Town brings back ban on new stop signs

Town brings back ban on new stop signs

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The town with the least open space also appears to have the most stop signs per capita, and now the Town Council is saying enough.

At Councilor Manny Giusti’s request last week, the council approved a fresh one-year moratorium on new stop signs. The town has been inundated with new requests at every meeting since the council previously failed to renew the ban, Giusti told his colleagues.

“I don’t think we can afford to put any more up,” he said. “It’s just getting completely out of control.”

The town now has 888 stop signs, according to its new mapping tools, said Giusti. That’s about one stop sign for every 36 people.

The council voted unanimously at its Dec. 3 meeting to bring back the one-year moratorium.

The council will still consider new signs if the Police Department approaches members with a specific stated need, said Giusti, but will no longer take requests from constituents.

The town had a longstanding tradition of re-upping a new moratorium on stop signs each October during the first decade or so of Giusti’s 15 years on the council.

The veteran councilman made a motion in March of last year to have the matter of instituting a new one-year ban on stop signs sent to the ordinance subcommittee, but the council decided against going that route.

The modern proliferation of stop signs had its roots during the tenure of former Mayor Salvatore Mancini, who had a practice of having the DPW put up a stop sign just about every time someone asked, says Giusti.

“When Sal was mayor, if you called as John Q. Citizen and said, ‘I want a stop sign,’ he would say, ‘I’ll put up a stop sign’ and would send the DPW to do it,” the councilman said last year.

Many of the signs up today don’t have an ordinance backing them up, but Chief of Police David Tikoian, in his report on a review of the stop signs last year, said it would be a long and arduous task by the town clerk to figure out which ones have ordinances making them legal. He has recommended that the town simply accept all of the existing street sign locations in one ordinance, and for officials to then address each issue as it comes up.

After initially proposing having members of the North Providence Mayor’s Youth Commission research all the stop signs to determine a final number, Tikoian had Geographic Information System Coordinator Normand Marchand do the work.

According to Marchand’s analysis completed last year, the town has:

• 430 stop signs at one-way intersections;

• 190 signs at two-way intersections;

• 60 signs at three-way intersections;

• And 208 stop signs at four-way intersections.

There are 597 total intersections with stop signs.

“I applaud (Marchand’s) efforts with collecting the necessary data, which had to be garnered in order to compile the attached report,” wrote Tikoian in a presentation of the report last year. “The data collection was not only tedious, but also required attention to detail.”


if we could just get people to obey the darn things.