Neighborhood Traffic Management
Residents and frequent guests are often the source of most traffic complaints in their own neighborhoods. This is simply because residents make up the vast majority of the drivers on local streets, and residents are familiar with the streets and assume they know what conditions they will encounter as they drive in the area. Drivers unfamiliar with an area often drive more slowly in order to read house numbers and street name signs and to identify turns needed to reach their destination.
Ways to Address Speeding Problems in a Neighborhood
Depending on the roadway conditions and nature of the problem, the Traffic Operations Division may collect speed and volume data to ascertain whether excessive speeding exists and if there is cut-through traffic in the neighborhood.
Some ways the City of Midland can attempt to address speeding problems:
- Deploy a police radar trailer to draw motorists’ attention to their speeds.
- Identify high volume and high speed times and provide targeted enforcement.
- Implement traffic calming measures – these are physical changes to the street geometry and alignment that force motorists to slow down, and are used only in the most extreme situations. Examples of traffic calming measures are traffic circles, and medians.
If you notice visibility problems on a City street, please notify us through our online request tracker and we will work with the specific homeowner to address the problem.
Common Misconceptions about Traffic Control Devices:
Speed humps can reduce speeds on residential streets under some conditions. However, the negatives typically outweigh the benefits:
- Emergency response times are increased, especially if a fire truck or ambulance has to negotiate a series of humps.
- Speed humps increase noise, especially for homes adjacent to the device.
- Vehicles sometimes try to avoid the humps by driving around them and onto residents’ yards.
- Some residents may complain about lowered property values as prospective homebuyers think that there is a serious safety problem on the street.
Stop signs are primarily intended to assign right-of-way at intersections and do not ultimately solve speeding problems. The proper use of stop signs is governed by state and federal regulations.
- Research has shown that motorists often speed up between the signs to make up for the perceived wasted time.
- Drivers recognize the unjustified stop signs, and this results in many people rolling through the stop signs. This encourages a general disrespect for all stop signs in the area.
- Although the stop signs may be intended for a few people that may be speeding at certain times of the day, the remaining residents still have to unnecessarily stop each time they go through these intersections.
“Children at Play” Signs
There are several reasons why "Children at Play" signs are not currently installed by the City of Midland:
- Warning signs are intended to alert drivers to unexpected or unusual conditions. The presence of children in a residential area is neither unusual nor unexpected, and so these signs provide no useful information to drivers and no clear direction as to how drivers should react.
- There is no evidence to indicate that these signs actually reduce speeds or crash rates.
- The use of unnecessary and ineffective warning signs breeds a general lack of respect for all traffic signs, potentially harming the effectiveness of critical signing.
- The use of these signs in some neighborhoods incorrectly implies that children are not present in other neighborhoods that do not have signs, and that motorists do not need to be alert for children in those areas.
- Federal and state standards do not permit the use of these non-standard signs on public roadways for the reasons described above.
- Although "Children at Play" and similar signs are not permitted, the City does install other warning signs when appropriate to alert divers to specific locations which might have unusually high concentrations of children near or crossing the roadway, such as schools and playgrounds.