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I ran across a very interesting editorial from the Marshall Independent recently. The issue was what a town ought to do when the power goes out and street lights go out. The suggestion was that maybe temporary stop signs should be put up. Unfortunately that can create bigger issues.

MnDOT says that’s OK if the city wants to do that, but then the city accepts the liability and responsibility for the confusion temporary stop signs could cause when power is restored and when traffic signals go from dark to active.

Apparently, with the stop signs and lights going, there is a city caused problem. Seems to me that time without any control devices will be an even greater problem. The state’s position seems to suggest that the town should do nothing. One of the comments had an interesting suggestion:

Why not set them to return to flashing red when power is restored, but to stay that way until signs are removed and then manually reset lights? All that would take is to issue a control box key to the city public works. Most St.Paul police carry these keys, why not Marshall police or public works?

As with any sudden emergency, it is important that everyone slow down and drive vigilantly. Seems like the state ought to take a look at this issue and maybe listen to the comments.


  1. Gravatar for Daniel 8791

    Quite an interesting discussing there, with that comment to the Independent making a whole lot of sense to me. I've seen it here in Saint Paul when there has been no power to the lights at all and also the flashing red reset after power comes back. I think all towns and cities of over 1,000 people (with traffic lights) should employ this control to their city workers, as it seems to me the best current solution available.

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