Editor’s Note: The area of M-53 (Cedar Street) between Newark and First Street in Imlay City, has been a hot bed for numerous serious accidents, including a number of fatalities. Below, Imlay City Police Chief Brett Selby shares his thoughts on the topic of a stoplight at the intersection of Borland and Cedar as well as MDOT’s refusal to install the light.

Dear Editor,

As you know I am trying to get a traffic control device (traffic light) for Borland and Cedar. MDOT insists that it does not meet the warrants to allow a traffic light.

Signal warrants are a set of guidelines or conditions which can be applied equally to various traffic situations. Administered by experienced professional engineers skilled at applying them in an objective manner, they provide useful “tools” which allow careful assessment of the need for signalization.

Warrant 1 — EIGHT-HOUR VEHICULAR VOLUME This warrant requires one of two conditions to be satisfied. The Minimum Vehicular Volume, Condition A, is intended for application at locations where a large volume of intersecting traffic is the principal reason to consider installing a traffic control signal. The minimum vehicular volume condition for rural environments and/or smaller municipalities is 70 percent of the requirement for urban conditions. The Interruption of Continuous Traffic, Condition B, is intended for application at locations where Condition A is not satisfied and where a very high volume of major street traffic restricts entry of cross-street traffic, causing excessive delay. If neither condition is satisfied, a combination of Conditions A and B can be applied, but only after an adequate trial of other alternatives that could cause less delay and inconvenience to traffic has failed to solve the traffic problems.

Warrant 2 — FOUR-HOUR VEHICULAR VOLUME This warrant is intended to be used where the volumes of intersecting traffic is the principal reason to consider signalization.

Warrant 3 — PEAK HOUR This warrant is intended for application where traffic conditions are such that, for a minimum of one hour of the day, minor street traffic suffers excessive delay entering or crossing the major street.

Warrant 4 — PEDESTRIAN VOLUME Occasionally, a situation arises where very high pedestrian activity conflicts with high traffic volumes on a major street. Warrant 4 provides for these instances.

Warrant 5 — SCHOOL CROSSING Warrant 5 provides minimum installation guidelines for traffic signals at established school crossing locations based on the number of children utilizing the crossing and the availability of adequate gaps in the traffic stream during crossing periods.

Warrant 6 — COORDINATED SIGNAL SYSTEM Between two widely spaced signals in a system, an intermediate traffic signal, properly located, may serve to regulate the size and speed of the traffic “platoon.” A signal may be installed under this warrant if vehicle speeds vary and volumes are high.

Warrant 7 — CRASH EXPERIENCE Certain conditions at an intersection may result in a high incidence of crashes. This warrant provides for a reduction in the number of vehicles required under other warrants.

Warrant 8 — ROADWAY NETWORK This allows installation of traffic signals at some intersections to encourage concentration and organization of traffic flow networks.

The above warrants must be met by MDOT in order to allow a traffic light at Borland Road and M-53. MDOT states that if a light is put up in haste or unwarranted, it will cause rear end crashes, but then again so do most traffic lights in Michigan when people are not paying attention. In nearly 30 years of law enforcement, I have never seen a traffic control device (sign, light etc.) cause an accident. That is usually reserved for human error. People want something here, I want something at the intersection.

Not every traffic configuration can be solved by a mathematic equation. People want to be regulated, especially when it comes to their safety, and I will make sure our voice is heard.

Best regards,
— Brett D. Selby
Chief of Police
Imlay City Police Department