Not even police stop for this Norfolk stop sign

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Norfolk, Va. - It happens over and over and over again. Cars running a stop sign causing a dangerous situation in Norfolk. NewsChannel 3 even saw a Norfolk police officer do it!

It`s happening in Norfolk`s West Freemason neighborhood. Honored by urban planners in 2013 as one of America`s great neighborhoods. But just feet away from the urban oasis stands a crossroads of danger.

Day after day, at all times of day, people blow right through the stop sign at the corner of Tazewell and Yarmouth.

“It`s so irritating to watch them Les just going one after the other,” says Lainy Lustig.

Lainy Lustig and Jim Cox see it all the time. They watch from the balcony of Jim`s home .

”People at best usually do a rolling stop and sometimes barrel right through it,” says Lustig.

It would be entertaining if it weren't so dangerous.

Freemason is the kind of neighborhood where you see people walking, riding bikes and pushing strollers & taking advantage of the quiet atmosphere. But they are often unaware that danger can come roaring around the corner.

“They just cross the street and they have no idea how bad it is,” says Cox. “They tend to wander down the middle of the intersection and it`s dangerous when cars don`t stop at the stop sign."

Lustig says this has been going on for a long time.

Retired Admiral Jack Kavanaugh knows all about it. He`s president of the local civic association. He was nearly hit crossing the street there a couple of weeks ago.

"The car was coming along here, and I assume he`s going to stop and got to this point and he didn`t. He just zipped right through. He missed me by a foot or two,” says Kavanaugh.

"I have called the mayor`s office. I have talked to different policemen and told them how bad this corner is and no one seems to do anything. The few times they have come out here they`ll sit right there. Well if you sit right there, you`re not going to catch anybody. They`re going to see a police car there and they`re going to stop,” says Lustig.


  • Tony Fehér

    Well, to be fair… if you look at the intersection it appears that stop shouldn’t be there. It’s on the wrong corner. Tazewell Street and College Cross are actually the same street with Yarmouth intersecting in the middle of bend. The stop sign should be on Yarmouth.

    • klutch3

      You must not live here, because you would know that there already is a stop sign on Yarmouth at that intersection. The stop sign on Tazewell exists so those driving south on Yarmouth can safely turn. It’s a very sharp, blind intersection, and no one would be able to see a car coming down Tazewell until you were ¾ of the way through the intersection. Common sense. Precisely the reason it’s a problem now. It’s a sharp, blind curve and these drivers heading west on Tazewell can’t see pedestrians, cars, or anything really until they are already ¾ of the way through the intersection. If they don’t stop they can/probably will kill someone.

      This all compounded by the fact that most of these drivers are going well over 25 in some selfish effort to gain a few extra minutes of their day by cutting through our neighborhood. A good majority of these reckless drivers aren’t residents and must think they are the exception to the rules of society. It’s not their neighborhood, so they don’t have to worry about pissing someone off.

  • klutch3

    I have lived in this neighborhood for 8 years now. The design of the neighborhood and its location make it a very pedestrian-friendly, pet-friendly neighborhood. There are always a lot of people walking around. My wife and i walk our dog no less than 3 times a day through the neighborhood and, between the three of us, we have almost been killed a dozen times. While this stop sign is the worst offended, all the stop signs in this neighborhood are disregarded. This is a common pass-through for commuters in the mornings and evenings trying to save 5 minutes and bypass the traffic on Brambleton Ave. They speed recklessly through the neighborhood, blowing through all of the stop signs. I’m not really surprised a police car rolled through the sign. Most of the city police I’ve encountered assume they are above the law and their actions reflect that sentiment daily. It will take someone being hit and killed before the city actually responds to this problem. Patrol the problem areas, or deputize the citizens to give citations. I’m sure the Admiral and his local crew would love that opportunity. I know I would. Without a doubt, we could hand out enough tickets on a daily basis to cover an extra patrol car/bike, or some sort of stop sign camera. The revenue would outweigh the cost ten-fold. Or, best case, correct the problem and keep the neighborhood residents safe. Thanks for covering this Les.

    • Michael Lipieko

      I know this corner very well . The stop sign is well before the corner and when the cars stop the driver cannot see around the corner. This requires the driver to inch up and look before going . I will tell you that all the police do stop at those signs. I will admit the stop sign is badly placed and a stop bar woul help. This is a blind corner, and you must inch up once you have stopped to see around the corner. The camera was badly placed to make any judgement on any of the drivers . It appeared to me you may have past issues with police , I will tell you the ones that work in this area are very dedicated to the Freemason community .

      • klutch3

        Michael Lipieko says: “I will tell you that all the police do stop at those signs.”

        What poisonous ignorance of the facts. Watch much Fox News? You do realize that there is video evidence on this page showing a police cruiser blowing right through this stop sign?? But those are just the details right? We shouldn’t pay much attention to that. Perfect example of a police officer thinking they are infallible.

        Here is a local police officer (your facebook profile is public (and revolting)) commenting that “all police do stop at those signs,” even though there is clear video evidence to the contrary.

  • Rob

    I see police from Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth breaking all kinds of traffic laws on a daily basis. Speeding through school zones, taking a left turn on a red light, driving in excess of 20 mph arre nothing new. These cops don’t turn n their sirens and they aren’t going anywhere in particular. I’ve followed them to see waht they were up to and why they felt they needed to break the laws. These are the same laws that you and I would get ticketed for breaking by these same cops. Try reporting them. You can’t do it. I’ve even left messages with Internal Affairs and City Council members. I’ve identified the car#, the time of day, direction they were heading, where they ended up at and what law they violated. I’ve never received one response.

  • Jim S.

    Is anyone really shocked that the police don’t police themselves? I’ve seen network correspondents follow speeding police cars, only to find out that they weren’t going anywhere in particular. Their attitude seems to be that they’re above the law. It starts at the top. If the chiefs don’t drop the hammer on them, they’ll continue thumbing their noses.

  • Jim S.

    OK, I just went on Google maps and looked at that intersection. As Tony Feher pointed out, Tazewell and College Cross are just a continuation of each other. I did see the stop sign on Yarmouth, which I agree should be there. I’m not sure why the stop sign is at Tazewell. Drivers on Tazewell should be able to drive straight onto College Cross or turn right onto Yarmouth. Just exactly why are they having to yield? People heading south on College Cross shouldn’t be able to turn left onto Yarmouth without yielding to people heading straight off Tazewell. As Yarmouth intersects both of them, it makes sense that drivers there should stop before turning in either direction. Maybe if I was there in person I could get a better feeling for why drivers on Tazewell have to stop, but because of the people running it, it must be a bit of bad signage.

  • Robert H

    I’m a Civil Engineer. The sign needs a Stop Bar and possibly the word “STOP” placed on the pavement prior to the Stop Bar. Without the Stop Bar to accompany the Stop Sign, the layout of the road beckons drivers to proceed.

    • klutch3

      Nice. An engineer validating the need for the stop sign that is already there. And further validating additional markings/signage. The long-time residents’ viewpoints and clear video evidence weren’t enough to go off of, but maybe the Google Map experts on here can now rest easy.

      Why anyone is debating whether or not the sign should be there is a moot point. The point is, looking past the fact that a police cruiser rolled through the intersection, there are too many cars blowing through these existing stop signs and the law is the law. Drivers are required to stop at stop signs, no matter their opinion on whether or not one should be there to inconvenience their day.

  • Jim Farmer

    The same situation exists at Cumberland and Market. Cars coming out of the MacArthur Gagrage onto Cumberland. DO NOT EVEN stop for the stop sign at Market. I’ve also seen MacArthur security make illegal turns going left on to Market down the wrong way on a one way. Like the posters, have talked with police administration to no avail. Last week was almost hit at the Market Street crosswalk because of one of these buffoons.

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