Ricardo from Denver writes, “What's driving you crazy? Every time I'm driving on High St. and have to stop on the stop sign at E. Jewell Ave, it drives me crazy! Why is there a stop sign at this intersection? The stop sign is on a cross street of a service road and a parking lot. Why does the only driving road have to stop for literally no cross traffic?”
The short answer Ricardo is the stop sign is there for student safety. When standing in the middle of the intersection, looking to the west, Jewell Ave is about one block of road leading to a dead end with several poles blocking any vehicle from trying to get through. There is a little extra space of road designed to help drivers turn around. There is also a few parking places on the street available for residents of the nearby houses and apartments.
Looking to the east, you see a small, parking lot with just a few parking spaces available for University of Denver business. Looking north or south, you see High Street connecting Buchtel Blvd to Evans Ave on the west side of the DU campus.
I talked to Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure about your question. They tell me the stop sign is there to make sure there is a dedicated place to allow for students to safely cross High Street as they walk to campus. Before the DU campus was closed, that was a popular crossing place for students, but they usually cross only a few hours of the day. Meanwhile, drivers like you have to stop even in the middle of the night when the likelihood of a student going to or from the campus is slim to none.
In other communities where there is a crossing used infrequently by pedestrians, they install a flashing sign that requires drivers to stop when activated. This also allows for the free movement of traffic during the vast majority of the time. Denver’s DoTI did tell me they will take another look at this intersection to see if it still experiences high pedestrian volumes that meet criteria for a stop sign.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.