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Traffic Signs

 
 
Traffic signs are an important traffic control device. They inform drivers of regulations (laws), warn drivers of hazards and guide drivers to their destination. All traffic signs must be in conformance with the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

The Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices states traffic signs should meet the following five requirements:
  • To fulfill a need for traffic operations or safety
  • Champion a command of attention of drivers
  • Provide drivers a clear and simple meaning so they understand what to do
  • Ensure the driver can plainly see the actual condition for why the traffic signal is installed 
  • Be placed in such a way as to provide adequate response time for the driver to react

I want a special warning sign

Special warning signs typically include CHILDREN AT PLAY, BLIND DRIVEWAY/INTERSECTION, Deer Crossing or Playground warning signs. These special warning signs warn drivers of conditions that are infrequently encountered. Unfortunately these warning signs have been shown to not be effective at changing driver behavior. Therefore, these special warning signs provide a false sense of security for those depending on the sign. At best, these special warning signs provide no traffic safety benefit. At worst, these special warning signs may actually decrease traffic safety due to the false expectation that drivers will change their behavior. In most cases, the best action is to maintain a high level of personal vigilance.
 
St. Louis County does not install special warning signs on the county highway system because these warning signs do not provide a traffic safety benefit.
 
If you are concerned about a special traffic safety hazard, please feel free to contact St. Louis County at 218-625-3830 and ask to speak with the traffic engineer.
 

I want a STOP sign installed on my road

STOP signs are one of the most recognizable traffic signs. Like traffic signals, STOP signs assign right-of-way to vehicles entering an intersection. The use of STOP signs must be in conformance with the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In most cases, STOP signs are an important traffic control device to control traffic and improve traffic safety. However, in some cases, STOP signs are overused in inappropriate locations. This overuse of STOP signs has led to an overall decrease in respect by drivers.

STOP signs should never be used as a method to control traffic speeds. This improper use of STOP signs leads to inconsistent expectations for drivers.

If you are aware of an intersection that you believe should have a STOP sign or change in the STOP sign configuration, please feel free to contact St. Louis County at 218-625-3830 and ask to speak with the traffic engineer.

Why we have STOP signs:

I want a lower speed limit on my road

Minnesota Statutes 169.14 establishes speed limits on all roads in Minnesota . There are two types of speed limits in Minnesota; statutory and speed zones. The statutory speed limit on most county roads is 55 mph. In some cases, there are speed zones on county roads such as 30 mph through 50 mph (incremental by 5 mph). If there is no speed limit sign posted on the county road or you encounter an "ENDS Speed Limit" sign, the speed limit is 55 mph.

In accordance with the Minnesota Statutes, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is the only agency authorized to modify speed limits on county roads. Counties do not have the authority to modify speed limits on their county roads.

Traffic engineering convention states most drivers will select a speed at which they believe is safe and reasonable based upon their perception of the roadway. This convention has led traffic engineers to consider actual vehicle speeds on a particular roadway as a primary input into the determination of a speed limit. The two primary speed measures are:

  • 85th percentile speed: The speed at which 85 percent of vehicles are traveling at or under
  • 10 mph pace: the 10 mph speed bracket that contains the most vehicles

Experience and studies have conclusively shown that the most effective and safe speed limit is one that is nearest the 85th percentile speed and located in the upper part of the 10 mph pace. Posted speed limits that deviate from the 85th percentile speed, either higher or lower, result in an increase in crashes.

If you have a question about speed limits or have a concern about vehicles speeds on your road, please feel free to contact St. Louis County at 218-625-3830 and ask to speak with the traffic engineer.

Why we have speed limits

Additional resources about speed limits can be found on the Minnesota Department of Transportation website.

Contact

Report Damage

For traffic signs that are damaged, knocked down or missing.
218-625-3830