A Solution to “Illegal” Stop Signs (Letter to the Editor, The Suburban, 2017-8-23)

In his letter “Excessive number of stop signs in Hampstead contribute to pollution” (Letter to the Editor, The Suburban, 2017-8-16), Leslie Satenstein decries the brake and tire dust as well as unnecessary fuel use, occasioned by the large number of stop signs along Fleet/Van Horne, in Hampstead. His annoyance is likely shared by many motorists.

A similar situation occurs along the De Maisonneuve bike path in Westmount, affecting both cyclists and motorists. Annoyed road users are more likely to not come to a full stop when there are an excessive number of stop signs; once started on the slippery slope of breaking the law, they may flout the law elsewhere, which makes everyone (pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists) less safe.

Some of these stop signs may be illegal. According to the regulations established by Transports Québec and published in Tome V, section 2.4.1, chapitre 2, page 3 (which may be consulted at the Bibliothèque nationale) the minimum distance between stop signs is 150 m, and between a stop light and a stop sign, 250 m. The actual distances are considerably less than these minimums in some cases.

It might be argued that stop signs are necessary to allow pedestrians to cross safely. Not so: pedestrian crosswalks together with traffic calming measures are used in some Montreal boroughs, eg Verdun.

One way to help overcome bureaucratic inertia for the removal of illegal stop signs, might be for motorists or cyclists who have been ticketed for failing to fully stop at one of these illegal signs, to mount class action lawsuits against the concerned municipalities to recover their fines and associated costs.

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