Four traffic circles in the north end will soon be updated with yield signs.
The Hagerstown City Council agreed Tuesday to remove stop signs from traffic circles on East Magnolia and East Irvin avenues and replace them with yield signs.
The circles are at the intersections of East Magnolia Avenue and Mealey Parkway; East Irvin Avenue and Mealey Parkway; East Irvin Avenue, Valley Brook Drive and View Street; and East Irvin Avenue and East Magnolia.
City Engineer Rodney Tissue said that most traffic circles are marked with yield signs, not stop signs.
Yield signs keep traffic moving through the circles, which is the intent of the traffic-control devices, he said.
"It will be more of a regulated traffic flow through the circles," Tissue said.
Based on city policy, the council has the authority to put up and take down stop signs, he said.
According to a map provided to the council, nine stop signs will be replaced with yield signs at the intersections.
Councilman Martin Brubaker said the city should educate the public about the changes to avoid drivers stopping out of habit rather than yielding.
"These are treated as yield signs now," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said of the stop signs.
He said drivers find it frustrating to come to intersections with traffic circles that have full visibility and then have to stop, so many only yield.
Tissue said the city can use electronic message boards to alert motorists to the change, issue news releases and pass out fliers in the neighborhood.
Because of pedestrian traffic in the area, the city will stripe some crosswalks at the intersections, he said.
Changing the signs at the intersections also was approved by the Washington County Board of Education and the city board of traffic and parking, Tissue said.