Stop signs are my single largest annoyance about cycling and driving in the States. Every other country in the world seems to get by just fine with give ways, which allow the driver/cyclist the opportunity to roll straight into the junction if it is clear obviating the need to waste energy in stopping and starting. Replacing most stop signs with give ways would have a positive impact on fuel economy, the constants top start regime is a total waste of energy. As a cyclist 99% of all stop signs are completely irrelevant, you can safely merge with traffic without the need for coming to a complete halt. However in this fair country they employ highly paid police officers to sit around on street corners fining cyclists and drivers that don't come to a complete stop at this unnecessary red signs. I was very fortunate on my first ride to work that they were too busy fining other cyclists to stop me. This was on a very lightly trafficked industrial estate, where stopping at the signs for safety reasons is a completely redundant argument. There were three motorcycle police at three different junctions within 200m of each other. The whole thing kills the flow of riding.
Please America lets have some more give ways and roundabouts and drop the idiocy that is the stop sign.