To the City of Rochester, what the heck were you thinking taking these stop signs away?

I thought I was losing my mind the other day as I was stopped at the intersection of 4th Street SW and 2nd Ave. SW.  I could tell that something was different but I just couldn't put my finger on what was missing exactly.  And then, I saw a pedestrian almost get hit by a car as they were walking across 4th Street SW and realized, "Oh...the stop signs that were here, the one that I am stopped for right now...GONE!"

Credit: Google
Credit: Google

The intersection at 2nd Ave. SW and 4th Street SW used to be a 4-way stop.  You came to the intersection and everyone stopped.  They may have been temporary BUT there were stop signs there that made it a 4-way stop. This is an intersection I drive almost every single day and it is just a habit now for me to stop when I approach it.  Well, the stop signs on 4th Street SW are gone and now, cars are NOT stopping.  You might think that they are going to since they did just the other day, but nope.  They aren't stopping and quite a few aren't even stopping for pedestrians.

I wish I had a video of what happened to me because as my vehicle almost got slammed by an oncoming car that I thought was going to be stopping for the 4-way stop, a pedestrian almost got hit too.  It was a scary moment for both of us.  Here's what happened:

  • the pedestrian was standing in front of One Discovery Square at the corner of 4th Street SW and 2nd Ave. SW
  • I was in my car on 4th Street SW, waiting to turn left and go South...and stopped, because I didn't even realize there wasn't a stop sign any more.
  • I hesitated to turn left immediately until I knew which way the pedestrian was going to start walking.  That little pause in my driving is what saved me from getting T-boned by a vehicle that was flying down 4th Street SW.
  • The pedestrian, who did have the right away, started walking across the street and then stepped back as she saw the vehicle wasn't stopping.

So, Rochester, why did you take these away?  Why weren't flags or something put up to let us know..."Hey drivers and pedestrians, heads up, this area has changed a bit!".  You have a sign up on 55th Street for the construction happening there that says "Signal Change Ahead".  Why not do something simple to let us know you changed something?

For all of you who say that I should always pay attention when I'm driving, I'm well aware.  You can turn this into a debate of my driving if you'd like but the point is that when something big, like a stop sign, is removed from an intersection that is quite busy, a heads up would have been nice.   (Not that it matters, but for the record, I've never had a ticket and only had an accident because someone else rear-ended me as I was stopped and that was when I was 17 years old.  My car was pushed over 50 feet and luckily I had my steering wheel straight as I got hit otherwise this would have been a multi-vehicle accident with different outcomes.)

If you walk through this intersection, pedestrians, please pay attention and use extreme caution because cars are NOT stopping for you.

What intersection is your least favorite in Rochester?  Please, share it with me over on my Facebook page - Jessica On The Radio.

 Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on Y105FM's Early Morning Show with James Rabe and Jessica Williams.

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