POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Here’s why some stop signs will be removed in Cottonwood Heights

Dec 9, 2022, 6:00 PM

Cottonwood Heights officials have begun the process of removing several stop signs in a neighborhoo...

A bagged stop sign at the intersection of Nye Drive and Rolling Hills Way in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. It's been bagged and will be removed by the end of the year because it doesn't meet federal requirements for placement of a stop sign. (Simone Seikaly, KSL NewsRadio)

(Simone Seikaly, KSL NewsRadio)

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Four intersections in Cottonwood Heights that usually have stop signs will be different for drivers beginning on Friday.

That’s when the Cottonwood Heights Public Works Department begins the process of removing the signs on Rolling Knolls, Nye Drive, and Nye Circle. The roads are in a neighborhood about one block northeast of Dan’s Foods on Ft. Union and Highland Drive.

These are the affected intersections:

  • Rolling Knolls Way and 2075 E. (signs on Rolling Knolls),
  • Rolling Knolls Way and Luna Way (signs on Rolling Knolls),
  • Rolling Knolls Way and Nye Drive (signs on Nye Drive), and
  •  Nye Drive and Nye Circle (signs removed from both streets).

Drivers will first notice that the signs in question have been bagged. They will be removed permanently by the end of the year.

Roads don’t warrant stop signs

According to a letter sent to Cottonwood Heights residents, the city council requested a review of the stop signs. The review found that they “do not meet warrants to justify the use of a stop sign.”

However, drivers will not be left to maneuver neighborhood intersections with no help from a sign.

“The roads where the stop signs are being removed will now be yielding [to opposing traffic],” said Lindsay Wilcox, the communications manager for Cottonwood Heights.

“It’s not that we’re suddenly making the road more dangerous, per se, by removing stop signs. They were there for traffic calming purposes. That is not what they are supposed to be used for,” Wilcox told KSL.

Following federal guidelines

The letter to residents explained that the city follows national guidelines outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for streets and highways, or MUTCD.

The federal manual explains that stop signs are warranted when, at an intersection of a “less important road with a main road” drivers might not follow a normal right-of-way rule.

The maual also says that stop signs are acceptable on a street that enters a through highway or through-street, at an unsignalized intersection in a signalized area, or where high speeds, a restricted view, or crash records show a need for a stop sign.

“Many STOP signs in Cottonwood Heights … were originally installed for speed control purposes,” the city said in the letter to residents. “When used excessively for speed control, STOP signs encourage casual observance. This decreases intersection safety and increases the potential for an accident.”

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Here’s why some stop signs will be removed in Cottonwood Heights