Stop Signs

Stop Sign Intersection Warrant Criteria
Requests to review intersections for stop control are evaluated using the warrants established by the CA-MUTCD as follows:

  • Crashes
    A crash problem, as indicated by 5 or more reported crashes in a 12-month period that are susceptible to correction by a multi-way stop installation. Such crashes include right - and left-turn collisions as well as right-angle collisions.
  • Minimum Volumes
    The vehicular volume entering the intersection from the major street 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 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.
  • Interim Measure
    Where traffic control signals are 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.
  • Posted Speed Limit
    If posted speed of the major-street traffic exceeds 40 miles per hour, the minimum vehicular volume warrants are 70% of the above values.
  • Multiple Warrants
    Where no single warrant is satisfied, but where crash and volume warrants are all satisfied to 80% of the minimum values, a multi-way stop control may also be considered.

Engineering Evaluation
The installation of stop signs are done only after a thorough engineering evaluation of the above criteria and the following:

  • The direction that conflicts the most with established pedestrian crossing activity or school walking routes.
  • Sight distance to conflicting traffic.
  • Distance of uninterrupted flow approaching the intersection.
  • Obscured vision, dips, or bumps that already require drivers to use lower operating speeds.

Stop Signs
Stop signs are installed according to the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA-MUTCD) to assign right-of-way at an intersection, not to control speeding. According to the CA-MUTCD stop signs must meet certain sets of criteria, called warrants, so there is uniformity in their use around the nation. These warrants identify specific vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian volumes, accident history, and any unusual conditions which must be present at the intersection for a stop sign to be installed.