Why We Use Multi-Way Stops
A stop sign is an effective traffic control device when used at the proper place under appropriate conditions. A stop sign is used at an intersection to assist drivers and pedestrians in determining who has the right-of-way. Multi-way stop signs are used at intersections when traffic volumes on all approaches are approximately equal and at intersections where safety is a concern.
Per the MUTCD, multi-way stops are not to be used for speed control or to arbitrarily interrupt traffic. When multi-way stop signs are installed at locations where they are not warranted, there is a high incidence of motorists disregarding the traffic control devices.
Well-developed, nationally accepted guidelines outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices consider the amount of traffic at an intersection, the length of time traffic must wait to enter an intersection, and the safety of an intersection to determine if a multi-way stop installation is warranted.