Road signs were once again a hot topic at the Princeton Township Board of Directors meeting on September 21.
During the meeting, township engineer Todd McLouth reiterated that he and council supervisor Bill Whitcomb inspected every intersection and location of signs in the township before removing nearly 60 signs. The move was largely a cost saving measure done in conjunction with a new panel replacement policy, according to McLouth.
Under this policy, the township will replace the signs on a regular schedule, instead of testing the reflectivity of the signs.
Emily Hanson, who addressed the board about road signs during the open comments portion of the meeting, said she asked if anyone had used the measured sign retroreflectivity test – a test using a retroreflectometer to measure the degree of reflection and visibility of a panel. She said the townships she spoke to used nighttime visual inspection.
Nighttime visual inspection is one of many methods, including the measured retro-reflectivity test of signs, suggested by the Minnesota Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. It involves the use of trained inspectors who visually examine the signage of a moving vehicle during nighttime inspections.
McLouth said the method is difficult to stay consistent. He recommended the lifetime panel replacement policy as it is consistent in terms of cost and schedule.
When several residents questioned council about specific intersections where they argued signs should be maintained, McLouth said residents can submit requests to review specific intersections and council can review them.
Hanson also asked if proper notice had been sent in advance about the signs, but none of the board members said they sent a notice about it. McLouth conceded they could have done a better job at that.
At the request of some residents present, the council also considered the need to carry out a new technical study to determine if the current signage is adequate. Supervisor Dan Hiller suggested that council collect quotes for a technical study and present them to residents for voting at the annual meeting. The board voted to go ahead with Hiller’s idea.
The council also agreed to replace the existing signs which were obsolete. Supervisor John Willhelm had collected quotes for the replacement of road signs in Princeton Township from three different companies. Existing signs are older than their expected lifespan and must be replaced under current township policy. The board chose EFA, which provided a quote of $ 4,678. The Board of Directors approved the purchase of 110 panels for a maximum amount of $ 5,000.