Chris Klein, the town chairman of Dayton, has plans to move hundreds of stop signs and address markers because he interprets the state law as a requirement to move these signs.
He feels the need to move stop signs back to a minimum 12 feet from the road, from their current locations.
Then, the town would need to clear trees and vegetation along 500 feet of the roadside for visibility for these newly moved stop signs.
From my understanding, many trees will have to be removed or trimmed to provide this level of visibility.
A better, more cost effective approch would be to make sure that the current stop signs and address markers are visible by trimming any obstructing tree branches and brush.
This approach would also retain the natural beauty of the town of Dayton and save tax dollars.
There have been no complaints regarding visibility of either stop signs or address markers as far as I know.
Inquiries to the local fire department and ambulance service indicated no need to move address markers.
Nearby townships are not undertaking this type of effort.
Is it possible that all of the approximately 300 stop signs and 1,700 green address markers in the town of Dayton were placed illegally?
Personally, I don’t think that vehicle headlights would be able to illuminate the stop signs very easily that far off the road.
More accidents would probably occur due to less visible stop signs.
The main question is: Why fix something that isn’t broken?
A ruling by the Department of Transportation about the legality or grandfathering of the current placement of stop signs would be helpful and potentially save many tax dollars.
And a review by Waupaca County regarding the placement of address markers would also be valuable.
From the emails that I have exchanged with Mr Klein, it is clear that we have a different interpretation of Wisconsin Stat. § 349.065 (emphasis is mine).
The chairman has stated that “all traffic control devices have been either placed or maintained since 1977,” The word “a”d’ has a different meaning than does the word “or.”
The statute reads: “The design, installation and operation or use of new traffic control devices placed and maintained by local authorities after the adoption of the uniform traffic control devices manual under § 84.02 (4)(e) shall conform to the manual. After January 1, 1977, all traffic control devices placed and maintained by local authorities shall conform to the manual.”
If the concerned citizens I have spoken with are correct in their interpretations, it would save the township a huge amount of money without compromising safety.
Dayton residents need to contact Chris Klein to let him know what your thoughts are on this planned waste of taxpayer dollars. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 715-281-2917.