Archive | Signals

Mainstreet Hopkins is Almost Perfect

Last week I met a colleague at Munkabeans Cafe & Coffeehouse on the beautiful Mainstreet in Hopkins, Minnesota. Of all the Main Streets in America, the Hopkins version is unique because they smash the two words together. Mainstreet. And a fine street it is, better than before, having been recently rebuilt and with some new […]

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Warrants and Justifications for Traffic Signs

The first two parts of this series dealt with warrants and justifications for traffic signals. Here the series concludes with a discussion of warrants and justifications for signs and other traffic control devices.  Justification for Stop Signs   Let’s go to the Minnesota MUTCD; section 2B.4: .03 YIELD or STOP signs should be used at an […]

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Warrants for Traffic Signals, Part 2: The Lyndale Avenue Example

Analyzing a Corridor Previously we went into what the warrants for signals were and went through some examples. So now let’s look at all the signals on a corridor. I picked South Lyndale Ave (with the exception of the signal at the ramp to MN 62, which is Mn/DOT operated. I’m going to cheat and just […]

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photo of traffic signal lights

Warrants for Traffic Signals, Part 1

Previous articles of mine have covered just about every facet of traffic signals, including how they work, how timing and phasing are set, and even how to identify who made a particular signal. But what about how it’s decided whether to add or remove a signal in the first place? That is done through “warrants” […]

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Improving Pedestrian Experience in Minneapolis: Ninth and Nicollet

The intersection of Ninth Street and Nicollet Mall is one of the busiest in downtown Minneapolis. As a pedestrian mall, Nicollet caters primarily to pedestrian traffic and also offers a roadway for buses and bicycles. Ninth Street is essentially an urban highway, stretching 55 feet across and featuring three lanes for cars, as well as an unprotected bike […]

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photo of Cedar and Minnehaha Parkway crosswalk and "beg" button

This Intersection Needs Work

Having recently moved away from downtown, I’m spending more time in other parts of the city, which means I find new things to critique/complain about. Case in point, a problematic intersection that stands between my new home and the closest grocery store: Cedar Ave & East Minnehaha Parkway. Let’s set aside for the moment how […]

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The Right Turn on Red and some Free Ideas

Time to continue my series on traffic signals with the red-hot topic, the right turn on red, and some ideas for improving things. The Right Turn on Red We all know right turn on red (RTOR) is extremely dangerous, leading to motorists mowing down workers carrying plate-glass and old ladies pushing baby buggies. Or is it? Well, it […]

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Traffic Signals Abroad

As the next part in my ongoing series of traffic signals and controllers, here is a look at what the rest of the nation, Canada, and the rest of the world do differently than Minnesota. Minnesota vs the Rest of the Country 1) As I’ve mentioned before, protected only turns (where left turning traffic has […]

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Unreasonability at the Green Line Central Station Makes LRT More Dangerous Everywhere

In downtown Saint Paul, there is a station on the Green Line light rail (LRT) called “Central“. This station is very useful! There’s a skyway connection, and it allows core office workers and casual activity users access to the Metro system. Parked diagonally across a city block, there was always going to be some awkwardness. […]

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All About Traffic Signal Controllers, Part One

As a continuation of my series on traffic signals, it’s time now to take a look at controllers. Traffic signal controllers can either be electro-mechanical (E/M), electronic, or a combination of both. Electro-mechanical Controllers. Electro-mechanical controllers date from the beginning of traffic signals up to new installations in New York City into the 2000s. I’ve […]

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