Sep 12, 2013

How can I get a stop sign placed on private property?

Who do you contact about getting a "right turn only" sign put up in a private entrance and exit? Nikki in Norwalk

Nikki's concern stems from someone crashing into her son's car when the other driver tried to turn left onto U.S. 250 from the Outback Plaza. The other driver, according to Nikki, "plowed right into his car that was also carrying his girlfriend and baby. They are all OK, but the car is totaled."

Since this a private entrance and exit, the property owner could install their own "Right In/Right Out Only" sign at this location, state transportation spokeswoman Christine Myers said.

Residents can always voice their opinions at public meetings or petition to possibly enact a change.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."


The Answer Person

Uh...ou could try BUYING one.


The kind of drivers that pull out in front of oncoming cars are not going to be deterred by a Right Turn Only sign. Meijer has one by the gas station and cars turn left there all the time.


But would the private sign carry the force of law? Could you get a ticket for ignoring it?


No, and a public sign could only be erected after legislative action (by the trustees) outlawing left turns there.

In fact, placing a private sign might open the property owner to some liability by implicitly acknowledging a duty of care.

Hoty Enterprises

This particular property is managed by Hoty Enterprises. Ingress and egress in to properties along US 250 is governed by the Ohio Department of Transportation. In fact, you have to get a permit from ODOT to maintain/change an entrance and ODOT dictates the "type" of entrance you obtain.

Outback Plaza does have a sign that suggests exiting patrons use the traffic signal at Starbucks versus turning left. It is located at the exit. Years ago we actually requested a light for this location. ODOT required us to perform a traffic study (at our cost) prior to putting up a light. Upon completion of the study, ODOT required us to put the signal (again, at our cost) at the south Meijer entrance instead - where Starbucks sits. It was at that point that we added the sign suggesting people use the lighted intersection.

We also do agree with the comment by Kelly - we have a right have turn in/out at the plaza just to the north (as mandated by ODOT) where Verizon is. Not only does the site have a concrete "pork chop," there are also "do not enter signs" and "right had turn only" signs. We watch motorists ignore these signs on a daily basis and really just come and go as they please - which is almost more dangerous (they jump the concrete curb, they hit our signs, etc.)! While we can attempt to direct motorists, we cannot control motorists.

We certainly sympathize with the accident that occurred last week. Please know, however, there is rhyme and reason, sometimes out of a property owner's control, as to ingress and egress along US 250.

If there are any further questions, please feel free to contact our offices at or 4190-609-7000.

Dwight K.

Since people are stupid and can't drive ..other drivers have to be more observant

2cents's picture

Can you get a stop sign removed?
Yes removed, the mall owners added new signs by the Target/Red Lobster intersection on the north south roadway. They say "cross traffic does not stop" This is fine except that there is a stop sign on the Target side so it is a three way stop and now with these signs very confusing, to the point I have seen road rage because people are waiting for people that do or do not have the right away. It is a little funny how someone would erect these and know body has complained?


If you are observant enough you would see the octagon shaped sign next to the road. No matter what intersection I am in I always look at the other areas to check the signs. You never know if one is missing or just put up.

I go through this exact intersection quite regularly and have not seen or experienced any problems.

2cents's picture

I travel it about every day and since the erection of the cross traffic signs I keep seeing perplexed people stopping on both sides, as currently marked it is a three way stop only the inbound traffic has no stop sign but the outbound traffic from the Target parking area have a stop sign so they stop. The north south people stop because the signs on either side say that cross traffic does not stop?

A good spot to see a missing sign is at the back exit of Home Depot, it came down about five years ago one winter and has not gone back up!


I don't know if US 250 traffic is allowed to turn left into the entrance under discussion, but with the traffic signal at Starbucks being so close by, one suggestion would be to petition the State to install vinyl/plastic reflective orange tall cylinder tubes (4' in height, I believe), max 1' apart, for a distance of at least 20',at that intersection such that drivers wanting to turn left at that intersection would be blocked from doing so. And the distance covered by the poles would need to be lengthy enough to deter drivers from turning left out of the intersection, thereby driving the "wrong way" in traffic to get around the poles.


I believe they can turn left from southbound 250 into this drive, however I don't think that is the problem. Its the people trying to turn left out of the driveway onto southbound 250.


I thought US 250 traffic could indeed turn left. And agreed the problem is folks wanting to enter US 250 by making a left turn out of the Outback driveway. My suggested solution would prevent the left-hand turn onto US 250 but would also be a negative for US 250 traffic wanting to turn left into the Outback driveway. But with the Starbucks intersection that includes a traffic signal in close proximity, the improvement in safety could potentially outweigh the inconvenience for US 250 drivers.

pigeon farmer

Any sign to be enforcable must be installed according to MUTCD / OMUTCD. It may seem simple to install the signs, but you'll have to change the striping and any associated lane control signs too. If there are not enough warrants the signs can't be installed. Get an engineer to design it correctly. Don't install anything without calling OUPS first. What looks like installing one sign actually requires several signs. You could easily have $ 10,000.00 design, material and labor.


While I realize that people would ignore the sign, I still feel that something should be put there. Not even a week later, another accident at that very same spot! Same scenario, some idiot attempting to turn left onto 250 from the Outback Plaza this time causing serious injuries! There has to be something that could be done to keep stupid, lazy people from attemting to make that turn! Unless you just fell off the turnip truck last week, everyone knows how dangerous and difficult it is to turn left onto 250 without a stoplight! Duh!! Take the 10 seconds and go down to the stoplight!! People are just plain stupid! And yes, I am the one who asked the question. Someone was reckless and now we are inconvenienced because of it. Ok, rant over, lol.


"There has to be something that could be done to keep stupid, lazy people from attemting to make that turn!"

There is - keep stupid,lazy people from driving by making it much harder to get a driver's license. American drivers' tests are the easiest in the world. Germany offers a dumbed down version of their test for families of US military stationed there - 75% can't pass it.

The fact remains that it IS possible to safely make a left turn out of there, especially at certain times of the day/week. The accidents in question involved a failure to yield during legal left turns - it wasn't the turn, it was the incompetent driver making the turn.

This is the third time this month that the mailbag has featured a request to alter an intersection to better accommodate the incompetence of the average American driver. This is NOT the approach that builds a long lasting, stable society.


Nemesis, I feel you completely missed the point. While I somewhat agree with you, that at certain times you can turn left onto 250, the fact is 250 is an extremely busy road, why take the risk? If you eliminate the ability to turn left, the incompetent drivers are less likely to hurt someone or damage property. No, this does not solve the problem of idiot drivers as a whole, but it does somewhat make one intersection at least a little safer. Unfortunately, I'm sure nothing will be done. More people will continue to make the, what you call, legal left turn right into traffic risking life and limb cause they're to damn lazy to go down to the light.

2cents's picture

"250 is an extremely busy road, why take the risk?"

I think if you read the 1966 Erie County Planning Guide there were suppose to be side roads along all of the RT 250 development on both sides with limited access like the one in front of Wendy's. I am not sure what happened but that never happened until now, the one in front of Kalahari?


I didn't miss the point, I reject it. The "risk" you're asking about is actually the risk of allowing drivers to be responsible for making decisions, such as the decision as to whether conditions make a left turn safe at a given time. Every time there's an accident, people claim it's the fault of the intersection instead of holding drivers responsible for being competent. We spend millions each year dumbing down our roads rather than raising the bar to be allowed to drive, and this approach pervades more than just our roads. The people at whom your suggestion is aimed shouldn't be allowed to drive in the first place, because once you re-engineer this intersection, they'll go out and find another opportunity to cause an accident.

Making things idiot-proof only challenges nature to create more proficient idiots.