Drivers ignore downtown 4-way stops

Signs added to remind drivers of four-way stop at downtown site

LOOK OUT A new stop sign is installed at intersection of San Benito and Fifth Streets in downtown Hollister after reports of motorists failing to stop.

Motorists are ignoring stop signs at a central intersection in downtown Hollister, and frustrated city officials have added additional signs warning of the four-way stop.

Temporary stop signs at the intersection of San Benito and Fifth Streets buttressed by sandbags were placed in the middle of the street last week after officials realized the stop signs at the side of the road were not doing the trick.

“The stop signs on the side of the road were visible, but without the flashing red as a reminder, some people were forgetting to stop even with the markings on the road,” said David Rubcic, the city’s engineer. “The stop signs in the middle of the road are only temporary until driving patterns are normalized, which means the driving public understands that they need to stop at this intersection.”

The signs are estimated to be in place for 60 days and there’s no plan to install permanent signage in the middle of the road.

“As the light changes to shorter days, it is important that drivers pay attention to the roadway and watch for pedestrians,” Rubcic said. “It is important that pedestrians make sure cars stop prior to crossing the street in crosswalks and at corners. Don’t forget that there may be two lanes in each direction as they cross the street, so be sure both lanes know you are in the crosswalk.”

The intersection of San Benito Street and Fifth Streets once had functioning three-color signals, but was converted to a four-way stop with flashing red lights when the city resealed and restriped the downtown area last year.

A recent traffic operations analysis concluded that the number of cars passing through the downtown intersection did not justify signals. While motorists may have to adjust to a new way of driving through San Benito Street, the four-way stop is not expected to have any adverse effect on the intersection, according to the report.

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