Dayton residents can expect to see stop signs on town roads moved over the next several years.
Town Chairman Chris Klein informed those attending the town board’s May 21 meeting that he had received an email from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation clarifying the placement of stop signs.
The issue of relocating Dayton’s stop signs first emerged on April 21, after Klein led a group of Chain O’ Lakes residents on a tour of intersections.
Klein told those on the tour that a number of stop signs in Dayton did not meet state and federal requirements.
Klein said the signs must be relocated 12 feet away from the road.
The relocation of the signs would also result in additional tree cutting in Dayton.
Several of those on the tour had previously spoken against Klein’s tree-cutting policies and questioned his plan to relocate the stop signs. Two of them, Bob Ellis and John Hebbring, contacted the DOT regarding the placement of stop signs.
In a May 3 email to the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes District, Matt Rausch, a DOT sign engineer, indicated stop signs can be as close as two feet away from the edge of the pavement if it is a low-volume, rural road.
However, in an email to Klein on May 20, Rausch clarified the placement of stop signs.
According to the Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the minimum sign offset should be 12 feet from the travel lane.
If there is a paved shoulder which is wider than six feet, then the sign should be placed six feet from the edge of the pavement, Rausch said.
Rausch said stop signs may be as close as two feet from the edge of the pavement if it is on a low-volume road where terrain, shrubbery and trees prevent placing the sign 12 feet away.
“The MUTCD allows for lesser offsets for low-volume roads,” Rausch said in his email to Klein. “I should point out that this cannot be a blanket exception for a township, but that each roadway needs to be reviewed for compliance as a low-volume road.”
To qualify as a low-volume road, traffic volume must average less than 400 vehicles per day, classified as rural and not be in a residential neighborhood.
At the May 21 board meeting, Klein said the roads in the Chain O’ Lakes area are not classified as low-volume rural roads.
“Cleghorn Road is classified as an urban collector road,” Klein said.
He said the town of Dayton relied on that classification in order to obtain a federal grant to help pay for a bridge on Cleghorn Road.
Klein said the signs would not all be relocated immediately, but over time.
“We don’t need to move every stop sign, we don’t need to move every address, and we don’t need to move every no parking sign tomorrow,” Klein said. “Signs will be an ongoing maintenance issue.”