Flashing stop signs come at a high price

The in basket: Sharell Lee read the Road Warrior column about drivers not realizing McWilliams Road in Central Kitsap ends at East Boulevard and crashing into what’s across the T intersection, and she had a suggestion.

“In California they sometimes use stop signs

mounted with a small solar panel,” she said. “The stop sign itself has bright flashing lights around the circumference.  Such stop signs are very noticeable and attention getting.

“I’m wondering if this type of sign is ever used in Washington,” she said. “I realize our climate is less sunny, but small solar panels don’t really require that much sun. Where I work, we run a small electric car with them, which I’m sure requires a lot more power than lights on a sign would.’

The out basket: I’m told there is such a stop sign inside the industrial area at Bangor’s sub base, and Sharell says the one she saw also was on a military base. She wondered if vandalism discourages there use outside a secure area.

Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer says, “Yes. The cost of one stop sign with blinking lights and solar panel is $1,700.  A regular stop sign is $80.

“There are over 3,000 stop signs in Kitsap County. Replacing all the stop signs in the county with this type of device would cost more than $5,000,000.

“The challenge,” Jeff said, “is determining which intersections warrant this type of upgrade, so that deploying this device is consistent throughout the county. The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices does not currently contain a warrant that sets that level.

“We would consider this as another tool in our toolbox for a solution to a problem location.  A tool like this would be used where a documented number of motorists are simply not seeing the sign, and less costly countermeasures have not worked.

“There are other factors considered when installing new signs. Each year we replace about 2,000 signs that are damaged through accidents and vandalism. The more unique the sign, the more likely vandalism occurs. You see this with street name signs that are popular.

“Adding an electric feature to a device requires additional maintenance and inspection to ensure solar panel and batteries operate correctly.

“We also have to consider how this type of application impacts neighbors. After installing flashing devices, we do get complaints from nearby neighbors that the constant flashing is a nuisance,” Jeff said..

 

6 thoughts on “Flashing stop signs come at a high price

  1. There is also a flashing stop sign at the entrance to the Clearwater Casino parking garage. You can’t miss it! I wish they would install on at the intersection of Chinook Circle and Chum LN NW. Less than 10% of drivers approaching this intersection stop for the current sign.

  2. EDIT: Safety first. You don’t have to put them on every stop sign in the county, just the few that could benefit from it.
    …..or Bremerton could hire their business partner Redflex Inc. to install some stop sign cameras, because we all know that a camera will reduce stop sign running?…….yeah right…..

  3. “Simple orange flags on top of new or revised signs seem to do the trick…”

    Yeah right…….drivers will just become used to orange flags and go back to running the stop sign.

    The only way to change driver behavior is thru infractions.
    Just think of the profit that could be made by putting up cameras at the worst stop signs in the county. Cha Ching! we are talking millions of dollars and that doesn’t even include all the rolling right hand turns.
    Leave these problem stop signs exactly the way they are and go after drivers by mail, weeks after they did their little California stop. That will teach all you law breakers!
    We’ll send the ticket from Arizona with the Police station of your choice printed on top and you won’t even know the difference.
    What its against the law to issue a moving violation from out of state? We will lobby your state to consider running a stop sign as a PARKING INFRACTION not a moving violation.
    Top that off with our company signing and dating your cops signature “under the penalty of perjury” and your driver will be fooled into thinking It is a real ticket.
    We will collect all the money and give your city a cut of the profit. cha Ching!
    What you were not driver? You can go to court where the presiding judge has set up a fake unsworn, unqualified judge……with a robe and everything! No one will no the difference. (if we get caught we claim error of law)
    But you say camera footage by a for profit company is hearsay evidence and you have the constitutional right to face your accuser? Who cares about you, we will train the fake judge to not listen to a word you say. I mean it’s a open and shut case, cameras prove everything.
    Oh and our cameras can video 24/7365 and store footage indefinately! Your cops can pull up footage anytime and look for crimes that don’t have anything to do with stop sign running.
    Huh that’s against the law you say? Who cares, we will just claim it’s an error of law and be off the hook.
    As a for profit company we can also wine and dine your cops, giving them all inclusive trips to Arizona and putting them up at the Ritz Carlton (we will just say it’s official business and taxpayers can pay their wage) No biggy.
    Don’t put up no orange flags or flashing lights or warning signs that warn drivers of a stop ahead, just leave it up to us and we will solve the problem thru infraction cameras. (anyone that says otherwise is just a no good lawbreaker anyways)
    ………Oh, looky here, our data shows a reduction of stop sign running, maybe we should put up more cameras.
    Just think of the profit!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sincerely,
    Cha Ching Incorporated

  4. We have a 4 way stop on a county crossroads that has had numerous accidents. Our county in Illinois will not spend the money for the flashing stop signs. Could a person mount dolor powdered red flashing construction lights to the top of the signs without getting into trouble? Or is this against the law? The cause of the accident is usually from someone not familiar with the area that didn’t realize the stop sign was there. The 6 inch round flashing light would still be more effective than nothing with a lot less cost.

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