minutia press.
4-way stops, it's a control thing

St Louis has more 4-way stops than any other municipality, so I've been told. Then Darwin would predict that drivers in this area wouild be better adapted to their environment, and so would negotiate 4-way stops in a more evolved manner than drivers in areas without so many 4-way stops.

But we know such is not the case. I think I have an explanation.

I was at a 4-way stop last week, where the driver who arrived first, and therefore should clearly have proceeded through the intersection before the rest of us, decided to play traffic cop. He would not move, but directed us one by one to go through the intersection before him. The whole thing took about 10 times longer than standard protocol would allow.

He was being nice? I used to think that. Now I think that these people have an inner yearning to be traffic cops---to break out their uniforms and whistles and to take over the intersections with unquestioned authority.