Frequently Asked Questions
A: Signals are warranted at an intersection when the intersection’s traffic volumes reach a certain level for a portion of the average day. Late night and early morning hour volumes often do not warrant signals, thus the question.
Flashing red/yellow operations have an inherent operational difficulty – drivers approaching the intersection do not know what indications drivers from other approaches are seeing. For example, a driver approaching the intersection sees a yellow light doesn’t know if the driver on the intersecting street is seeing a red light or a yellow light, and generally ends up stopping anyway just to be safe.
Still, might a red/red flashing indication be feasible? The City signals at one time were set to flash red/red during the late night and early morning hours, and City personnel found that there was no significant benefit to the flashing mode and a slightly increased risk of more accidents. Therefore, the City believes it is in the best interests of the citizens of Salina to maintain the traffic signals in their normal operations at all times of the day. (updated 12/2016)
A: There are still many residential areas in Salina that do not have sidewalks. Most of these neighborhoods were developed before 1980, which is the year the City adopted mandatory sidewalk standards. Areas developed before that time had the option of installing sidewalks or not. That is the reason that one block might have sidewalks, but the next block might not. Most areas developed since 1980 will have sidewalks on both sides of the street.
We do have a program for constructing sidewalks along those streets that are designated to carry high traffic volumes. This includes streets such as Ohio, Crawford and Santa Fe. In most cases, neighborhood sidewalks would not qualify for this sidewalk program because residential streets are generally less traveled.
In order to have sidewalks built in a residential area, the project could be initiated and financed by those property owners who would receive the benefit. City staff is always happy to assist any neighborhood in project design and special assessment financing options for such a project.
Any additional questions regarding sidewalks should be directed to Engineering at (785) 309-5725. (updated 12/2016)
A: When a lot or a tract of land has a designated public drainage easement, it is important to understand what that means to the property owner and/or fence contractor. Easements are typically located in the rear and/or side yard of a property but can be located elsewhere on a property. A property or site survey should show all dedicated easements. During the course of fence construction, the property owner or contractor acting on behalf of the property owner, has the responsibility to be certain that the drainage easement is not disturbed without City prior approval. Obviously you cannot build a structure in an easement, but it is also important to remember that you cannot obstruct or alter storm water drainage in a drainage easement as stated in Section 42-63 of the Salina Code (ordinance #04-10219):
“No property owner may construct maintain or allow any natural or non-natural structures or vegetative barriers (including but not limited to trees, shrubbery, berms, fences, walls or pole signs) within any drainage easement dedicated, purchased or otherwise granted to the public which the City Engineer finds obstructs, impedes, or otherwise interferes with the drainage of stormwater. Drainage easements shall not be filled or otherwise physically altered without the written approval of the City Engineer.”
If you have any questions about this ordinance please contact Engineering at (785) 309-5725. (updated 12/2016)
A: If a street light is damaged or burned out, it is Westar’s responsibility to replace it. If you would like to report a damaged or burned out street light, please contact the Public Works, Engineering office at (785) 309-5725 who will then contact Westar. (updated 12/2016)
A: Stop signs may be warranted by high speeds, restricted view or crash history. However, stop signs specifically are not to be used for speed control.
Yield signs may be used instead of stop signs if the ability to see traffic is sufficient to allow traffic to pass through the intersection or stop in a reasonably safe manner, or a special problem exists where engineering judgment indicates the problem may be solved by use of the yield sign.
Following a request for a stop or yield sign, the City’s Engineering office typically:
- Checks to see if the intersection has the sight distances required by Salina Code, which for an unsignalized intersection equates to a triangle with 60 foot legs along each approach to the intersection;
- Examines police records to see if the accident history shows a pattern of accidents that may be corrected with stop or yield signs;
o Two or more accidents in each of the last three years
o A total of six accidents in the last three years
o Five or more accidents in any one of the last three years
- Counts traffic to determine which approaches should be stop or yield controlled, providing one of the criteria warrants the installation of signs;
- Seeks approval from the City Commission to install the signs;
- Installs the proper signs.
The full criteria for installing stop and yield signs can be found in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is available for free on the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) website. The Salina Code can be found on the City of Salina’s website. (updated 12/2016)
A: Speed limits in residential areas are 30 mph per Section 38-1 of Salina Code. The City of Salina does not post speed limits in residential areas due to the cost of the signs and the ensuing blight on the landscape.
Posting speed limit signs has little to no impact on the speed of vehicles. The only way to slow drivers is to put some physical barrier, like a speed bump, in their way. The City of Salina does not employ speed bumps because they may cause damage to snow plows and reduce response time of emergency vehicles. The Salina Police Department has a Speed Limit Radar Trailer they can deploy in the area to remind motorists of their speed. Citizens can also get a tag number, vehicle description and driver description to make a Traffic Complaint with the Salina Police Department. (updated 7/2018)