

1. COLLISION ACCIDENTS. An unneeded stop sign might actually and suddenly create accidents, especially for drivers ignoring or rolling through it. There’s research that shows intersections with stop signs are among the deadliest places on the road, primarily because inappropriate stop signs just become part of the landscape. As many as 30 percent of motorists who see no reason for the stop sign will too often disrespect the sign.

2. WALKER/RUNNER SAFETY. I am on these sidewalks every morning where the stop sign is proposed and meet many of my neighbors there, some with children. Studies show that pedestrians may rely too heavily on stop signs to keep them safe.

3. FUEL COSTS. Stop signs also add to the cost of gas, albeit slight for that individual moment, but considerable when taken in the community motorists’ aggregate.

4. AIR POLLUTION. Stop signs increase travel time, which, of course, contributes to hazardous pollution. Idling tailpipes spew out the same pollutants as moving cars (all linked to serious illnesses, like asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer – two of the four in my household!).

5. NOISE POLLUTION. Stopping and acceleration, particularly for local truck deliveries, can dramatically increase traffic noise from tire, braking and engine racket.

6. TAX DOLLARS. Then, there’s the cost of buying and installing a stop sign. Yes, it may be extremely slight within a city’s larger budget, but small, continuous, excessive expenses soon add up to major tax-dollar expenditures.

Chris Engel

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