It’s best if you just wait your turn

There are four-way stops at each end of my block, but in eight years here I’ve seen more than two cars at the intersection exactly once.

Which is probably a good thing, given the general behavior of state drivers encountering these mystifying creations:

[S]ome people around here do not understand the concept of a four-way stop. The first car arriving goes first. Than the next car. YOU TAKE TURNS. I’ve run into people who decide to be “generous” and wave others through (messing up the order) or, worse, who decide that four-way stop means, “The most impatient person goes first.”

If you’re not from around here and are puzzled by the concept — if you are from around here, we assume by default that you’re puzzled by the concept — here’s a brief tutorial on how it’s supposed to work.


  1. ms7168 »

    28 August 2011 · 8:00 am

    Recently the lights on 63rd and NW Distressway were out and that intersection is scary enough when they work! You should have seen it when they didn’t! There were basically people all over the place waiting impatiently for the one they thought should wait to get across. Traffic was heavy too and that makes it a little worse. Still if you are paying attention the rule works even for that situation.

  2. CGHill »

    28 August 2011 · 9:55 am

    The Lost Ogle has been running a Worst Intersection in OKC poll; last I looked, it was fourth, within a couple of votes of 63rd and Western.

    Commenter Bananas Foster picked it first, because:

    [A]ll the morons that run the light on NW Expy. If you are EB on 63rd, you’d better count to 10 before proceeding on the green as you can’t look back the nearly 180 degrees to see who is going to run the light.

    Then again, morons run lights everywhere on the Distressway: I see it pretty much every day at Penn, sometimes at Belle Isle.

  3. Kirk »

    29 August 2011 · 12:04 pm

    This is all related to, but not quite the same as, a problem we have here in North Carolina ALL the time. As you know if you haven’t been living in a cave the last week, North Carolina gets severe weather sometimes. This results, inevitably, in power failures affecting traffic lights. For some reason, the people of this fair state have never learned that when the traffic lights are out, you treat the intersection like a four-way stop. Of course, add to it the reality that NC drivers are about as challenged as OK drivers when it comes to four-way stops, and you have a recipe for disaster built into every severe thunderstorm.

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