Intersection of High Street and Church Street

The stoplight at the intersection of High Street and Church Street blinks red as part of a new traffic pattern.

CAMBRIDGE — The traffic signals at the intersection of High Street and Church Street in Cambridge have been converted to blinking red lights as part of a pilot traffic pattern there.

The blinking red light is a uniform traffic control signal for a 4-way stop, a move that was approved by the Cambridge City Council at the request of the municipality’s Traffic and Safety Committee.

“Research now suggests that all-way stop signs, which ask motorists to approach each intersection as a negotiation, turn out to be much safer than signals,” wrote Commissioner Brian Roche in a social media post.

“This greater safety has multiple causes. Unlike with signals, no law-abiding driver ever passes an all-way stop sign at more than a very low speed, and there is considerable eye contact among users” wrote Roche, “People walking and biking are generally waved through first, and nobody tries to beat the light.”

The pilot traffic pattern was put into place with the assistance of the Department of Public Works and in cooperation with Cambridge Police Department.

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