The MRCA loves to characterize drivers who are slapped with $175 fines for slowly rolling through intentionally misplaced stop signs as dangerous scofflaws who “blow through stop signs”. But as this video of an actual violation caught on the illegal stop sign cameras in Franklin Canyon park shows, drivers are not blowing through stop signs, nor are they likely to injure anyone. Watch the video. You’ll see how the driver slows down and rolls up to the intersection where he actually pauses for a moment before continuing.
That person got a $175 ticket. Did he deserve it? Technically, he violated the stop sign. But is it really a violation when the stop sign is placed so far in front of the intersection that drivers can not possibly see any cross traffic if they stop right at the sign? In addition, the markings on the pavement that are supposed to indicate where to stop are so worn away they can’t clearly be seen, especially with the mixture of sunlight and shadow cast across the roadway.
This picture was taken as I was stand directly over the markings and you still can’t see them well. So how can drivers be expected to see them?
Plus, the stop sign serves no purpose where it is placed. In the picture below, you can see The fencing on the right and the concrete wall on the left prevents this from being a pedestrian crossing. So why place the sign there?
It’s no wonder the L.A. Weekly reported that 70,000 tickets generating over $2.4 million in fines were given out at these tricky stop sign camera locations.
Now here’s the driver’s view when stopped at the sign in the video.
There’s no way you can see if there’s any cross traffic approaching (there actually can’t be any cross traffic because the roadway that intersects just ahead is a one way street heading in the opposite direction away from the intersection) so you have to roll up a few feet to see if it’s safe to proceed. But instead of placing the stop sign a few feet further up and painting a clear stop line on the pavement, the MRCA is content to create a situation where drivers are encouraged to roll past the stop sign to where they can actually see the cross street. The only possible explanation is that the MRCA wants lots of violators so they can generate lots of fines.
And it’s not just the stop sign depicted above that’s placed in an unusual and confusing location. See my post about the stop sign cameras in Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park at the top of Reseda Blvd in Tarzana.
And look at this other location in Franklin Canyon Park.
It’s another location where the stop sign and camera are placed well before the intersection, encouraging drivers to slowly roll past so they can see if anyone is approaching from their left. Clearly these are not isolated incidents but a concerted effort on the part of the MRCA to shakedown visitors to their parks.
The MRCA isn’t interested in safety. If they were, they’d make sure the stop signs were located directly at the intersections and that the pavement markings were clearly visible. But they’re not interested in safety. It’s all a big con job. They’re interested in generating as much income from unsuspecting park visitors as they can.
Anyone who is involved in or facilitates this scam should be ashamed of themselves. I often wonder how they can sleep at night or look their family members in the eyes when they describe what they are a part of. It’s unfortunate that some people have no conscience at all.