A Letter From a Citizen

January 4, 2019


A Letter From a Citizen

Dear City Of Philadelphia Streets Department,

2 stop signs and crosswalks have been added to the intersection of Brown and N. American Street. I warn that these will not serve as intended.

What is the intent of the signs? Will civilians cross here at a safer rate with the crosswalk? What was the accident rate prior? Or to give the motorists coming down American making a left on Brown safer? What spurred this decision?

I’d argue that these stop signs have increased the dangers to pedestrians by giving them a false sense of security in an intersection that’s been one way since I’ve been here. Are people getting hit at this intersection at an alarming rate? I’ve never seen an accident or even come close to one in an intersection I drive hundreds of time a year.

Here are the issues with the stop signs:

  1. Motorists are unfamiliar with them
  2. They are hard to see with cars parked all the way to the corners 
  3. A % of motorists WILL run these stop signs as I did it today forgetting and not able to see them
  4. Civilians have a false sense of security with signs as I see more travelers with their heads down crossing streets
  5. Stop signs will slow traffic in an area that I’ve never seen a traffic jam before.
  6. I can’t identify what the problem was

I noticed stop signs and crosswalks at Fairmount and American and completely understand this. Making a right on Fairmount through American is extremely dangerous when parked cars block the view from Fairmount. Plus American turns into a 2 way street when connecting to Spring Garden which increases the need. Brown and American are both one way. 

Our city needs less unnecessary regulation, not more. If the city wants to help out, put hash marks on the curb for where a parking spot should be starting with the nearest to the zone. Having 3 cars take up 5 spots is bad for everyone.

Tom Stortz 
Northern Liberties Resident 

Further Reference 

One useful data set was collected for New York’s Vision Zero program.  That city, where residents routinely ignore signals when they cross streets, can be thought of as a natural experiment.  The majority of pedestrian deaths, and a far larger majority of non-fatal crashes, occur while crossing the street legally in a crosswalk.

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