Yuma, Arizona - Following a week’s observance of driver behavior and feedback from neighborhood residents, the City will convert 8th Avenue and 28th Street to a four-way stop, effective immediately.

The City asks motorists and pedestrians to continue to use their highest levels of caution at this intersection.

The intersection had been converted to a two-way stop last week following the failure of the outdated traffic signal at that intersection, which prompted research on the traffic volumes there. Those findings – based on both pedestrian and vehicle counts – showed no need to interrupt the flow of 8th Avenue traffic.

However, drivers exhibited a near-constant state of confusion there over the past week. City observers witnessed drivers with the right of way stopping, drivers moving through the intersection despite oncoming traffic, and various combinations of both. City Public Works workers removed the traffic signal heads on 8th Avenue on Thursday in hopes of preventing the appearance of a possible four-way stop, but did not notice a corresponding improvement in driver behavior. Staff determined it would be easier for drivers to transition to a four-way stop rather than the planned two-way stop.

Additionally, neighbors voiced displeasure with the two-way stop directly to city officials and to local and social media. The decision to implement a four-way stop at the intersection followed a meeting between City engineers and City Administrator Greg Wilkinson.

“The failure of the traffic signal took us off our preferred schedule for public notification,” said City of Yuma Public Affairs Coordinator Dave Nash. “Ordinarily when there’s a planned upcoming traffic control change, we have more lead time to make sure we notify residents and get their feedback prior to the change taking place. In this case we had to respond afterward by having personnel on site, talking to residents and monitoring media response. Ultimately we are making what we believe is the best decision for the overall safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in this area, particularly the neighborhood schoolchildren.”

The City originally announced a 60-day review period of traffic at the intersection. The number of close calls witnessed by city observers prompted the City to revisit the issue.