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Mixed Signals on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill

May 29, 2012

In a case where more is definitely NOT better, motorists are getting too much information to know what to do with when the reach the Clinton Hill intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Emerson Place.

At this meeting of thoroughfares drivers are confronted with a mixed message by two roadway symbols; a stop sign and a traffic light. Should motorists ignore the stop sign when they arrive at the intersection when the light is green? Or should they stop and check for oncoming and sideways traffic? How about a red light? Do they wait for the green, and do drivers need to check in all directions before they cross through the intersection? What’s a motorist to do?

Some car operators see the whole thing as just a confusing waste of money:

“It makes no sense,” said Hugo Martinez. “It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to have that sign there.”

City traffic officials say each traffic fixture is directed at a different roadway. The traffic light is for drivers on Myrtle Avenue. The stop sign is for motorists cruising down the one-way service road which runs parallel to Myrtle Avenue and ends at Emerson Place. There is an additional stop sign on the other, right-hand, sidewalk.

While most drivers ignore the stop sign while driving on Myrtle, others are fooled by the prominent placement of the sign.

“I don’t understand it,” said motorist Aubrey Jernigan. “I’ve driven here for years and it’s still funny to me.”

Spokesman for the Department of Transportation Nick Mosquera said it is not unusual to place a stop sign on both sides of a service road. He added that despite the apparent confusion there have not been any fatalities, serious injuries or other serious accidents at the intersection from 2006 until 2010. He added that the department will check the situation and see if the extra stop sign should be removed.

“We will evaluate the signage to ensure that the appropriate traffic controls are clearly visible,” Mosquera said.

Drivers are quite anxious to see the stop sign removed:

“It messes with a lot of people that come through this intersection,” one motorist said.

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