Traffic Concerns

The City of Chanhassen Engineering Department frequently receives concerns from residents regarding safety in residential neighborhoods, along with requests to install various traffic control devices.  The following is a summary of common devices requested and their documented effect on driver behavior.  If, after reviewing this information, you believe you know of an area that needs an improvement, please contact the Engineering Department.

If you have concerns about speeding in your neighborhood, please contact the Carver County Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at 952-361-1231.

Speed Limits


Speed limits are set by state statute. Requests for speed limit changes are evaluated by MnDOT based on traffic studies analyzing the roadway conditions, accident records, and current traffic speeds. Check out MnDOT's website at for additional information.

Although it is a commonly held belief that posting a speed limit sign will reduce speeds, research indicates that drivers are influenced more by the appearance of the road itself and the prevailing traffic conditions than by the posted speed limit. The maximum speed limits for passenger vehicles as established by Minnesota statute are:
  • Alleys: 15 mph
  • Residential streets: 30 mph
  • Urban Freeways and Highways: 60 mph
  • Freeways outside urban areas: 70 mph
Speed limits are maximums under ideal conditions. State law requires that "No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable in regard to weather, visibility, traffic and the surface and width of the roadway. Under no circumstances shall a person operate a vehicle at a speed that endangers the safety of persons or property."

If speed limit signs are posted artificially low, many drivers will ignore posted limits while some drivers will stay within the posted limits. This creates a conflict between faster and slower moving drivers and an increase in the number of accidents. In addition, the number of gaps of traffic where crossings by pedestrians and cross traffic could be made are reduced.

Speed Limits: Why Do We Need Them?

Stop Signs

A stop sign is a regulatory sign which causes a substantial inconvenience to motorists. National federal standards have specific criteria for the installation of a stop sign. When used correctly, a stop sign is one of the most effective traffic control devices available.

Stop signs are often requested to control speeds and/or to encourage traffic to use other routes. A stop sign is ineffective as a comprehensive speed control device. Stop signs installed without meeting proper criteria, result in high occurrence of violations and increased disrespect for traffic signs in general. Speed reduction is usually only effective in the immediate vicinity of the stop sign. Increased speeds between intersections often occur as drivers attempt to make up time lost.

Where stop signs are installed as nuisances, most drivers recognize it as an unreasonable restriction and many choose to roll through the sign or ignore it completely. Inappropriate stop signs can create a false sense of security for pedestrians and an attitude of contempt for all traffic signs.

Stop Signs: Why Do We Have Them?

​Speed Humps

The City of Chanhassen does not install speed humps (bumps) on our public streets for the following reasons:
  • Negative impacts of increased braking and acceleration:
    • Speeds may increase between humps as drivers try to make up for lost time
    • Noise levels may increase
    • Negative impact on air quality and energy consumption
  • Speed humps cause delays for police and fire vehicles of 3-10 seconds per hump.
  • Speeds may increase over time as drivers get used to the feel of the speed humps.
  • Traffic volume may be diverted to adjacent streets as drivers seek alternate routes to avoid the speed humps.
  • Some motorists may drive with their wheels in the gutter, bike lane, or road shoulder in order to minimize the impact of the humps.
  • Maintenance activities, including snow plowing, are difficult to accomplish.

​Specialty Warning Signs

This video is produced by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, and explains which warning signs are necessary and effective, and which may be counterproductive.

"Children At Play" Signs

Some cities have posted “CHILDREN AT PLAY” signs in residential areas despite studies showing that generalized signs warning of Normal Conditions such as children in a residential area fail to achieve the desired safety benefits. "CHILDREN AT PLAY" signs may give parents and children a false sense of security as the sign is assumed to provide protection which in reality it does not. Due to these serious considerations, federal standards no longer recommend the use of "CHILDREN AT PLAY" signs. Special conditions such as warnings of school zones, playgrounds, parks and other recreational facilities, do warrant signing as these are not easily anticipated by drivers.

Crosswalks

Crosswalks are recommended when data indicates effectiveness. When the city receives a request for a crosswalk, staff will check if the basic criteria meets MnDOT regulations.