Traffic signal at the east junction of Hwys 5, 19 & 22 in Gaylord de-activated August 13
MnDOT to evaluate traffic flow
MANKATO, Minn. – Motorists on Hwys 5 and 19 (Main Avenue) in Gaylord will no longer need to stop at the east junction of Hwy 22 (4th Street) after August 13. However, cross traffic, or motorists on 4th Street will need to comply with a stop sign before entering the intersection, when it is clear.
The evaluation and potential removal of the signal is to improve traffic flow and safety. Current and forecasted traffic at the intersection is not high enough to warrant the signal at the east junction of the highways that has been in-place for at least 45 years, according to MnDOT records.
Replacing the signal with through-stop control (a two-way stop) is expected to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes, based on crash records from other urban through-stop controlled intersections on the state highway system with similar traffic volumes. It is believed that through-stop controlled intersections have fewer crashes because motorists are required to be attentive and actively look for a safe gap in traffic, rather than relying on a traffic signal indication that does not tell the motorist if it is safe to enter the intersection. Replacing the signal with through-stop control will also reduce delays for both motorists and pedestrians at the intersection.
As part of the proposed removal of the signal, MnDOT will be installing pedestrian-activated flashing warning signs to facilitate pedestrian crossings of Main Avenue at 4th Street.
Crews from the Minnesota Department of Transportation will cover the signal lights on August 13 and add the following signs:
- Traffic Control Change Ahead – on all intersection approaches (Main Avenue and 4th Street)
- Stop ahead warning signs – on both 4th Street approaches
- Stop Signs with flashing LED lights – on both 4th Street approaches
- Cross traffic does not stop – on both 4th Street approaches, below the stop signs
In conjunction with the signal deactivation, MnDOT will be evaluating the traffic operations of the revised intersection over the next few months. If during the evaluation no adverse traffic impacts are observed by MnDOT, the signal will remain deactivated until it can be removed as part of the 2014 highway reconstruction project in Gaylord. In addition to the expected crash and delay reduction benefits, the removal of the signal would also result in cost savings to both the City of Gaylord and MnDOT.