Signs, Signals, & Street Safety
Street signs, signals, speed limits, or other traffic control measures are thoughtfully employed to safely and efficiently serve the City’s traveling public. The Public Works Department uses national and local standards to establish, maintain, and improve City infrastructure.
Traffic control devices are intended to manage the flow of travel in a safe and efficient manner. These devices include:
- Traffic signals
- Stop signs
- Speed limits
- Lane markings
These devices are designed and installed using criteria in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and additional traffic engineering principles. These criteria have been established nationally and have been adopted by the City. Examples of criteria include:
- Roadway classification, features and operational safety (e.g., the curve of the road or sight distance at an intersection)
- Location, frequency and type of devices that may be appropriate (placing devices where they are unexpected or unwarranted can cause driver error)
- Traffic volume, speed and crash data, and other relevant location specific information
Speed limits are established based on the roadway classification and engineering surveys. Speed limits are adjusted for:
- school zones
- road design (e.g., curves)
- roadway conditions (e.g., crash patterns and average speeds)
When traffic flows at a uniform speed, drivers are less impatient, pass less often, and tailgate less, which reduces both head-on and rear-end collisions. Posting the appropriate speed limit results in improved roadway operation and safety.
The City of Arvada operates and maintains more than 100 traffic signals and 128 school zone flashers placed throughout the City. Traffic signals located along state highways in the City, including Wadsworth Boulevard, Sheridan Boulevard, and State Highway 72, are operated and maintained by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The City budgets for installing and reconstructing traffic signals. Signal timing plans along roadway corridors are also reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that changes in travel patterns are reflected in the signal timing at each signalized intersection.
Crosswalks are installed on designated walking routes for pedestrian paths or schools. To ensure proper maintenance, traffic safety, and appropriate operations of roadways, crosswalk treatments are installed based on roadway classifications, traffic volumes, number of lanes, and other engineering factors.
HeadsUp Arvada is the City's educational campaign with reminders about our shared responsibility when biking, walking, or driving to help keep one another safe.
Report a concern
To report concern about street signs, signals, speeding, or other traffic control efforts, please submit a request through Ask Arvada.
Random speeding issues or erratic driving behavior should be reported to the Arvada Police by calling the non-emergency number: 720-898-6900. Arvada Police works with Traffic Engineering to identify locations where enforcement efforts are not a feasible solution and traffic control or traffic calming measures may be appropriate.
- Can electronic "Your Speed" signs help?
Sometimes. "Your Speed" signs (which show drivers their current speed) can help to reduce speeding in some instances. Usually, these signs are placed temporarily in areas where speeding is a confirmed issue. To inquire about getting a "Your Speed" sign placed, please call Traffic Engineering at 720-898-7740. Engineering will follow a process to see whether, and to what degree, a "Your Speed" sign could be effective in your area.
- Can talking with neighbors help?
Yes. Raising awareness about speeding and similar issues can help to change people's behavior. In a lot of residential areas, it is residents of the neighborhood who are speeding. If a community conversation starts, people may adjust their driving habits and help contribute to a safer community. For tips on starting a neighborhood group and more, check out Neighbors Connected.
- Will a lower speed help?
Unfortunately, research suggests that lower speed limits do not have a big impact on reducing speed. In Colorado, the speed limit on local streets (unless otherwise posted) is 30 mph. Whether posted or not, some people do not adhere to posted speed limits. This is unlawful and puts pedestrians and other drivers at risk. Police Officers enforce speed limits. To report a speeding driver, please call non-emergency dispatch at 720-898-6900.
- Do children at play signs slow people down?
No. In fact, some studies suggest that these signs can decrease safety. These signs can introduce new dangers. Some residents may feel more secure when these signs are present. Children may be more prone to play in the street and others may be less vigilant. Due to the serious concerns over the effects of the signs, neither federal nor state regulations recognize their effectiveness.
- How do you decide where traffic signals are?
Traffic engineers evaluate many factors in determining whether a signal is appropriate. The safety of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians is always considered. Read more at Signs, Signals, and Street Safety.
- How do you decide where to put stop signs?
Traffic engineers evaluate intersections for stop control. Specific criteria are used to determine the appropriate location for stop signs. When unneeded stop signs are introduced, they may contribute to speeding and crashes.