The Four-Way Stop that Almost Is

Shortly after moving into my house on 10th Avenue and 25th Street in South Minneapolis, I noticed that there seemed to be an inordinate amount of honking coming from the intersection. Not even kidding, as I typed that sentence a long blaring horn sounded from the corner outside. Several times an hour, it was HONK HONK HONK all day long.

I gradually realized that this was a result of the design of the intersection. Drivers going East-West on 25th Street don’t have a stop sign, while drivers going North-South on 10th Avenue do. However, 25th Street does have a yield to pedestrians sign in the location where a stop sign would typically be placed, if there were one. As one approaches the intersection on 10th Avenue, one sees the back of a stop sign-sized sign where a stop sign would be expected. Peripheral vision being what it is, drivers don’t always correctly distinguish between octagon and rectangle with triangle on top.


On 10th Avenue going North



On 25th Street going East

To illustrate this phenomenon I went ahead and stuck a GoPro on the side of the house and recorded the intersection. As you can imagine, this turned out to be a bit of a watched-pot phenomenon, so it took me several recording sessions to get enough footage. One thing that happened a lot was, I’d hear three honks in a row, think “that’s it I’m putting the GoPro out,” and then nothing. You’ll just have to take my word that the type of events shown in the video happen many times every day.

I’ve witnessed a crash at this intersection live from the porch, and (to my infinite chagrin!) I missed capturing this little gem that came to me by way of my neighborhood listserv:

Incident location: 10th Ave & 25th St on Tuesday, 6/23, 3:20 pm.
Offense: carrying a weapon without permit. There was a car crash on the corner. Apprehended person was seen putting a gun in his waistband. After a foot chase the handgun was recovered.

The most interesting thing about reviewing all this footage was that it was almost as common (though significantly less dangerous) for drivers going East-West on 25th Street to interpret the intersection as being a four-way stop as it was for drivers on 10th Avenue, and was the source of a lot of awkward “will they or won’t they?” moments. Basically, this intersection is begging to be a four-way stop. I assume the relevant staff at the city are reading this, so consider it my formal request.

Joe Scott

About Joe Scott