How to: Stop signs, Speed limits, etc.

Arlington

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Can folks share tips on how to “change the rules” on the streets of cities and towns?

In Medford, for example, a new stop sign or lower speed limit takes a citizen petition and a daytime hearingin front of some kind of police board (and I don’t know whether the city engineers office is involved in offering an opinion)

have you ever successfully campaigned for a traffic-control change in your town/city?
 
Also, this thread could cover the much simpler act of replacing signs that are too small, nonstandard, or faded/defaced. Changes of this sort are usually just a question of finding the sign department, since they don’t involve changing “policeable rules” (so it is an easy way to get started)

Hopefully this thread can supply advanced procedural tips for changing the rules of our roads.
 
Boston Slow Streets page says start the process of adding a stop sign with a 311 request
Stop signs are used to control how traffic flows through an intersection. An engineering analysis must be conducted before a stop sign is installed. Among other things, engineers evaluate how many people drive, bike, and walk through an intersection. They also review the number and type of crashes that have happened.

Stop signs are not traffic-calming measures, but may be considered as part of the Neighborhood Slow Streets program if an intersection meets engineering standards. If you believe an intersection needs a stop sign, make the request through Boston 311.
 
Boston Slow Streets page says start the process of adding a stop sign with a 311 request

You can get a standard 30”x30” stop sign here: https://www.roadtrafficsigns.com/traffic-stop-signs
The sign plus the mounting equipment will run you $70 total. You could have the sign up in a few days, no engineering study needed.
 
Boston Slow Streets page says start the process of adding a stop sign with a 311 request

Yeah, that probably works, so long as the traffic department agrees with your own assessment that a stop sign is indicated. Several years ago, I got some stop signs installed in my neighborhood by asking my city councilor, who referred me to his Chief of Staff, who then connected with BTD. I think that probably is a good second step if 311 doesn't get any action. No idea for other towns, though.
 
Boston Slow Streets page says start the process of adding a stop sign with a 311 request

The Neighborhood Slow Streets program in Boston does work pretty well. I was part of the set of neighborhood groups who did the initial petitions for Residential Chinatown to be part of the pilot. That said, the City absolutely refused to touch Tremont and Washington Streets, even thought they were demonstrable the most dangerous streets. Cars still rule!.
 
The Neighborhood Slow Streets program in Boston does work pretty well. I was part of the set of neighborhood groups who did the initial petitions for Residential Chinatown to be part of the pilot. That said, the City absolutely refused to touch Tremont and Washington Streets, even thought they were demonstrable the most dangerous streets. Cars still rule!.

In hind sight it seems like they had other plans there with the bus and protected bike lanes.
 
In hind sight it seems like they had other plans there with the bus and protected bike lanes.
Although those changes did not slow traffic or increase traffic light adherence. (The bus lanes are either ignored or double parking spots.)
 
Not going to argue that the abismal compliance for the bus lanes results in much more safety, but the protected bike lanes have been huge at slowing down cars and limiting the triple parking to double parking.
 
I just submitted a stop sign request through 311 at an intersection where cars are forced into a right turn across a crosswalk where visibility for both pedestrians and drivers is low. I submitted it through the 311 website. My ticket was closed the next day with the following note: "Closed with status: Case Noted. BTD will investigate. Thank you for contacting 311 and BTD." I included my contact information in my request so I'll probably give it a week or so to see if anyone contacts me. After that, I'll probably try my city councilor's office.
 
I just submitted a stop sign request through 311 at an intersection where cars are forced into a right turn across a crosswalk where visibility for both pedestrians and drivers is low. I submitted it through the 311 website. My ticket was closed the next day with the following note: "Closed with status: Case Noted. BTD will investigate. Thank you for contacting 311 and BTD." I included my contact information in my request so I'll probably give it a week or so to see if anyone contacts me. After that, I'll probably try my city councilor's office.
They likely won't contact you. I'd suggest 617-635-4680 and ask to speak to one of the engineers. You can also call 311 directly and ask for the contact info for the staff member that closed out your case.
 
I hope other Bostonians will take an interest in this request by @Beaconhillwalker
I've drawn my picture of the intersection (Mt Vernon uphill as Walnut tees out on the right).
Today, an uncontrolled right turn is permitted (the "right turn only" sign can be seen)
And when there's a vehicle parked too close to the corner (as seen in my Streetview hack job, below)
Vehicles making the right do not have good sight lines to the crosswalk and whip around the corner.
Hence the need for a stop sign, as shown, not to scale ;-)

My suggestion:
1) Paint a stop line (or a whole crosswalk)
2) Paint a bulb-out on the asphalt to encourage pulling farther into the intersection before going right
3) Put a bollard/planter with a stop sign about where the construction cone is (or even a little to the left)
4) And then come back and do a physical bulb-out (brick surfaced, cause this is Beacon Hill) around that whole corner

mt_vernon_rt_onto_walnut_beacon_hill.png
 
I hope other Bostonians will take an interest in this request by @Beaconhillwalker
I've drawn my picture of the intersection (Mt Vernon uphill as Walnut tees out on the right).
Today, an uncontrolled right turn is permitted (the "right turn only" sign can be seen)
And when there's a vehicle parked too close to the corner (as seen in my Streetview hack job, below)
Vehicles making the right do not have good sight lines to the crosswalk and whip around the corner.
Hence the need for a stop sign, as shown, not to scale ;-)

My suggestion:
1) Paint a stop line (or a whole crosswalk)
2) Paint a bulb-out on the asphalt to encourage pulling farther into the intersection before going right
3) Put a bollard/planter with a stop sign about where the construction cone is (or even a little to the left)
4) And then come back and do a physical bulb-out (brick surfaced, cause this is Beacon Hill) around that whole corner

View attachment 37525
I really like the idea of adding a bollard/planter combo since it would give another opportunity for a tree in the area and give two benefits in one construction job.
 
So I went away for a 2-week vacation and when I got back, the city had installed a new stop sign right where I requested it! (hat tip to @Arlington for creating the convincing image). See attached photo of the street as of yesterday with the new stop sign to the right.

I wish I could claim more credit or had an insightful comment, but I got a bit busy and never followed up with BTD about the case. I checked my email and text messages and I never received any contact from the agency. So I guess my finding here is that sometimes they do just follow up on tickets with no prompting. I wonder if other neighbors reported the same issue and that may have increased the urgency.

I did note that the stop sign replaced a "right turn only" sign and a 2-hour parking sign on an existing pole, which probably decreased the work needed significantly.

I'm not sure when I'll start, but my next request will be to increase the walk signal timing on a different intersection by Boston Common since there is always a line of pedestrians waiting long after all the cars have passed, even during rush hour.
 

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