Stop Sign Design Guidelines
City Guidelines Regarding the Installation of “Stop” Signs
Traffic Services Division of the Department of Public Works
Governing Document Reference:
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD), latest edition; the Overland Park Municipal Code (OPMC), Title 12 – Traffic, Chapter 12.04, 12.04.032, 12.04.057 – 12.04.059, 12.04.080, and Resolution 4037.
Engineering judgment should be used to establish intersection control. The following factors should be considered:
- A. Vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic volumes on all approaches;
- B. Number and angle of approaches;
- C. Approach speeds;
- D. Sight distance available on each approach; and
- E. Reported crash experience.
“Yield” or “Stop” signs should be used at an intersection if one or more of the following conditions exist:
- A. An 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 reasonable compliance with the law;
- B. A street entering a designated through highway or street; and/or
- C. An unsignalized intersection in a signalized area.
In addition, the use of “Yield” or “Stop” signs should be considered at the intersection of two minor streets or local roads where the intersection has more than three approaches and where one or more of the following conditions exist:
- A. The combined vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian volume entering the intersection from all approaches averages more than 2,000 units per day;
- B. The ability to see conflicting traffic on an approach is not sufficient to allow a road user to stop or yield in compliance with the normal right-of-way rule if such stopping or yielding is necessary; and/or
- C. Crash records indicate that five or more crashes that involve the failure to yield the right-of-way at the intersection under the normal right-of-way rule have been reported within a 3-year period, or that three or more such crashes have been reported within a 2-year period.
Once the decision has been made to control an intersection, the decision regarding the appropriate roadway to control should be based on engineering judgment. In most cases, the roadway carrying the lowest volume of traffic should be controlled.
A “Yield” or “Stop” sign should not be installed on the higher volume roadway unless justified by an engineering study. The following are considerations that might influence the decision regarding the appropriate roadway upon which to install a “Yield” or “Stop” sign where two roadways with relatively equal volumes and/or characteristics intersect:
- A. Controlling the direction that conflicts the most with established pedestrian crossing activity or school walking routes;
- B. Controlling the direction that has obscured vision, dips, or bumps that already require drivers to use lower operating speeds; and
- C. Controlling the direction that has the best sight distance from a controlled position to observe conflicting traffic.
When it is determined that a full stop is always required on an approach to an intersection, a “Stop” (R1-1) sign shall be used. At intersections where all approaches are controlled by “Stop” signs, an “All Way” supplemental plaque (R1-3P) shall be mounted below each “Stop” sign. The “All Way” plaque shall only be used if all intersection approaches are controlled by “Stop” signs.
At intersections where a full stop is not necessary at all times, consideration should first be given to using less restrictive measures such as ”Yield” signs. The use of “Stop” signs on the minor-street approaches should be considered if engineering judgment indicates that a stop is always required because of one or more of the following conditions:
- A. The vehicular traffic volumes on the through street or highway exceed 6,000 vehicles per day;
- B. A restricted view exists that requires road users to stop in order to adequately observe conflicting traffic on the through street or highway; and/or
- C. Crash records indicate that three or more crashes that are susceptible to correction by the installation of a “Stop” sign have been reported within a 12-month period, or that five or more such crashes have been reported within a 2-year period. Such crashes include right-angle collisions involving road users on the minor-street approach failing to yield the right-of-way to traffic on the through street or highway.
Multi-way Stop Applications
Multi-way stop control can be useful as a safety measure at intersections if certain traffic conditions exist. Safety concerns associated with multi-way stops include pedestrians, bicyclists, and all road users expecting other road users to stop. Multi-way stop control is used where the volume of traffic on the intersecting roads is approximately equal. The decision to install multi-way stop control should be based on an engineering study. The following criteria should be considered in the engineering study for a multi-way “Stop” sign installation:
- A. Where a traffic control signal is justified, the multi-way stop is an interim measure that can be installed quickly to control traffic while arrangements are being made for the installation of the traffic control signal.
- B. Five or more reported crashes in a 12-month period that are susceptible to correction by a multi-way stop installation. Such crashes include right-turn and left-turn collisions as well as right-angle collisions.
- C. Minimum volumes:
- The vehicular volume entering the intersection from the major street approaches (total of both approaches) averages at least 300 vehicles per hour for any 8 hours of an average day; and
- The combined vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle volume entering the intersection from the minor street approaches (total of both approaches) averages at least 200 units per hour for the same 8 hours, with an average delay to minor-street vehicular traffic of at least 30 seconds per vehicle during the highest hour; but
- If the 85th-percentile approach speed of the major-street traffic exceeds 40 mph, the minimum vehicular volume warrants are 70 percent of the values provided in Items 1 and 2 above.
- The vehicular volume entering the intersection from the major street approaches (total of both approaches) averages at least 300 vehicles per hour for any 8 hours of an average day; and
- D. Where no single criterion is satisfied, but where Criteria B, C.1, and C.2 are all satisfied to 80 percent of the minimum values. Criterion C.3 is excluded from this condition.
Other criteria that may be considered in an engineering study include:
- A. The need to control left-turn conflicts;
- B. The need to control vehicle/pedestrian conflicts near locations that generate high pedestrian volumes;
- C. Locations where a road user, after stopping, cannot see conflicting traffic and is not able to negotiate the intersection unless conflicting cross traffic is also required to stop; and
- D. An intersection of two residential neighborhood collector (through) streets of similar design and operating characteristics where multi-way stop control would improve traffic operational characteristics of the intersection.
The “Stop” sign shall be installed on the near side of the intersection on the right-hand side of the approach to which it applies. When the “Stop” sign is installed at this required location and the sign visibility is restricted, a “Stop Ahead” (W3-1) sign shall be installed in advance of the “Stop” sign.
The “Stop” sign should be located as close as practical to the intersection it regulates, while optimizing its visibility to the road user it is intended to regulate. Stop lines that are used to supplement a “Stop” sign should be located at the point where the road user should stop. Where there is a marked crosswalk at the intersection, the “Stop” sign should be installed in advance of the crosswalk line nearest to the approaching traffic.
City of Overland Park Guidelines for Installation:
Two-Way Stop Control:
A field investigation is required to determine if a “Stop” sign is to be installed at intersections except as noted in the following “Additional Installation Criteria”. The reviewer should observe the intersection sight distance triangle to determine if adequate sight distance is available according to Case A (No Control, but Allowing Vehicles to Adjust Speed) in the AASHTO publication A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets,latest edition. Also refer to the Intersection Control Guidelines for Residential Streets-Stop vs Yield Control for additional guidelines for reviewing intersection sight distance for standard 28' back to back residential streets.
Multi-Way Stop Control:
Multi-way “Stop” signs should only be installed if the intersection meets the warrants for a multi-way “Stop” as outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (MUTCD). 24-hour traffic volumes should be collected in order to perform a full warrant analysis. If it is suspected that traffic volumes are minimal from the side street, peak hour turning movement volumes only may be collected as a preliminary analysis. Traffic accident information should also be reviewed for a continuous 12-month period to determine if the accident warrant is met. If the 24-hour or peak hour volumes or accident numbers do not meet the minimum levels as outlined in the warrants for “Stop” signs according to the MUTCD, the multi-way “Stop” sign control will not be recommended for installation.
Additional City of Overland Park Installation Criteria:
Conditions for Immediate Justification of “Stop” Sign Installation:
- On residential streets or collector streets at intersections with major thoroughfares.
- On residential streets at any intersection (3-leg or 4-leg) with collector streets. This also includes cul-de-sac streets with street throats of any length except that “eye-brow” type cul-de-sacs will not require “Stop” signs.
- On private streets, commercial drive entrances or “eye-brow” cul-de-sacs that form the fourth leg of the intersection directly across from a residential or collector street that has “Stop” sign control or is scheduled to have “Stop” sign control.
- On the two minor approaches of residential streets at all four-way residential – residential street intersections in order to assign right-of-way. The minor streets will be determined based on volumes and engineering judgment. Intersections with more than four legs and misaligned intersections will also be signed under this category based on engineering judgment.
- At residential / residential street “T”–intersections when the intersection sight distance requirements for the minor street with no control are not met. The sight distance requirements are based on the guidelines indicated in the AASHTO publication, A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, latest edition. (See the attached exhibits). If the intersection sight distance triangle provides adequate sight distance for a yield condition for left or right turns, a “Yield” sign should be considered. According to these criteria, whenever the sight triangle is limited based on yield conditions for left or right turns, a “Stop” sign shall be installed. (See the “City Guidelines Regarding the Installation of Yield Signs”)
- At other locations as determined by the City Traffic Engineer to control traffic.
Conditions for Consideration of “Stop” Signs upon Completion of a Traffic Study or Evaluation of a Request:
- On private streets or commercial drives with long approaches that give the appearance of a public street. This would include locations regardless of whether there is a separate concrete driveway approach apron or not. Engineering judgment is used in making this determination.
- If an existing stop controlled private street or commercial drive is across from a new “uncontrolled” private street or commercial drive, a “Stop” sign may be installed on the new private street or commercial drive.
Conditions Where “Stop” Signs Will Not Be Installed:
- When not warranted unless otherwise directed by Council action.
- If not meeting any of the above criteria.
Maintenance of Existing “Stop” Signs
When Existing “Stop” Signs Do NOT Meet the Above Guidelines:
- On private streets or commercial drives that do not give the appearance of a through street, any existing signs will be left in place until they get knocked down or need maintenance. At that time, the signs will not be replaced.
When Existing “Stop” Signs Meet the Above Guidelines:
- “Stop” signs meeting the above guidelines shall be re-installed immediately upon notification of a knockdown or other required maintenance.
Converting a Multi-Way Stop Control to a Two-Way Stop Control
The continued need for an existing multi-way stop control may be evaluated by the staff. If the warrants for a multi-way stop as indicated above are not met a proposal will be presented to the Public Works Committee for conversion to a two-way stop control.
To assist in determining the proper “Stop” sign size that should be used in a particular situation, a flowchart has been developed based on the following requirements:
The standard size of the “Stop” (R1-1) sign that faces traffic on conventional multi-lane road approaches shall be 36” x 36”.
Where side roads intersect a conventional multi-lane road that has a posted speed limit of 45 mph or higher, the minimum size of the “Stop” (R1-1) sign facing the side road approach shall be 36” x 36”, even if the side road has only one approach lane.
Where side roads intersect a multi-lane road that has a posted speed limit of 40 mph or less, the minimum size of the “Stop” (R1-1) sign facing traffic on the side road approach shall be 30” x 30” if the side road has a single lane approach and 36” x 36” if the side road has a multi-lane approach.
The standard size of the “All Way” (R1-3p) plaque shall be 18” x 6”.
Color and Shape:
The “Stop” (R1-1) sign shall be an octagon with a white legend and white border, on a retro-reflectorized red background.
The “All Way” (R1-3p) sign shall be a rectangle with a white legend and white border, on a retro-reflectorized red background.
Applicable Overland Park Traffic Ordinances – Chapter 12.04:
12.04.32 Duties of City Traffic Engineer
- a) The City Traffic Engineer shall determine the installation and proper timing and maintenance of traffic control devices; conduct engineering analysis of traffic accidents and devise remedial measures; conduct engineering investigations of traffic conditions; plan the operation of traffic on the streets and highways of this City; cooperate with other City officials in the development of ways and means to improve traffic conditions; and carry out the additional powers and duties imposed by ordinances of this City.
- b) The City Traffic Engineer, the Assistant City Traffic Engineer, or the Director of Public Works shall place, maintain, change, and remove traffic control signs, signals, and devices, when and as required under the traffic ordinances of this City to make effective and carry out the provisions of said ordinances, and may place, maintain, change and remove such additional traffic control devices as he may deem necessary to regulate traffic or to warn or guide traffic.
(History: Ord. TC-1260,C §1,86;TC-1260 §31,84)
ARTICLE X. RIGHT-OF-WAY
12.04.057 Vehicles Approaching or Entering Intersection.
- a) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
- b) The right-of-way rule declared in subsection (a) is modified at through highways and otherwise as hereinafter stated in this ordinance.
(History: K.S.A.8-1526; Ord. TC-1260PP '3, 98; TC-1260 '56, 84)
12.04.058 Vehicle Turning Left. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into any alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(History: K.S.A.8-1527; Ord. TC-1260 '57, 84)
12.04.59 Stop Signs and Yield Signs.
- a) Preferential right-of-way may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs.
- b) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways such driver shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within an adjacent crosswalk.
- c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. Such driver shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within an adjacent crosswalk. If a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways or with a pedestrian in an adjacent crosswalk, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield right-of-way.
(History: K.S.A.8-1528; Ord. TC-1260, KK §6, 95; TC-1260 §58, 84)
12.04.080 Emerging from Alley or Private Driveway or Building. The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across such alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon.
(History: K.S.A.8-1555; Ord. TC-1260 '79, 84)