City to ask DOT to upgrade traffic signals

City of Sun Prairie officials will ask the Department of Transportation to add flashing yellow turn arrow traffic signals at State Highway 151 and Windsor Street to make the intersections safer.

City of Sun Prairie officials will ask Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to add flashing yellow turn arrow traffic signals at State Highway 151 and Windsor Street to make the intersections safer.

The intersections are in the top five most dangerous city intersections with 13 reportable crashes reported in 2018, according to Sun Prairie Police Department annual report.

There is currently a left-turning green arrow traffic signal during peak traffic volumes at the intersections. The city wants the DOT to install a flashing left-turn yellow arrow to alert drivers to yield to oncoming vehicles.

District 2 Alder, Council President and Public Works Committee member Bill Connors said he’s received several calls and comments on Facebook from motorists who have seen close-calls or accidents on the ramp turning south toward Madison. City officials say there’s the same problem for motorists turning left to head northbound on Highway 151.

Connors said drivers need to be reminded that the green traffic signal doesn’t mean they have the right-of-way to turn in front of oncoming traffic.

“We all learned that in driver’s ed but for some reason, people have been forgetting that at that intersection, so there have been a number of near-misses and T-bone collisions,” Connors said at the Nov. 12 Public Works Committee.

According to the Sun Prairie Police Department, the top five reportable crash locations in 2018 were:

• South Grand Avenue and West Main Street roundabout — 18

• Reiner Road / South Grand Avenue at Highway 151 roadway / ramp — 17

• West Main Street at North Thompson Road roundabout — 14

• Highway151 at Windsor Street — 13

• Highway 151 at West Main Street — 11

Parking restrictions

The city is proposing to restrict parking on Lane Street after it received from complaints from downtown residents and business patrons.

Parking will be prohibited on Lane Street from Market Street to 217 feet east of King Street if the city council approves the ordinance change.

The city had received requests to restrict Lane Street parking because motorists can’t see around parked cars.

City staff said the change would eliminate three to four parking spaces.

District 4 Alder and Business Improvement District liaison Mary Polenske said parking is at a premium downtown but safety should come first.

Sun Prairie BID board members recommended approval of the proposal.

The city also wants to restrict parking in other parts of the city including the North-Windsor Street intersection.

Motorists have complained that they have a hard time turning when cars are parked there. Parking is already restricted within 15 feet from the crosswalk.

The Public Works Committee recommended that the no parking zone be extended 10 feet on the west side of North Street both north and south of Windsor Street.

Parking would also be restricted near the driveways of 685 and 691 Commercial Ave. on the south side of the street.

City officials said that tractor-trailers have struggled to pull in and out of the driveway when cars are parked near the entrances and have called the Sun Prairie Police Department to remove the cars.

The Sun Prairie City Council will get the final vote on the parking restriction proposals.

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