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Stop Sign = Dinosaur?

Why are so many drivers ignoring stop signs in Maplewood?

I observe the world a l lot because I am an artist.  One of my many jobs for the past 16 years has been chauffering kids around to school activities. It gets kind of boring so I study traffic behaviors. Two years now, many drivers have been sailing past stop signs.

I spend the majority of my time driving in Livingston, West Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Springfield, Union, Vaux Haul, Millburn, and Summit.  I have noticed drivers ignoring stop signs in all of these towns, with the most offenders in Maplewood.  This is baffling.

Has the stop sign lost its efficacy,is it's semantic no longer effective, has there been a cultural shift? In the 1970's no one wore a seat belt, and everyone took stop signs very seriously. Presently, everyone wears a seat belt and too many do not stop at stop signs.

I believe in stop signs because safety is elegant.   Just before I got home to type this letter, three cars, ignoring two stop signs, sailed across the Maplewood/Jefferson avenue intersection. A driver coming down Jefferson (Jefferson side is not puncuated with stop signs at that intersection), and myself,  stopped.  The driver opposite me on Jefferson, patiently waited for all the "No stop at the stop signers" to finish going along, and then proceeded.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this: "everyone has the right of way" epidemic? Am I just too boring playing it so safetly and obeying those silly stop signs? Are there too many trees and bushes in the way? Are car noses too long? Do engineers need to go back to school for some continuing education credits?  I don't know what the answers are and I would love to hear any observations from other drivers (either perspective is welcome) out there.  In the meantime, my apologies, to the cars, behind me in the know, but I will continue stopping at all stop signs. Please remember what the red octagonal sign with white letters stands for.  It means well. Stay well.

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brooklynwind May 30, 2012 at 01:53 AM
We could be in the process of a cultural shift. I read that in the Netherlands cars are not expected to stop at crosswalks, and that they have the right of way.
brooklynwind May 30, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Unlike Stop signs, Yield signs are much more complicated. I slowed once coming in from Durand for traffic coming into Maplewood Village from Maplewood Avenue. The driver behind me beeped and yelled out that I don't have to slow down at that yield sign. I thought a yield sign was a reminder to cooperate with other drivers when merging onto the same roadway. To me someone driving straight down Maplewood avenue has the right of way, yet others do not agree.
brooklynwind June 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I'm glad that to hear the mention of "stop 90% of the time". It is quite often that it is not clear if someone is going to step into the crosswalk. The streets are an incredible infrastructure allowing for mobility, if they are used correctly and continually improved they can benefit everybody equally. Occasional stopping is necessary for us to keep moving, otherwise we will all eventually be at a stand still and won't be able to go anywhere. The light flashing is a great communication idea because it works!
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