City Engineering Department
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Traffic signals, signs and markings are intricate traffic control
devices that regulate, warn and guide traffic on streets and
highways in Midland. To be consistent with other cities in Michigan, all traffic
control operations should follow accepted
standards outlined in the Michigan Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
Devices (MMUTCD), as amended.
The City of Midland strives to provide a safe roadway environment.
This is accomplished in part through an aggressive preventative maintenance
program and timely emergency response - 24 hours a day/seven
days a week - for traffic signal repairs or regulatory signs such as Stop signs on Midland roadways.
Signs and Signals Shop
The Signs and Signals Shop functions as part of the Engineering
Department. The primary responsibility of this shop is to upgrade and
maintain all aspects of signals, signs and pavement marking operations.
Signals Shop: The Signals Shop is comprised of two master
electricians who maintain more than 110 signalized locations in
the city of Midland, throughout Midland County and in the city of
These electricians are also responsible for upgrading and
maintaining traffic control software, performing electrical maintenance
for the Jack Barstow Municipal Airport and other City departments, and
collecting traffic speed and volume counts.
Traffic volume counts can be collected manually using traffic data
collectors or by using mechanical traffic counters with air tubes that
stretch across the roadway. Passing vehicles create air pressure in the
tubes when crossing them, which can be recorded.
Sign Shop: The Sign Shop maintains more than 7,500 signs in
the city of Midland. These City workers also assist with
providing street construction signage for City
The Sign Shop is responsible for various pavement markings on city streets,
including stop bars, crosswalks, painted arrows,
lines indicating parking spaces, etc. These
markings are repainted annually.
Traffic Signal Control
Traffic signals are an intricate part of everyday traffic control in
the city of Midland, city of
Auburn and throughout Midland County. Without traffic signals at locations that
require them, traffic volumes could not be controlled efficiently, traffic delays would increase, and both vehicle and
pedestrian safety would be compromised.
Traffic signals are designed
together to carry the largest volume of vehicular traffic through the
city with the least amount of vehicle delay. What this means is that
the direction with the highest volume of traffic will likely have the best
traffic flow - or progression - from one signalized location to the
Signals are also designed to help pedestrians with
crossing at signalized locations.
The Engineering Department uses traffic engineering software and
traffic data to help determine when signal timing updates are
needed. These ongoing efforts help keep traffic moving safely and
efficiently through Midland.
Flash Mode: Most traffic signals go into “flash” mode during
the late night hours, from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each day. However,
some signals may start flashing at 10:00 p.m., and some signals may not
go into flash mode at all during late night hours. Also, some weekend traffic signals may flash in the daytime
Traffic Control Orders
A traffic control order (TCO) is written approval from the Midland City
Council to establish regulatory control of
vehicular traffic within the Midland city limits. Regulatory control
could be in the form of establishing speed limits, stop and yield
conditions at intersections,
parking restrictions, signal operations, regulating traffic for special
events, or other regulatory control. TCOs
may be necessary for various reasons, such as:
streets are constructed, requiring traffic control;
changes in street, width, pavement markings,
or other configurations, requiring changes in traffic control;
when changes in traffic patterns require
changes in traffic control; or
to improve public safety within the
city's street system.
Traffic control equipment
installations must meet the requirements of the Michigan
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD), as amended.
TCOs are frequently written as a result of recommendations from the
City's traffic consultant based on traffic control requests or concerns
made by City staff or the public.
Control Requests or Concerns from Residents:
Citizens may request the removal or installation of various types of
traffic control devices, such as traffic signals, Stop signs, speed
limit signs, No Parking signs, etc.
Once the concern or request is received, it is reviewed by
Engineering to determine whether it is justified and/or needs further
review. Because the City does not have a specialized traffic engineer on
staff, the City contracts with a traffic consultant who is an engineer
with a specialty in traffic operations. The consultant provides a report
after each visit to Midland (generally, every 2 months) indicating
recommendations to a variety of traffic-related issues, including issues
related to the development of TCOs.
Detailed data collection and analysis may be necessary to justify
the installation of traffic control devices.
However, once the Engineering Department has determined that some form of regulatory action is necessary, a temporary
TCO is written and submitted for approval to the City Manager. Once approved, the related traffic control devices, such as
regulatory signs or signals, are installed. After 60 days, but within 90 days of granting the
temporary order, City Council will either approve making the TCO permanent or allow the
temporary control order to expire. Once expired, the temporary TCO is no longer valid, and the
traffic control device(s) are removed.
Traffic Control Orders
for Block Parties: Requests for neighborhood block parties may be made to the City
Engineer, who may issue a traffic control order permitting such
activity. Click here to download a
blank petition form and information sheet.
To request a traffic control order for such a gathering, contact the
Engineering Department three (3) weeks before the scheduled event.