Crosswalk markings at signalized intersections and across intersection approaches on
which traffic stops, serve primarily to guide pedestrians in the proper paths. Crosswalk
markings across roadways on which traffic is not controlled by traffic signals or stop
signs must also serve to warn the motorist of a pedestrian crossing point. A crosswalk
should consist of 2-6" wide lines that are parallel and 6' apart. Crosswalks should only
be painted at the following locations:
- At all approved school crossings
- At all signalized intersections equipped with pedestrian signal heads.
- At all intersections within the Central Business District.
- At other approved high pedestrian volume locations.
- At locations where a specific hazard exists.
Crosswalk lines should not be used indiscriminately. An engineering study is required
before crosswalks may be installed at locations away from traffic signals or stop signs.
Midblock crosswalks should not be allowed.
High Visibility Crosswalks
For added visibility, the area of the crosswalk may be marked with white longitudinal
lines. This type of marking is intended for use at locations where substantial numbers
of pedestrians cross without any other traffic control device, at locations where physical
conditions are such that added visibility of the crosswalk is desired or at places where
a pedestrian crosswalk may not be expected. These High Visibility Crosswalks consist
of 2-6" wide parallel lines located 6 - 10' apart, with 1' wide longitudinal lines located on
3' centers. High Visibility crosswalks used to mark locations where multi-use trails
cross streets should be the width of the paved trail surface or 10' whichever is greater.
High Visibility crosswalks may also be used for additional emphasis where multi-use
trails cross high volume commercial driveways.
High Visibility Crosswalks should be painted at the following locations:
- At all adult crossing guard locations.
- At other school crossing locations that are not protected by stop signs.
- At all midblock pedestrian crossings.
- At all multi-use trail crossings.
- At other locations where additional emphasis is needed.
The City of Bloomington Public Works Department operates a coordinated traffic signal system throughout the city. Coordinating traffic signals involves connecting them so they work together to provide motorists with green lights as they progress down the street. While you may find yourself waiting a minute or two on a side street, coordinated traffic signals provide the following benefits to Bloomington’ motorists:
- Overall delay experienced by motorists waiting at signals is reduced.
- The number of stops experienced by motorists is reduced.
- Motorists are grouped in platoons traveling at equal speeds.
- There are fewer rear-end accidents because motorists are stopped less.
- There are fewer right-angle accidents because of less red light running.
- There is less traffic cutting through neighborhoods to avoid signals.
While it would be nice to be able to do so, it is impossible to time the signals so that no driver gets a red light. Here are some reasons you may be seeing red.
- If you are hitting a number of lights on red, you may be able to get more green lights by adjusting your speed. For example, if you are driving too fast, since the signals are timed for motorists traveling near the speed limit, you may be getting more than your fair share of red lights. See if by slowing down below the speed limit you find yourself getting more green lights.
- If signals are spaced closely together, it is difficult to achieve progression.
- When traffic is very heavy such as driving during rush hour, the signals may be timed to favor the peak direction of travel. If you are traveling against the peak direction of traffic, you may hit more red lights.
- If you turn onto a major street, you may hit a red light or two (perhaps even three) before you get into the "green band" and find yourself in synchronization with the timing plans.
- Properly designed and operated traffic signals are valuable devices for controlling the assignment of right-of-way at intersections justifying this type of control. Unfortunately, traffic signals are also viewed by many persons as a solution to any traffic problem and a panacea for vehicle or pedestrian accidents. Traffic signals do not always reduce or prevent accidents and are not always an asset to traffic control. In some instances, the number of accidents and injuries increase after signals are installed. Usually in such cases, the right angle collisions are reduced but the total number of collisions, especially rear-end or turning type accidents, may stay the same or increase.
In order to answer this, traffic engineers ask and answer a series of questions:
- Are there so many vehicles on both streets that signal controls are necessary to assign the right-of-way or relieve congestion?
- Is the traffic on the main street so consistently heavy that drivers on the side street must try to cross when it is unsafe?
- Are there so many pedestrians trying to cross a busy main street that confusing, congested, or hazardous conditions result?
- Are there so many school age children trying to cross the street at the same times that they need special controls for their protection?
- If there are a significant number of school age children, is a signal the best solution?
- Are signals at this location going to help drivers maintain a uniform pace along the major street without being stopped unnecessarily?
- Does the collision history indicate that a signal will reduce the probability of driver actions which cause a collision?
- Is the character of the minor street such that additional traffic attracted by the existence of a signal desirable to the adjacent neighborhood?
- Is there a combination of the above conditions, which indicates that a traffic signal will result in an improvement rather than a detriment?
To aid in answering these questions, engineers compare the existing facts and conditions to nationally accepted guidelines. These guidelines (called "warrants") were established using observations throughout the country over many years. Where the established guidelines are met, traffic signals generally operate effectively and safety is improved. When the guidelines are not met, additional hazards result. Unnecessary traffic signals increase congestion, waste tax money, increase pollution and breed disrespect for other forms of traffic control. More importantly, however, signals in the wrong locations fail to provide safety and protection to anyone.
- To report a traffic signal problem call 309-434-2225.
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 to 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 the traffic to use other routes. Where stop signs are installed as "nuisances" or "speed breakers," there is a high incidence of intentional violation. In those locations where vehicles do not 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, it 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. Well-developed, nationally recognized guidelines help to indicate when such controls become necessary. These guidelines take into consideration traffic volume and accident histories in addition to other factors.
First, many studies conducted over several decades in all parts of the country have shown that a driver's speed is influenced more by the appearance of the roadway and the prevailing traffic conditions than it is by the posted speed limit.
Second, some drivers will obey the lower posted speed while others will feel it's unreasonable and simply ignore it. This disrupts the uniform traffic flow and increases accident potential between the faster and slower drivers.
Third, when traffic is traveling at different speeds, the number of breaks in traffic to permit safe crossing is reduced. Pedestrians also have greater difficulty in judging the speed of approaching vehicles.
Speed limits should always be based on traffic engineering surveys that include an analysis of roadway conditions, accident records and the prevailing speed of prudent drivers. When these conditions indicate a lower speed limit might be beneficial, then they can be posted and the desired results obtained.
- At first consideration, it might seem that this sign would provide protection for youngsters playing in a neighborhood. It doesn't. Studies made in cities where such signs were widely posted in residential areas show no evidence of having reduced pedestrian accidents, vehicle speed or legal liability. In fact, many types of signs which were installed to warn of normal conditions in residential areas fail to achieve the desired safety benefits. Specific warnings for schools, playgrounds, parks and other recreational facilities are available for use where clearly justified.
- The provisions found in Chapter 38: Section 84: of the City code, set forth certain restrictions concerning vision obstructions. Any obstruction that might endanger traffic conditions is considered a nuisance. The property owner is responsible for removing any such condition that might exist upon being notified by the city.