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Frequently Asked Questions

Be sure to view the entire list of Q & A's in the Stop Signs and Traffic Signals category!

Q:
What is required for the installation of four-way stop control?
 A:

The addition of four-way stop control is an inconvenience to all the drivers using the intersection. For this reason, three warrants have been developed and are listed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). A multiway stop control installation may be warranted at an intersection if any of the following conditions exist:

  1. Traffic signals are warranted and urgently needed, and the multiway stop signs are an interim measure that can be installed quickly to control traffic while arrangements are being made for the signal installation.
  2. A crash problem, as indicated by five or more reported accidents of a type susceptible to correction by a multiway stop installation in a 12-month period. Such accidents include right- and left-turn collisions as well as right-angle collisions.
  3. Minimum traffic volumes. (a) The total vehicular volume entering the intersection from all approaches must average at least 500 vehicles per hour for any eight hours of an average day; and (b) the combined vehicular and pedestrian volume from the minor street or highway must average at least 200 units per hour for the same eight hours, with an average delay to minor street vehicular traffic of at least 30 seconds per vehicle during the maximum hour; but (c) when the 85-percentile approach speed of the major street traffic exceeds 40 miles per hour, the minimum vehicular volume warrant is 70 percent of the above requirements.

A four-way stop installation should only be used when traffic volumes on the intersecting roadways are approximately equal. However, if volumes are particularly large a traffic signal may be more appropriate. Investigating the warrants listed above will require an extensive traffic engineering study. This study may indicate whether or not a multiway stop control installation is appropriate.

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