JA St. Joseph intersection

The last time a traffic study was conducted on the intersection of Main Street and U.S. 150 in St. Joseph was 2011, and it did not meet the the requirements for adding a stoplight. Traffic has decreased since then, according to David Speicher, operations engineer for IDOT District 5

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Q: Why hasn’t St. Joseph added a stoplight at U.S. 150 and Main Street?

A: First, this isn’t up to St. Joseph, as U.S. 150 is a state route.

“That would have to go through IDOT,” Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges said. “They would have to do a traffic study.”

IDOT has done traffic studies in the past and found a stoplight wouldn’t be warranted at the downtown intersection.

“The last time formal traffic signal warrants were evaluated for this intersection was 2011. At that time, warrants were not met that indicate traffic signals are needed,” said David Speicher, operations engineer for IDOT’s District 5. “Since 2011, traffic through the intersection has actually decreased, so the warrants still will not be met.”

To determine whether stoplights are needed, officials follow a Federal Highway Administration manual that lays out nine factors that should be considered, including traffic volume over different times, pedestrian traffic, school crossings and whether it’s near a railroad crossing.

Speicher also checked crash data for the intersection and said “the intersection is performing well.”

“Crash rates are actually lower than other comparable intersections around the state,” he said. “There has been a slight increase in traffic through the intersection while construction takes place on I-74 around St. Joseph, but the intersection still seems to be operating relatively well.”