No one can deny that conventional measures of traffic calming, like stop signs, have their place. In some areas stop signs are absolutely essential to keeping the traffic under control. However, using the same solution for every problem is unwise. In some situations steps like stop signs or speed bumps are simply not adequate and can even aggravate the problem.
Stop Sign Drawbacks
Whenever there is an accident or injury at an intersection our minds jump to solutions like stop signs to solve the problem. But in reality stop signs cannot guarantee a solution and sometimes cause drivers to become reckless by speeding from one stop sign to another in an attempt to make up lost time. Not only that, but when long stretches of road are marked by several stop signs drivers become more likely to simply roll through, rather than stop.
But stop signs aren’t the only overrated traffic calming device. Speed bumps and rumble strips also create problems. In areas where speed bumps are used, you face hazards like drivers than swerve around them. Speed bumps can even impede the path of emergency vehicles, especially large ones like fire trucks, causing them to lose precious time. Rumble strips can create issues for cyclists who try to ride over them and any kind of physical barrier like concrete separators between streets can cause cyclists to get trapped and be in even greater danger.
A Real Solution
Clearly each of these traffic calming devices have a place and a purpose but it is essential that caution be exercised when deciding which solution fits which problem. In order to avoid many of these problems alternatives ought to be considered and MUTCD traffic signs are excellent options. These signs display the driver’s speed causing them to almost certainly slow down without creating frustrating delays like stop signs do and without impeding emergency vehicles like speed bumps can. If you want a safe, easy solution that won’t create the problems that these conventional traffic calming measures can cause, then the choice is obvious.
There is a time and place for everything. The key is knowing what they are. Speed bumps and stop signs work fine sometimes but other times they simply won’t solve the problem. When you have a cut you don’t use duct tape to stop the bleeding; you use a cloth or a wrap. That doesn’t mean duct tape doesn’t have its uses, it just means that each problem needs to be considered individually before deciding which tool fits the job.