The City of Burnsville, along with partners at Dakota County and the State of Minnesota, studies neighborhood traffic patterns to determine when signs or other traffic elements may be necessary.
Public, residential streets within the City of Burnsville have a speed limit of 30 mph even if speed limit signs aren't posted. Speed limits are set by state statutes that cities/counties must follow. Decisions on changing speeds are based on speed studies that require MnDOT's approval.
It is anticipated that you will never get 100% compliance with drivers and speed. Even in ideal scenarios, it is expected that 15% of the drivers will exceed the speed limit.
This video by the City of Crystal demonstrates how difficult it is to judge the speed of a passing vehicle.
Things to be aware of
- Very often, speed-related complaints are due to someone's perception of a vehicle's speed rather than the actual speed.
- Reducing the speed limit is unlikely to reduce speeds as most drivers travel roadways at a speed they are comfortable with based on their perception of roadway conditions such as road width, pedestrian presence, parked vehicles and obstructions on the side of the road.
- Installing a speed limit sign in a residential area may advertise that a given speed is acceptable and could instead increase the average speed.
Things that can be done
- The City can verify the actual speeds to see if it is a perceived speeding problem or an actual issue.
- Speak with your neighbors -- they are typically contributing to the issue. Take advantage of community events such as "Night to Unite" or online neighborhood groups.
- Consider temporary yard signs (such as "Drive Like Your Kids Live Here" or the green children signs) when children are playing. It is key to put these items away when children are not present so drivers do not become complacent.
Stop Signs and Compliance
Stop signs are intended to assign right-of-way for drivers and are not speed control devices. Increasing the number of stop signs does not necessarily reduce crashes, and a sign installed in an improper location may have poor compliance rates, create driver confusion and increase crash rates.
The effectiveness of a stop sign
- Volume: Stop signs generally do not result in a reduction of traffic.
- Speed: Stop signs are unlikely to reduce speeds, and too many stop signs installed in one area can often lead to increases in speed between the signs as drivers try to "make up for lost time."
- Safety: If sight distance is poor or traffic volumes are significant and equal on all sides of the intersection, stop signs can have a positive effect of safety. However, if installed at a location that does not warrant a stop sign, or where motorists are likely to ignore them the stop sign can lead to an increase in crashes.
Things to be aware of
- If a stop sign in installed, there will be an increase in acceleration and deceleration, potentially resulting in noise impacts to the surrounding properties.
- Adding unnecessary and unwarranted stop signs will likely have a low effectiveness at solving the problem and could lead to compliance and safety issues.