City removes dangerous four-way stop in southwest Omaha

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:17 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The City of Omaha has since taken notice of a dangerous four-way stop following a 6 News investigation.

For years, a four-way stop should have made a busy intersection safer, but a 6 News investigation found it had become dangerous instead.

Last fall, Mike Marro took his turn at a four-way stop when another driver blasted through the intersection and smashed into his car with Mattingly in a child seat.

“If he was on either side, rather than the middle, he could not be here today,” Marro said.

6 News set up a hidden camera to catch several drivers blowing through stop signs on South 138th Street, a busy north-south corridor with a 40 mph speed limit.

“It was no use having a stop sign there when people didn’t care about it,” neighbor Rob Weibel said.

He said the city just made a safer decision to remove the stop signs for north-south traffic.

“Now that there are no stop signs on the busy way, people are still a little bit more cautious,” Weibel said. “I think it is a good move that they did this, and I hope I’m right.”

After 6 News’ investigation, the city did one on the intersection and found it doesn’t meet the criteria for an all-way stop. Sight distance and traffic numbers showed a two-way on Birchwood Avenue would be safe enough.

Lighted signs warn approaching drivers they no longer have to stop at Birchwood Avenue, but after so many have driven this way for so many years, habits are hard to break. The stop signs were removed a day ago, but some drivers act like they’re still there.

The two remaining stop signs on Birchwood Avenue have warning flags so drivers think twice and look even more because there’s no more taking turns.

Omaha’s traffic engineer tells 6 News that the intersection will be monitored to see how the change is working. But at this time, it doesn’t qualify for a traffic signal.

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