My neighborhood is a fairly quiet residential area near the center of a big city. It’s still mostly single family residences, but the townhomes are creeping in. Many of the streets are not big enough for two cars to pass if there are cars parked on both sides, but there are not cars lining both sides of every street, so it works. Most traffic regulation at intersections is by 2-way and 4-way stop signs.
And all through the neighborhood are signs at the intersections that say “No Turns 7 PM - 7 AM.” Traffic is slow at night, and I’m sure the newly arrived townhomers must wonder about these signs.
The reason they’re there is that the major traffic artery bounding my neighborhood to the north (lower Westheimer, for those who know Houston) was, at one time, the major cruising drag for every segment of society that cruises. The street hookers were out in force, not even bothering to defend a corner. It was where the cruising gays cruised, and where the street dealers of drugs hawked their wares. And the teeny-boppers latched on to it.
Sidewalks were crowded, and it could take you 90 minutes to drive from Mandell to Montrose (maybe 1/4 of a mile). Nightclubs of dubious distinction were everywhere, and every vice imaginable was available within a few feet. Whadya want? Desperate runaways who’ll do ya for a bit of food? Which gender? Transvestites on speed? Look to your left. No, you just want the speed? Look behind her. Oh, you need a gun. Come meet Joey up at the light.
So, heavy cruising activity delivered all sorts of discomfiture to the local residents, from beer bottles and front lawn pissers to drug related shootings and thefts. The signs were an early attempt to give to police reason to pull over cruisers making a block to get back to something that had piqued their interest.
Finally, ~20 years ago, the cops put an end to it. With a great strategy. They put hordes of cops out, in rather intimidating riot gear (helmets, shields, long batons) and they set up table-top computers in the Westheimer left turn lane (which was then blocked, so you couldn’t turn left off of Westheimer for quite a bit). And they installed collection points where the black marias awaited.
Traffic moved very slowly, and they had officers out downstream transmitting every license plate that went by to the computer stations. IIRC, approximately 20% of license plates yielded a bust at the beginning of the campaign, when checked for associated warrants. They knew you were coming down the pike and just waited for you.
It only took them a few months to kill it off, completely. Lower Westheimer today is a quiet street - there are the occasional batch of runaways working decades old skinny about where to find the action in Houston, but they’re sorely disappointed. The street’s quiet, and has been for some time.
But still, the signs remain.