City away dangerous four-way stop in southwest Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The city of Omaha has identified a dangerous four-way stop after an investigation by 6 News.

For years, a four-way stop should have made a busy intersection safer, but an investigation by 6 News found it had become dangerous instead.

Last fall, it was Mike Marro’s turn at a four-way stop when another driver raced through the intersection and crashed into his car with Mattingly in a child seat.

“If he were on both sides and not in the middle, he couldn’t be here today,” said Marro.

6 News set up a hidden camera to catch several motorists blowing through stop signs on South 138th Street, a busy north-south corridor with a speed limit of 40 mph.

“It makes no sense to have a stop sign there if the people didn’t care,” said neighbor Rob Weibel.

He said the city had just made a safer decision to remove stop signs for north-south traffic.

“Now that there are no stop signs on the busy route, people are still a little more cautious,” said Weibel. “I think it’s a good move that they did and I hope I’m right.”

After investigating 6 News, the city did one at the intersection and determined that it did not meet the criteria for a continuous stop. Visibility and traffic figures indicated that an oncoming trip on Birchwood Avenue would be safe enough.

Illuminated signs warn approaching drivers not to stop on Birchwood Avenue, but after so many have driven this way for so many years, habits are hard to break. The stop signs were removed a day ago, but some drivers pretend they’re still there.

The two remaining stop signs on Birchwood Avenue have warning flags so drivers think twice and look more because there are no more turns.

The Omaha traffic engineer tells 6 News that the intersection is being monitored to see how the change works. But at this point it doesn’t qualify for a traffic light.

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