Alexander Taylor 0


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We, the residents and visitors of Durham, New Hampshire hereby voice our opposition to the new stop signs added on Mill Road on August 14, 2012.  While we understand a few people voiced their desire to stop traffic at that intersection, the additional burden placed on all other drivers is not an acceptable tradeoff.  The traffic at that intersection is already light, and you never have to wait for more than a minute to turn or for a pedestrian to cross.

It was stated in the Friday Updates earlier this year that the intersection in question does not have any higher accident rates than normal, and our experiences at that intersection both traveling along Mill Road, turning, as well as pedestrian access have not been hindered in any way before the stop sign was added.  Unfortunately, the new stop sign has created more problems than it solved.

We recognize that the sight lines looking left (while on McDaniel Drive) are limited.  We suggest instead the town work with the property owners to improve sight lines at the intersection, and remove the stop sign.  If the concerns at the intersection are for speed and/or pedestrian issues, we suggest installing a raised crosswalk, similar to other speed tables recently installed, and warning/yield signs for the crosswalk.  Perhaps all of the above would be the best approach, as long as there are not stop signs on Mill Road itself.

Has the monetary and environmental impact of forcing all cars to stop been studied?  While the individual costs for stopping may be small, the cumulative costs of added fuel, brakes, time, etc. will add up quickly.  Has there been a engineering study of that intersection?  We refer to the US DOT Regulatory Signs document (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices), sections 2B.04 and 2B.05 ( which offers the guidance:

STOP signs should not be used unless engineering judgment indicates that one or more of the following conditions exist:

A. Intersection of a less important road with a main road where application of the normal right-of-way rule would not be expected to provide reasonably safe operation;

B. Street entering a through highway or street;

C. Unsignalized intersection in a signalized area; and/or

D. High speeds, restricted view, or crash records indicate that a need for control by the STOP sign.

Has there been any engineering justification?
A applies to McDaniel drive, but not Mill Road.
B again applies to McDaniel Drive, but not Mill Road.
C does not apply.
D none apply, although visibility could be improved.

The next three guidelines directly relate to this situation:

STOP signs should be installed in a manner that minimizes the numbers of vehicles having to stop. At intersections where a full stop is not necessary at all times, consideration should be given to using less restrictive measures such as YIELD signs (see Section 2B.08).
Once the decision has been made to install two-way stop control, the decision regarding the appropriate street to stop should be based on engineering judgment. In most cases, the street carrying the lowest volume of traffic should be stopped.
A STOP sign should not be installed on the major street unless justified by a traffic engineering study.

Therefore, we request the timely removal of the new Mill Road stop signs, and encourage the town to explore other options without the constant impediment to traffic flow.



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