Traffic Signs and Signals
To report a malfunctioning traffic signal, call 952.988.8400. After 4 p.m. or on weekends, call 952.939.8500.
When reporting a malfunctioning signal light, please provide the following information:
- description of malfunction
- direction you are travelling when you notice the problem
Traffic and Street Signs
To request a traffic sign for a particular intersection or street, call 952.939.8236. Traffic engineers will investigate and evaluate the situation and make a recommendation about whether to install a new sign.
The Street Division is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the city’s signs, such as street identification, speed limit, directional and cautionary.
For question about county roads, please call Hennepin County at 612.596.0300 and ask for the street division.
Ineffective and dangerous when installed in the wrong location.
A stop sign is one of our most valuable and effective control devices when used at the right place and under the right conditions. It is intended to help drivers and pedestrians at an intersection decide who has the right-of-way.
One common misuse of stop signs is to arbitrarily interrupt through traffic, either by causing it to stop, or by causing such an inconvenience as to force traffic to use other routes. When stop signs are installed as “nuisances” or “speed breakers,” there is a high incidence of intentional violation. In those locations where vehicles do stop, the speed reduction is effective only in the immediate vicinity of the stop sign and frequently speeds are actually higher between intersections. For these reasons, stop signs should not be used as a speed control device.
Most drivers are reasonable and prudent with no intention of maliciously violating traffic regulations. However, when an unreasonable restriction is imposed, it may result in flagrant violations. In such cases, the stop sign can create a false sense of security in a pedestrian and an attitude of contempt in a motorist. These two attitudes can, and often do, conflict with tragic results. A school crossing may look dangerous for children to use, causing parents to demand a stop sign to halt traffic. A situation of indecision is created as to when to cross as a pedestrian or when to start as a motorist. Normal gaps in traffic through which crossings could be made safely no longer exist. An intersection that previously was not busy now looks like a major intersection. It doesn’t even look safer and it usually isn’t.
“Children at Play” signs
The city occasionally receives a neighborhood request for the posting of generalized warning signs such as “Slow—Children at Play” or other similar messages. Parental concern for the safety of children in the street and a misplaced but widespread public faith in traffic signs to provide protection, often prompt these requests. Although some states have posted such signs in residential areas, no factual evidence has been presented to document their success in reducing pedestrian accidents, operating speeds or legal liability. Studies have shown that many types of signs attempting to warn of normal conditions in residential areas have failed to achieve the desired safety benefits. If signs encourage parents and children to believe they have an added degree of protection, which the signs do not and cannot provide, a great disservice results.
Because of these serious considerations, federal standards discourage the use of “Children at Play” signs. Specific warnings for schools, playgrounds, parks and other recreational facilities are available for use where clearly justified.
Children should not be encouraged to play within the street travelways. The sign has long been rejected since it is a direct and open suggestion that this behavior is acceptable.