Council Continues Call to Reduce Signs on Hwy. 33
Port Washington aldermen express concerns and frustration about the amount of signage surrounding the new roundabouts on the nearly-completed Highway 33 project.
With the Highway 33 construction project nearly over, Port Washington aldermen are concerned that nothing has been done regarding complaints about the excessive amount of signs lining the highway.
There are "pedestrian crossing" signs, "one way" signs," "roundabout ahead," signs, arrows and more that are meant to direct traffic around the three newly built roundabouts on the highway. Concerns have been raised both about driver confusion and the possibility of excess signage creating an eyesore — but nothing has changed.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has said that the number of signs leading up to the roundabouts meet statewide guidelines; DOT Communications Specialist Mike Pyritz said signage decisions can depend on the amount of traffic on that particular road, the size of the road (multiple or single lanes) and the visible distance leading up to the roundabout, among other considerations.
City Engineer Rob Vanden Noven told the Common Council on Tuesday that DOT officials are working on providing information about the guidelines, council members say that's not good enough.
"Last (meeting) I said it was absurd," Ald. Joe Dean said. "It's just laughable to jump on to (the amount of signs they are suggesting). I'm frustrated with 'working on it.'"
Ald. Jim Vollmar questioned the validity of the statement that this meets some sort of guidelines, pointing to other roundabouts with fewer signs.
"I think we all have examples of where roundabouts are heavily used and don’t have this amount of signage," Ald. Jim Vollmar said. "I can go on and on with the ones that I am familiar with."
The Hwy. 33 project started in late spring 2011, with plans to expand the portion of Hwy. 33 from South Tower Street in Port Washington to the Milwaukee River overflow bridge in Saukville. The three roundabouts were added at the intersections of Hwy. 33 and County LL, Hwy. 33 and Northwoods Road, and Hwy. 33 and Market Street.
The project is slated to end on Aug. 17, and Dean said he's worried about that time.
"It would be nice to stop (the signs), now we’re going to have to undo them," he said.
Vanden Noven promised the council he would do his best to bring resolution to the issue.
"We’re not going to let the issue drop until it gets in front of the council," he said.