POLICY 14.  STOP SIGN POLICY
October 6, 2014
Stop Signs
   The Town of Middletown investigates the need for a signal, stop sign or other signs/measures to address traffic and safety issues. Stop signs are installed at locations that meet a number of safety and traffic requirements. Below is a list of factors considered in the placement of a stop sign:
      •   Classification of intersecting streets
      •   Traffic/pedestrian/bicycle volumes
      •   Accident history
      •   Intersection layout/restricted views (sight distances)
      •   Speeds
      •   Neighborhood – school/recreation zone, business district
      •   Impacts to residents and businesses
      •   Neighborhood support
   Properly placed stop signs provide a safe and efficient intersection for vehicular and pedestrian/bicyclist movements. Vehicle/vehicle and vehicle/pedestrian/bicyclist accidents can be reduced with the installation of stop signs.
Disadvantages of Stop Signs
   •   Speeding – Stop signs do not control speeding. In fact, improperly placed stop signs result in higher speeds. Drivers tend to speed between signs or intersections to compensate for time lost to stopping.
   •   Non-Compliance – Over time, drivers will begin to ignore improperly placed stop signs, resulting in a more hazardous condition.
   •   Impacts to adjacent neighborhoods/streets – Some drivers will seek to avoid stop signs by taking a different route. This results in higher traffic volumes and speeds in adjacent neighborhoods and on connecting streets.
   •   Air and noise pollution – Stop signs increase the level of air and noise pollution at their locations. Unwarranted stop signs contribute to air and noise pollution unnecessarily, due to stopped and idling vehicles.
Minor/Major Road Intersection
   Stop signs may be warranted if they meet the following criteria:
   •   The Average Daily Traffic (ADT) on the major road exceeds 6,000 vehicles.
   •   Intersection layout, landscaping, signage, etc., provides restricted views for the minor or major road approaches.
   •   Accident history indicates three crashes in 12 months or five crashes in two years that could be corrected with the installation of a stop sign.
   •   Intersection is along designated/high volume pedestrian/bicyclist routes.
Minor Road Intersections
   Stop signs may be warranted if they meet the following criteria:
   •   The combined Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists exceeds 2,000 for all legs of the intersection.
   •   Intersection layout, landscaping, signage, etc., provides restricted views for the approaches.
   •   Accident history indicates three crashes in two years or five crashes in three years that are attributed to failure to yield.
Four-Way or All-Way Stop
   •   An engineering study will be required for determining the need for four-way or all-way stop signs at multi-way intersections.
Request for Stop Sign Warrant Analysis
   Individual/neighborhoods requesting a stop sign warrant analysis should fill out the request form fully, and include any pertinent information, such as photos, diagrams, maps, neighborhood petitions, etc. The completed form should be submitted to the address listed in the request form.
Steps for Stop Sign Warrant Analysis
   1.   Resident/neighborhood fills out Request for Stop Sign Warrant Analysis Form and submits to the Lieutenant of Administrative Services for the Middletown Police Department. Request forms are available at the Police Department or on the Town’s website, www.middletownri.com.
   2.   Police Department personnel review submission.
   3.   Police Department personnel meets onsite with resident/neighborhood to review location.
   4.   Stop sign warrant analysis prepared with checklist of Evaluating Factors.
   5.   Request reviewed by Roadway Safety Assessment Team (RSAT). RSAT consists of representatives from each of the town’s Police, Fire, Engineering and Public Works Departments.
   6.   RSAT determines if a stop sign is warranted or requests more information/traffic counts/engineering analysis in order to determine if a stop sign is/is not warranted.
   7.   RSAT may procure a traffic consultant to provide more extensive review of request, including traffic counts and analysis.
   8.   If RSAT determines that a stop sign is warranted, the assessment team shall forward its recommendation to the Town Administrator, who will place the recommendation on the Town Council docket for consideration. Two public readings are required before the Town Council would vote on the stop sign request.
   9.   Pursuant to Town Council approval, the Department of Public Works shall install the stop sign in its proper location.
   10.   Estimated time for stop sign review and approval is six months from submission of request.
   Checklist for Roadway Safety Assessment Team (RSAT) (internal use only)
 
EVALUATING FACTORS
COMMENTS:
LOCATION:
 
1.   Intersecting Streets:
 
2.   Roadway Classifications - Classifications of intersecting roads.
 
   a.   Minor road intersections with a major road or numbered highway should have stop signs installed for the minor road approach if:
 
      i.   Major road ADT>6,000 vehicles
 
      ii.   Restricted view for minor or major approaches. See Town of Middletown’s Zoning Bylaws, Article 706.
 
      iii.   3 crashes in 12 months or 5 crashes in 2 years that could be corrected with the installation of a stop sign
 
      iv.    Pedestrian/bicyclist routes
 
   b.   Minor road intersections
 
      i.   Combined vehicular/pedestrian/bicyclist ADT for all legs at intersection >2,000 units
 
      ii.   Restricted view for approaches. See Town of Middletown’s Zoning Bylaws, Article 706.
 
      iii.   3 crashes in 2 years or 5 crashes in 3 years that are attributable to failure to yield
 
   c.   Multi-Way Stop
 
      i.   Requires an engineering study
 
3.   Approach Speeds
 
4.   Traffic/Pedestrian/Bicycle Volumes - Volumes for each approach. Traffic counts warranted?
 
5.   Traffic Generators - Locations generating high volume of vehicles/pedestrians/bicycles, i.e., businesses, shopping areas, schools, recreation areas, etc.
 
6.   Site Distances - Angle of intersecting roads, landscaping or other obstructions within the roadway layout. Site distances comply with the Town of Middletown’s Zoning Bylaws, Article 706.
 
7.   Accident History - Number and types of collisions, i.e., side impact, rear impact, pedestrian, etc.
 
8.   Adverse Impacts to Residents/Businesses - Will the installation of stop sign(s) cause adverse impacts to local residents and/or businesses, i.e., traffic volumes increased in adjacent neighborhoods, noise pollution, air pollution, etc.?
 
9.   Impacts to Emergency Vehicles - Will the installation of stop sign(s) impact emergency vehicle response time or access?
 
10.   Increase Delay/Mid-Block Speeding - Will the installation of stop sign(s) cause mid-block speeding?
 
11.   Neighborhood Support
 
12.   Alternatives to Stop Sign - Removal of sight obstructions/landscaping, relocate parking, pavement markings, other signage, etc.
 
 
REQUEST FOR STOP SIGN WARRANT ANALYSIS
This form is for residents and neighborhoods to request a stop sign warrant analysis based on the Town of Middletown’s adopted Stop Sign Policy. This form must be filled out completely and submitted to the Town of Middletown at the following address:
Middletown Police Department
123 Valley Road
Middletown, RI 02842
Attention: Lieutenant of Administrative Services
   1.   Requesting individual’s contact information
      Name:                                                                             
      Address:                                                                             
      Phone No.:                                                                           
      E-mail:                                                                              
   2.   Please describe the location of the traffic concern. Include a photograph, map or diagram, if available.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
   3.   Please describe the nature of the traffic concern.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
   4.   Please describe the requested stop sign location and how you feel it will eliminate or reduce the traffic concern.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
   5.   Is there neighborhood support for the stop sign at this location? Please provide names of other residents who are concerned about traffic issues in your neighborhood.
      Name:                                                                   Name:                                                                   
      Address:                                                   Address:                                                             
      Phone/e-mail                                                            Phone/e-mail                                                        
   6.   Are there nearby generators of high vehicular or pedestrian traffic, i.e. schools, shopping malls, businesses?