The Stop Sign of Doom

Many newcomers to the area wonder why Pittsburghers often come to a complete stop at the end of a merge ramp which has a yield sign.  This unpredictable and dangerous behavior seems completely insane, until you learn they do it because they’ve been trained to.  This bottleneck should be familiar to anyone in the area, it’s the top of Greentree hill:


I’m sure I could do a post about the oddness of this exit in general (you can get to Greentree Rd eastbound, but getting back on the highway you need to find Poplar st, but only if you are coming from the north, etc…)

While this seems like a perfect case for the mythical Pittsburgh cloverleaf (it’s so close to being one!), there is inexplicably one leg of the clover that is a whole block over, and even worse has a stop sign at the top instead of a merge lane.  Now I imagine this isn’t a cloverleaf for some structural reason, but the lack of a yield here blows my mind. 

In completely stopped traffic this isn’t so bad (and luckily traffic is often completely stopped at this point), but if you get here around 7pm, it’s perhaps one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences you can have.  

Imagine traffic flying up the highway at 70mph, and you are sitting at a stop sign, with no merge lane.  Did I mention those cars are coming up a hill, so you can only really see them when they are about 1000 ft away? 

I was told my a taxi driver when I first moved here that there used to be a stop sign on the other exit as well, and people are still stopping there out of habit.  Worse then this being a dangerous situation, it’s just another thing that tells new Pittsburgh drivers that stopping before merging onto a highway is a normal thing to do.

  1. pghroads posted this