ST. GEORGE — Much to the relief of crossing guards and parents, a new traffic signal is slated for the intersection of 3090 South and Washington Fields Road in Washington City.
The intersection, which sits between two schools – Majestic Fields Elementary School to the east and St. George Academy to the west – was addressed Wednesday afternoon during a work meeting of the Washington City Council.
“We’ve done many warrant studies at this intersection,” Mike Shaw, the city’s public works director, told the council. “This time it actually met the warrants.”
Crossing guards and others with connections to Majestic Fields Elementary were at Wednesday’s council meeting and expressed relief the intersection would get a traffic signal. One crossing guard said that traffic in the intersection had increased dramatically with the growth of the area and she worried that the children she helped cross the street to school may get hurt.
Some of the traffic through the intersection was relieved with the completion and opening of Merrill Road nearby, Shaw said, yet with the aforementioned growth in the area, traffic on Washington Fields Road will continue to increase regardless.
It is due to the increase in traffic that warrants, or conditions, not previously met to justify placing a light at that intersection, have since been achieved.
According to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a warrant is “a threshold condition based upon average or normal conditions that, if found to be satisfied as part of an engineering study, shall result in analysis of other traffic conditions or factors to determine whether a traffic control device or other improvement is justified.”
There are nine warrants that go into qualifying an intersection for the traffic control signal, Shaw said.
A recent study at the 3090 South-Washington Fields Road intersection met three of those warrants and was on the verge of meeting a fourth.
The warrant are as follows:
- Warrant 1, eight-hour vehicular volume.
- Warrant 2, four-hour vehicular volume.
- Warrant 3, peak hour vehicular volume.
- Warrant 4, pedestrian volume.
- Warrant 5, school crossing.
- Warrant 6, coordinated signal system.
- Warrant 7, crash experience.
- Warrant 8, roadway network.
- Warrant 9, intersection near a grade crossing (train crossing).
Warrants 1-3 deal with the amount of traffic during certain times of day and are determined through traffic studies.
Warrant 4 tends to deal more with large pedestrian traffic volumes such as in Manhattan.
Warrant 5, dealing with school crossings, is applicable where “schoolchildren cross the major street is (and) the principal reason to consider installing a traffic control signal,” according to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Warrants 6 and 8 are related because they deal with maintaining the continuity of traffic flow. Warrant 6 considers the impacts the installation of a traffic signal may have on a traffic corridor, such as River Road or Riverside Drive in St. George. Warrant 8 looks at the overall traffic system and not just an individual intersection.
Warrant 7 entails crash data to be considered as justification for a traffic signal. The requirement for this is five more or “correctable crashes” in an intersection per year over a span of three years.
A correctable crash is one that could be corrected by a light installation, such as a left turn. Rear-end collisions are not considered under this warrant.
Warrant 9, the train crossing, obviously doesn’t apply in Washington City.
Similar warrants are used to determine speed limits and the placement of stop signs.
The warrants the 3090 South intersection met were 1-3, with requirements for Warrant 5 on the verge of being met, Shaw said.
Shaw estimated it would take about a month to get plans drawn up for the new signal, and another six to seven months to get needed materials, making for a possible installation sometime after February 2022.
A new traffic signals can run between $250,000 and $500,000.
Until the new signal is installed, Shaw was asked by the council if anything might be done at the intersection to promote pedestrian and motorist safety until then.
“When you’re driving there, just keep your eyes open and drive safe,” he said. “Teach your children to cross the intersection safely.”
Ed. note: Elements of this post were reproduced from a previous article ran in June 2019 detailing traffic signal warrants.
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