Practice your four-way stopping

The new four-way stop at 3rd and Ray gives folks an opportunity to get good at four-way-stop best practices. 

The old four-way stop at Quartz and Industrial was a disaster. Why? Because cars entered the intersection one at a time, as if there were a single queue.

An efficient four-way stop sees the cars from opposite directions enter the intersection at the same time. If they are both going straight, they pass midway. If one is turning left, the left turner turns immediately behind the oncoming car’s rear bumper. If both are turning left, their front bumpers pass each other. Right turners, as at any intersection, proceed any time it is safe to do so.

I was once driving in San Diego when a power outage blacked out the traffic lights. Amazingly, traffic continued to flow smoothly and safely.

Each major intersection was treated, by all drivers, as a four-way stop. There I was at a huge intersection of two straight lanes, a right turn lane, and a left turn lane in each direction — a total of sixteen lanes! North and South went first — straight-ahead cars passing mid-intersection with left turners scooting immediately behind them, then the same happened with all of the east and west cars. There were no long line-ups or hesitations. It went like clockwork.

If San Diego can do it with 16 lanes, surely we can do it with four.

Dianne Homan

Whitehorse

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