There’s a four-way stop on our way to church. Most of the time, the people who go through that intersection are familiar with it and know how to handle a 4-way stop – taking turns and all that.
But last week, there were some people who did not quite understand when they could go. In the interest of the public good, I am writing this blog post to educate drivers who may be wondering about when to drive through the intersection.
Everyone knows how the 4-way stop should work – a person goes in the order he arrived at the intersection. First one there has the right of way. If two people get there at the same time, the more aggressive driver gets to go first.
But aggressiveness was not the problem we had that night. People were not smart. They weren’t bad, just very inefficient.
Here’s a diagram of the set of cars just before it was my turn:
Car #1 was supposed to go first, which he did.
Car #2 was supposed to go second, which he did.
Car #3 was supposed to go third, which he did but that doesn’t matter for this.
The problem was that Car #2 waited until Car #1 had gone completely through the intersection. You’re both going straight through; your paths will not cross – start driving as soon as you can.
I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it, but then it was my turn. I’m Car #1:
We were turning left, and the guy to our left was turning right. We should be able to both go at the same time without any conflict. I was before him, so I went. He was next after me, but he waited until I had finished my turn before he started driving.
While that’s technically correct, it is also technically annoying. Sometimes there are 15-20 cars in line. If everyone waits until the other car has gone completely through the intersection, the guy at the end of the line could be idling for twice as long as he should be.
Take advantage of your blocking, people.
If I were Car #2, I would have made my turn as soon as Car #1 started turning. If I were Car #2 and the order was really 1-3-2, I still would have gone as soon as Car #1 started turning. Some people might think that is cutting, but he can’t go until Car #1 gets out of his way. Keep the pipeline full. Out-of-order execution makes microprocessors run more efficiently; the same concept can make intersections better.
My wife and I agree that it should be made into a roundabout. That way, we wouldn’t have to stop much of the time.
When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him;He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.