Construction project schedule
The city annually reviews, updates, and adopts a five-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for city projects. This planning document is intended to help keep citizens and businesses informed of scheduled projects. After council adoption, only those projects within the first year of the plan are authorized for consideration. Neighborhood informational meetings are typically held for all projects prior to the city council approving final plans.
Pavement management program
The city’s pavement management program was implemented in 1996 to economically manage the pavement infrastructure throughout the city. This tool provides the city with a systematic way of upgrading existing pavements by predicting future pavement conditions. A component of the program includes surveying ¼ of the city streets each year to determine the changes in pavement condition. Streets scheduled for rehabilitation are included in the city’s five-year Capital Improvements Program.
Speed limits set by state
Speed limits are set by state statute. Requests for speed limit changes are evaluated by Mn/DOT based on traffic studies analyzing the roadway conditions, accident records, and current traffic speeds.
Although it is a commonly held belief that posting a speed limited sign will reduce speeds, research indicates that drivers are influenced more by the appearance of the road itself and the prevailing traffic conditions than by the posted speed limit. The maximum speed limits for passenger vehicles as established by Minnesota statute are:
- Alleys: 15 mph
- Residential streets: 30 mph
- Urban freeways and highways: 60 mph
- Freeways outside urban areas: 70 mph
Speed limits are maximums under ideal conditions. State law requires that “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable in regard to weather, visibility, traffic, and the surface and width of the roadway. Under no circumstances shall a person operate a vehicle at a speed that endangers the safety of persons or property.”
If speed limit signs are posted artificially low, many drivers will ignore posted limits while some drivers will stay within the posted limits. This creates a conflict between faster and slower moving drivers and an increase in the number of accidents. In addition, the number of gaps of traffic where crossings by pedestrians and cross traffic could be made are reduced.
Addressing excessive vehicle speeds in residential areas
Residents are encouraged to contact the Minnetonka Police Department Traffic Enforcement Unit with concerns about excessive vehicle speeds on any city roadway. Methods used to control speeds include:
- educational programs
- pavement markings
The city is also currently exploring certain “traffic calming” approaches under very specific conditions.