Installations, Modifications and Requests
Installation or modification of a traffic signal at any particular location is primarily justified based on traffic volumes (both vehicular and pedestrian) and accident occurrence rates. Before installing or changing a signal at any intersection, the City undertakes a traffic study. The study will review such things as:
- amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic (future projected volumes are also considered);
- the need to interrupt the flow of traffic on the major street for side street vehicles and pedestrians;
- accident history; and
- geometric conditions such as hills, curves, visibility, etc.
This study will help City staff identify the need for a signal, the type of signal required, the proper use of detectors and/or timers, the need for left turn arrows, pedestrian crossings and other factors.
Residents and businesses in the City of St. John’s are invited to express their concerns about intersections that are or are not signalized. Requests are sometimes made to provide a protected left turn (left turn arrow), install or change a pedestrian crosswalk , to make intersection changes and so on. When a request is made, staff will investigate and study the problem as explained above.
Remember, however, that traffic signals are not the right solution for every traffic problem. While many people realize that traffic signals can reduce the number of broadside collisions at an intersection, few realize that they can also increase the number of rear-end collisions. In addition to the possibility of increasing the number of rear end collisions, unjustified signals can also cause unnecessary delay, disobedience of signals and diversion of traffic onto residential streets. The primary goal of the City’s Traffic Division is to attain the safest possible flow of traffic.
Traffic Signals are also more costly than is commonly realized, but represent a sound public investment when they are justified. A modern signal can cost up to $150,000, which pays for the traffic signal controller, signal heads, vehicle detectors and signal poles/supports.
For more information please contact Access St. John's at 311 or (709) 754-CITY (2489).