Laws not outdated, 4-way stop signs are too plentiful

Letters to the Editor
January 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Dear Editor,
I wanted to thank Kim Perret for the compliments she gave me on my recent letter stating the facts concerning 4-way stop signs. Just like Joe Friday says on the TV show, Drag Net, “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.” Well, the fact is that the federal traffic manual, which is used in every state in the union, is not outdated or antiquated.

It is updated as needed. The directive that Dempsy White sent to all state governing bodies is still very much in effect but, I’m sorry to say that it is not enforced by the state or this parish.

Another fact is this, the directive states that all bodies in the state “shall” conform to this federal manual. The word shall is mandatory. No questions asked. And whether or not to install a 4-way top sign is not subject to a judgement call as the public works director stated several times at the last council meeting.

In the many years I have been opposing these signs, I have not seen one director approve of a 3-way or 4-way signs and on the contrary, I have never seen the council vote down an ordinance to install a sign. Jefferson Parish Council operates the same way. The traffic engineer says “no” and the council says “yes.”

During the time when Sam Caruso was mayor of Slidell, there was an editorial in the Times-Picayune concerning the mayor’s intentions to put a stop to all the 4-way stop signs that the council had installed on a regular basis. He said enough is enough. The city had a population of 38,000 and over 1,000 4-way signs.

There are still six intersections on Primrose Drive with no 4-way signs. Maybe that’s why the residents like to drive it. Did you know that if you live anywhere in Mimosa Park besides the first block, you cannot get on Highway 90 through the park without going through one or more 4-way stop signs. People speed down my street. That seemed to be a good reason for installing a sign, so I requested a sign in front of my house, but since I live in the middle of the block, it was denied.

As far as Ms. Perret’s young ones having to cross Primrose to catch the bus, you are not supposed to cross the street until the bus gets there and stops. Two families that live across the street from me have high school and elementary school children. The buses stop their four times a day with no problem. No violators of illegal passing and no near misses concerning kids.

Some more facts ma’am. Every time you put your brakes on you have wasted some fuel, caused excess wear on tires, wear on engine and drivetrain and don’t forget the nervous system and the foul language that would be inaudible. Another fact is that the two main purposes for this traffic is to ensure safety for the public and have uniform control signs and stripping so they would be the same in every state. The color, size, shape and working would be uniform. An inverted triangle sign is used for one purpose only. I;m not telling. Keep looking an you will see one.

I have run out of facts for now - maybe later.

I wish Kim Perret and her family well and I do really care about the safety of children, especially during school days.

Cletus Martin

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