You've heard of test driving a new car, but how about using the try-it-before-you-buy it approach for a new stop or no left-turn sign?

Salt Lake City tried that novel approach recently to find out what residents thought about proposed traffic signs along Wasatch Drive.The city put up signs at several intersections that in brief "sign-ese" described what was proposed for the corners. The signs directed residents to call the traffic department for more information.

The city left the proposal signs in place for a week at the intersections of Wasatch Drive and Skyline Drive and Wasatch Drive and Broadmoor, and on Thunderbird Drive, 2100 South and Broadmoor Street.

"It's the first time we used that," said Kevin Young, deputy transportation engineer. But it won't be the last.

About 72 people saw the signs and called the department to get in their 2 cents worth.

"I think it was fantastic," said Andrea Barrows, a resident of Arcadia Heights. "I thought this was a very clever way of letting people know what they were getting into."

And it showed people's opinions mattered to bureaucrats, she said.

"We're limited on funding for mailing, so this was a way to get the information out," Young said. "It's just one more way of letting (the public) know, and we were pleased, at least, that many took the time to call.

"Overall people thought it was a great idea," he said. "A lot of times people say, `Why did you do this? We wish we'd known before you did that.' This just let people know the very basic information."

Young's office told callers what it was considering and invited them to attend a neighborhood meeting to rehash the proposed traffic signs.

The city proposed putting in a four-way stop at the intersection of Wasatch Drive and Skyline Drive. Traffic is currently controlled at the intersection with a two-way stop on Wasatch Drive.

Based on the calls and comments made at the meeting, the city decided against a four-way stop. Instead, the transportation division will trim some bushes near the intersection and try to improve traffic views.

It also proposed a three-way stop at Wasatch Drive and Broadmoor, which currently has stop sign only at Broadmoor. Although people who called the transportation office after seeing the sign favored the three-way stop, opinion was divided at the neighborhood meeting.

"That one is still up in the air from the meeting," Young said. "Some people wanted to make Broadmoor one way."

The transportation division will look at that possibility before deciding what to do at the intersection.

The city will go ahead with plans to restrict left turns from Thunderbird Drive, 2100 South and Broadmoor onto Wasatch Drive between 7 and 9 a.m.

"When Foothill is backed up, commuters start peeling off these streets to bypass Foothill," Young said.

Protecting the neighborhoods from commuter traffic outweighs any inconvenience the signs may cause motorists, Young said.