Traffic Engineering works with residents and businesses on property access and traffic control. They also act as a liaison with other public jurisdictions on local and regional roads, walkways, bikeways and transit service.
There are two parts of the Traffic Management program:
- Local Streets: Local streets are streets that go into neighborhoods and provide access from a residence to a collector street.
- Collector Streets: Collector streets are streets that collect traffic from local streets and carry it to a higher classified street that is designated to carry the traffic throughout the city and metro area.
The City's functional roadway classification map from the city's Comprehensive Plan 2008 shows the designated street classifications (any street designated lower than a collector, i.e. local street, is not marked on the legend of the map).
Traffic Engineering also works closely with the Maintenance Division which manages more than 4,000 roadway lights, 130 traffic signal systems and 15,000 signs
Traffic Management: Local street traffic
If you are concerned about traffic on a city roadway, please contact city staff. The issue may be something staff can solve quickly with neighborhood education, police enforcement or minor Engineering modifications.
Staff will first gather traffic data (vehicle volumes, vehicle speeds) to determine the existence and extent of the problem. This traffic data will then be shared with you the resident. Staff will explain the information and help determine the best course of action.
If the concern cannot be solved using these methods, you and your neighbors can request to be included the City's Local Street Traffic Management Program explained in Step 2.
Traffic Management/Calming Program
The Local Street Traffic Management Program is a resident-driven program. Each year two projects will be chosen from all applications received.
The installation of a traffic calming measure may reduce traffic speeds and volume for a neighborhood, thus increasing the safety and livability of the neighborhood. the installation of a measure may create safer conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists, for street crossing and riding in the public roadway.
The neighborhood residents, along with city staff, emergency services, transit, and school district staff work collaboratively in choosing a traffic calming solution for the neighborhood that is acceptable for all stakeholders.
If you are interested, a quick overview of the policy and procedure's for Local Street Traffic Management Program is below, the entire policy document is here
This policy is designed to assure fair and effective consideration of all proposals from neighborhoods at a minimum of administration expense.
The City may install or remove traffic calming devices by request, in those instances meeting the criteria and procedures of this policy. A portion of the cost of this work will be borne by the residents through application fees and the City’s special assessment procedure (MN Chapter 429). These costs are per device as described in the “Local Street Traffic Calming Assessment Policy”, adopted June 27, 2005.
Any local Bloomington street, which is not designated as collector, arterial, county road, or county state aid route, municipal state aid route, state or federal highway, may be considered through this traffic calming program.
Traffic calming projects should be compatible with the overall city transportation goals and objectives, as detailed in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
Neighborhood livability should be balanced with transportation efficiency and the safety needs of the traveling public and citywide mobility.
The balance of emergency response issues and traffic mitigation issues will be considered factors while working with the neighborhoods to address their speeding and other traffic safety concerns.
Implementation of traffic calming projects shall maintain access to the neighborhood destinations for all modes of transportation including walking, bicycling, transit, and automobile.
With each traffic calming project, a logical project boundary will be designated to address the issue of displacement /diversion of traffic within the project area.
Implementation of traffic calming for Bloomington local streets will be in accordance with the procedures set forth in this document, and in keeping with sound engineering practices, as well as be within the City of Bloomington’s available financial and staff resources.
The Traffic Calming Program will be funded by a combination of city funds, application fees and neighborhood participation as detailed in the procedure.
The Traffic Calming Policy is not designed to mitigate traffic noise or redesign the overall street classification system or affect the existing modes of travel.
Operation of the annual Traffic Calming Program will be carried out by Department of Public Works staff.
Step 1 Request for Information - Download the
traffic_calming_policy.pdffor information about the program or contact Paul Jarvis, Traffic Management Coordinator, at 952-563-4548 with questions.
Step 2 Application - The
localapp.pdfmust be completed, with signatures from a minimum of 60% of the affected residences, and a $335 application fee deposited, by the first Monday of February.
Step 3 - Evaluation of Applications - All applications will be reviewed by the Bloomington Fire, Police, Public Works, Transit and School District for comment on potential conflicts. The applications will then be screened and ranked. Two neighborhoods will be selected for the current program. Public open houses will be scheduled for the planned trial projects. At the open houses we will discuss the proposed traffic calming plan and costs to the neighborhood
traffic_calming_assessment.pdf. Applications not chosen will be put into the pool of applicants for the next program year.
Step 4 - Before Data Collection - City staff will collect speed and volume data in the benefited area and on alternate routes that may be negatively affected, before installation of the trial device.
Step 5 - After Data Collection - After the trial device is installed, the speed and volume data will be re-collected.
Step 6 - Public Input - A neighborhood meeting will be held to discuss the results of the trial devices. After the meeting, input surveys with "Petition and Waiver of Hearing" forms will be mailed to the property owners in the benefited area.
Step 7 - Recommendations to City Council - Staff will present the recommendations to the City Council.
Step 8 - City Council Meeting, Assessment Hearing, Ordering of Project - The Hearings will be held the same night and if assessment roll is not adopted, the plans and specifications will not be ordered and the project is terminated.
Step 9 - City Council final approval of plans, specifications and engineer's estimate.
Step 10 - Letting and Construction
Step 11 - Preparation of final assessment & notice to property owners.
Step 12 - After Data Collection - Staff will collect data following completion of the construction and during the following year.
The City will serve as a facilitator, to assist in financing appropriate Traffic Calming projects, by processing a 5-year special assessment for those property owners who choose to participate.
Assessment Hearings will be held prior to ordering the construction of the project. The assessments will be based on the approved “Applicant Cost Per Device,” in the table below. The notices sent to the owners will have assessment costs based on only 67% of owners participating. Such assessment amounts would be reduced if over 67% of owners agree to be assessed.
Each individual property owner in the benefited area (and any other property owner that volunteers) will have the option to sign a “Petition and Waiver of Hearing” document in regard to the assessment. When owners of 67% or more of the assessable front footage of the benefited area have signed the document, and the council approves the project, the City will proceed with the construction project. At the assessment hearing, the cost of the project will be calculated by the Adjusted Front Footage Method as detailed in the City’s General Assessment Policy, Page 2, Section C. The initial assessment area boundary would be delineated by benefited area as described in the Traffic Calming Policy and Procedure Manual. Public Works will review the benefited area boundary to assure it is appropriate. All property owners (minimum 67% in the benefited area) who have signed a Petition and Waiver of Hearing will be assessed their portion.
Seniors citizens have the option of participating in the assessment or using the senior citizen hardship assessment deferral: Pursuant to MSA 435.193 - .195 and resolution of the City Council, deferral of special assessments may occur under certain conditions for homestead property to persons 65 years of age or older (or retired by virtue of a permanent and total disability) for whom it would be a hardship to make the payments.
The approved applicant cost(s) of the project, will be assessed to the property owners who have signed a Petition and Waiver of Hearing document. The soft costs (trial device installation, feasibility study, design and construction engineering and project administration) and any remaining construction costs will be borne by the cities general fund.
Traffic Management: Collector street traffic
The collector street striping reconfiguration policy was developed to address residents growing concerns about speeding on Bloomington's streets. The Council feels that many Bloomington collector streets were designed, at the time of construction, for volumes higher than are currently using them. Some research shows that wider driving area gives drivers the perception that they can drive faster, thereby resulting in faster driving speeds. The goal of reducing the drivable area with new striping is to give drivers more of a sense that they are traveling in a residential area and should maintain an appropriate speed.
The collector street striping reconfiguration policies, procedures and schedules were adopted by the City Council in 2005. Collector streets will be reviewed for possible striping changes during their pavement management program (PMP) improvement year. The program is set up to perform the changes along with the PMP striping so there will be no additional costs to the residents and City.
Current traffic studies
Past Projects and Studies
This section is dedicated to sharing information about traffic calming and different traffic calming techniques - articles, websites with related information, studies, etc.
- FAQ - Video Camera's at Signalized Intersections
- Traffic Calming ... for Communities
Institute of Transportation Engineers Web site.
- Guidelines for the Conversion of 4-lane Undivided Roadways to 3-lane 2-wayLeft-turn Lane Facilities
Iowa State University's Institute for Transportation web site.
- ITE.org - Institute of Transportation Engineers
- LRRB.org - Minnesota Local Road Research Board
- Speed Limits: Why Do We Have Them?: http://youtu.be/8edH-toBesM
- Stop Signs: Why Do We Have Them on Residential Roads?: http://youtu.be/1SmbL5Oo15c
Section 8 City Code Update
In 2013, the City Council approved an ordinance to update Chapter 8 of the City Code which deals with Traffic, Vehicles and Parking. Prior to this update, this chapter of the City Code had not been amended or updated, in some cases, since it was originally written in 1958. The chapter was reorganized and updated to conform to Minnesota Statutes.
A companion On-Street Parking Policy was continued to the April 15, 2013 City Council meeting. The policy was continued indefinitely to allow staff to continue to refine the policy and bring it back to the City Council at a later date.