Don’t get too excited, but it’s YET ANOTHER idea about stop signs! Maybe this blog should be renamed “Worst Traffic Signage Proposals.”
When a driver comes to a stop sign, they don’t intuitively know whether it is a two-way or an all-way stop. The difference is important, because a lot more diligence is required at an intersection where cross traffic does not stop.
See Figure 1: if you add a bunch of trees, parked cars, buildings, and other visual obstructions, it can be very difficult to determine whether the other cross streets have stop signs or not.
Lanes of traffic that specifically do NOT stop could be marked with lines on the ground (see Figure 2), similar to a crosswalk.
The only downside to this would be that people might start to assume that the lack of lines would mean “cross traffic DOES stop.” In that case, an alternative formulation could be made where the lanes that do stop are specifically marked ini an obvious fashion (see Figure 3). (Although existing intersections do occasionally have a white line and the word “STOP” painted on them, this marking is very inconsistent and is not at all visually obvious).
You should buy some stock in companies that sell road-suitable paint, and then propose this idea as an amendment to your state’s constitution (assuming that is a possibility).
PROS: May reduce accidents at two-way-stops-misinterpreted-as-four-way-stops, which might be a major cause of residential car crashes (probably someone knows this, but not me).
CONS: Doesn’t work very well when there is snow on the roadway. Additionally, paint requires substantial maintenance to keep visible; roads might need to be repainted a lot more often, for unclear benefit.