Street & Traffic Control Policy
You may request installation or removal of traffic control devices, such as signs, pavement markings, signals, etc. These requests are processed by the Engineering Department and reviewed for compliance with applicable traffic laws and engineering standards, with guidance provided in the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Engineering staff conducts on-site reviews to evaluate conditions and considers vehicle crash history. All requests are reviewed by the City Traffic Engineer, who then makes a recommendation to the Sign Review Committee. The committee has representatives from the Police Department, Public Works, Engineering and Planning departments who are charged with resolving any conflicts with existing traffic control equipment and policies prior to making a determination on the request.
Children at Play Signs
The City frequently receives requests from residents for installation of Children at Play warning signs in residential areas. These requests stem from parental concern for the safety of their children on the streets near their homes. Unfortunately, these requests are based on a widespread, but false, belief that traffic signs provide protection.
The City discontinued the use of the Children at Play warning signs in 1984. A statement of policy was approved by the Moorhead Public Works Committee and the Public Safety Committee. Although such signs have been widely posted in residential areas in some municipalities, there is no evidence that they are successful in preventing injury to pedestrians, decreasing speed of vehicles, or legal liability.
Studies have shown that many types of signs which have been posted in an attempt to warn of a “common” condition in a residential area have failed to achieve the desired safety benefit. Posting this type of signage may provide a false sense of security, which is a great disservice to parents and children. Since there are children in every neighborhood, signs would have to be posted on every block, or it would indicate that there are no children in areas where there are no signs posted.
Often, the main problem that spurs this sign request is drivers speeding. In that regard we recommend working with the Police Department to increase patrolling of that area. Any information you can provide them will be helpful as far as license plate numbers and/or time of day that speeding is more prominent.