They’re bad for the environment and they don’t work, say proponents of an idea to reduce stop signs in the town of 11,000 northeast of Toronto.

“They do not make a road any safer. People get killed at stop signs because they trust the other guy will stop,” says Heinz Nitschke, a member of the volunteer group Energy Conservation Committee.

While Nitschke is ready to pull out all the stops, Uxbridge Mayor Bob Shepherd favours removing some and seeing how people react.

“I’m a roller,” he admits, pointing out full stops are unnecessary if nothing is coming the other way.

Stop signs have long been an “easy fix” for residents’ demands for speed controls in their neighbourhood, but they’re ineffective, says Shepherd, who is waiting for a report on options from the director of public works.

Some Ontario municipalities, which make their own decisions about where to put stop signs, have experimented with traffic circles and roundabouts that keep cars flowing slowly around intersections, eliminating the need to stop or make left turns.