The People's Stop Sign


I don't know whether to classify this as vigilante traffic justice, an informal partial privatization of the roads, or just an especially constructive prank:

Ottawa residents tired of drivers using an area street as a short cut have been benefitting from fake stop signs at a key intersection for nearly a year. In July, 2008, someone installed three stop signs identical to authentic City of Ottawa signs and painted the road with the standard white lines to match. The plan went off without a hitch until an alert crew of city workers noticed the signs were not set in concrete, the way official stop signs are. And so last week, the city took them down. A criminal investigation is underway; violators of the city's signage bylaws face fines of $5,000 per infraction. But residents are keeping mum about who they think put up the signs.

Since the stop signs worked, is it fair to call them "fake"? Offer your ontological arguments in the comments.