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Studying traffic safety: How a 90-day assessment is needed for new traffic signs

Community feedback, crash reports among many factors in replacing traffic signs
Posted at 12:18 AM, Nov 08, 2023
  • Video shows the intersection of Hazel St. and Howard St. that will go from a two-way yield to a two-way stop.
  • The decision was made after a 90-day study that looks for several elements addressing traffic safety
  • Learn about the process it takes to implement traffic signs and how they are a small change in a big push for traffic safety in Green Bay.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

What was originally a two-way yield at the intersection of Hazel St. and Howard St. turned into a request to make it a four-way stop.

"A four way stop was not warranted at this time," Steve Grenier, Director of Public Works, said. "It went into a 90-day trial of a two-way stop condition."

Grenier said a 90-day traffic study looks for the following:

  • The speed of vehicles utilizing the streets that intersect
  • If there is a stop or yield condition already in place
  • Number of vehicles that utilize the intersection or street
  • What are the surrounding land uses?
  • What is the sight distance on the two intersecting street segments?

That information is collected by a traffic engineer and brought to the Traffic, Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission. A recommendation is then made by staff on what should be implemented for better traffic safety.
"Excessive crashes, crashes that have higher property damage or injury, fatality, things of that nature," Grenier said. "We'll take a look at that and determine whether or not any type of intersection control could help modify driver behavior in that area."

The 90-day study also looks at feedback from the community to see if the modification makes a difference.

An ordinance is then created if the feedback is positive.

For the Hazel St. and Howard St. intersection, a report from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation found that there has been one traffic incident each year since 2021, ranging from speeding to distracted driving.

The most recent one happened back on June 6 as a result of inattentive driving.

"There's not really a cost to the taxpayer, because it's in-house staff," Grenier said. "We're doing it with people we already have employed. That's part of their day job is to do the studies."

An ordinance to address the two-way stop was presented at the common council meeting Tuesday night and was approved immediately.

Grenier also mentioned that when it comes to crashes around town, a lot of them are out of Public Works' control.

The most frequent cause for crash he is seeing is from distracted driving.