CT Traffic Scheme "Less Than a Rousing Success"
The Greenwich Times reports that a traffic engineer's plan to cut accidents caused congestion, chaos and near crashes. When the town added four-way stops (a.k.a. Mexican standoffs) in the city center, bad things happened: "A Bentley turning right from Maple onto North also failed to stop after coming around the bend in the road, causing a near collision with a car turning from North Maple. Other cars approaching the intersection from North Maple backed up while waiting for North Street traffic to make the turn, thinking that the other direction still had the right of way at the intersection." The Times dutifully chased down some of the selectmen who'd approved the scheme. Selectman Peter Crumbine, who got caught in the traffic on his way to Town Hall, was unequivocal. "It was the worst backup that I've seen in the 25 years that I've been driving up and down North Street. The initial indication is that the trial is less than a rousing success." The Times also noted that Town Traffic Engineer Garo Garabedian was out of the office yesterday and not available for comment.
When I saw the Bentley in the article I immediately flashed on the "right of way goes to the most expensive car" joke. Portland Oregon has tons of 4 way stops, which sometimes suffer the excessive courtesy problem, plus we have the bizarre, no stopping if you are turning right signs and 3 way intersections with 2 way stops. Don't even start with the wacko traffic circles in Bend which is a traffic disaster area.
Luther: Ontario, Michigan, and I checked... Yes! Even Connecticut have the ROW law as specified: Connecticut Law Chapter 248 Sec. 14-245. Intersection. Right-of-way. [...] Each driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall grant the right-of-way at such intersection to any vehicle approaching from his right when such vehicles are arriving at such intersection at approximately the same time, unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer. Failure to grant the right-of-way as provided in this section shall be an infraction.
Here in Virginia, VDOT controls all interstates and county roads, but cities maintain their own roads. However, cities are expected to do things the "VDOT way" in terms of traffic control devices if they want to get their funding. Anyway, VDOT is on this thing about replacing signals and 4-way stops with yield-sign controlled roundabouts. Everyone hates them, but no one is complaining that even though you are guaranteed to have to slow down, you will never have to stop more than three seconds. I think the real beef is that in navigating one of these, people are finding their top heavy SUVs really suck!