Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Building a better stop sign

(Please excuse my poor art skills.  Someone else will have to refine the colors and sizes, etc.)

I have several new ideas a day.  This is just one of the ideas that swam by this morning.  I was intrigued enough to hold on and think it through.  I like it.

You recognize this object:

There is a clear purpose to this sign.  But after you stop there is a good deal of additional information that you need in order to proceed.  You are at an intersection.  What are the other lanes of traffic doing?  Are they stopping, too?  Are they yielding?

My idea is to add information about the other lanes of traffic to this sign in an obvious and easy-to-read manner. So look at this sign and tell me (in the comments) if you immediately understand it:

Simple, right?  Red means the lane is stopping.  Green means it is not stopping.  There is really only one other option, they might be yielding:

The sign has eight sides.  That gives us plenty of options to specify which direction the other lane is in.  Like in the above image the lane that is yielding is intersecting at a narrow angle on the right.  This is a Y-shaped intersection.

This information can be easily added via stickers.  We don't have to replace the existing stop signs.  We can just add the red, yellow, and green stickers to the sides.

Isn't that simpler and more intuitive than the little signs that get hung beneath that say, "Cross traffic does not stop", or "3-Way Stop"?  This has the added advantage of being universal.  You don't have to be able to read the local language to understand what is going on.

What do you think?

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