Saturday, April 27, 2019

Cooksville resident, Mary Kohlman asked me to publish the DOT's response to her letter regarding traffic safety issues in Cooksville.  First, here is Mary's initial letter.

We are a small unincorporated town in Rock county. This is where we live, walk, visit with and care for our neighbors.
Recently, on October 1 we had a community meeting to address traffic safety concerns for the two state highways that run through our community. We had Rock county sheriff presence as well. Several years ago, I personally reached out to the DOT with my concerns on the frequent collisions at the intersection of 138 and 59 and was pleased with your concern and timely response. I do believe it has helped by adding the two signs warning motorists of a hazard at that intersection.
Our current concerns are primarily speed enforcement along the roadways and intersection hazards.
We would like to propose several solutions to help with  of the problem of speed. One would be adding the Yellow Intersection signs coming in on Hwy 59 heading  West and East with the reduced speed of 35 MPH , and on Hwy 138 at the intersection of Webster St. and 138, with reduced speed to 25 MPH.
Also, we have several private driveways on Hwy 59 that cannot see approaching  traffic from the East. We believe signage to warn motorists of this hazard would be prudent.
We are also concerned about motorists passing in town on both of these roads, particularly  on 138 which is all Passing zone heading North except for a few yards from the intersection of 59. There are multiple driveways and 3 businesses on this stretch of road. Is it possible to make this a no passing zone from the Badfish Creek bridge to the intersection of 59 and 138?
Thank you for your help with these concerns. I look forward to hearing from you. I will relay your response to my community. You may contact me at
Sincerely, Mary Kohlman

And the response...

From: Mayer, Ryan - DOT <>
To: Mary E. Kohlman <>
Sent: ‎Monday‎, ‎February‎ ‎11‎, ‎2019‎ ‎05‎:‎34‎:‎17‎ ‎PM‎ ‎CST
Subject: RE: Cooksville Traffic concerns

Hi Mary,
Thank you for your patience.  I apologize for the delayed 
response.  I have discussed your concerns and suggestions 
with our signing and marking section.  Our response is as follows:

Yellow Intersection Warning Signs with reduced Speed Plaques
We reserve the use of intersection warning signs for 
locations where there is not sufficient sight distance 
to see/react to a vehicle at an intersection.  In this
 case, in both the 35 MPH zone on Highway 138 and 
the 45 MPH zone on Highway 59 there is sufficient 
time/sight distance to see the upcoming intersections 
due to the relatively flat and straight design of these
 roads through Cooksville.  Even when approaching from
 the east on STH 59, a driver can see the Highway 138
 intersection from approximately 700 ft, which is more 
than adequate in a 45 MPH zone.  We try to avoid the use 
of these signs in locations where there is sufficient sight 
distance in order to preserve their warning effect in locations
 where sight truly is deficient.

Hidden Driveway Signs
Hidden driveway signs are not an approved sign for state 
roads in Wisconsin.  Are there trees or bushes that restrict
 their view?  I f so, we could work on having them
 trimmed if they are in the right-of-way.  If the hill on 
Highway 59 is the issue, we do have a warning sign that 
says “Hill Blocks View” but it has requirements for an 
amount of driveway traffic that exceeds the amount a 
typical residence would ever generate.

Passing/No Passing Zones
Passing zones are marked and signed on state highways
 to indicate where a driver can safely complete a passing 
maneuver at a given speed limit under normal light and 
weather conditions.  This stretch of Hwy 138 is straight
 and flat and provides a good opportunity to safely pass 
another vehicle.  We do not paint no-passing zones to 
eliminate all possible conflicts and do not automatically 
paint no-passing zones through intersections or driveways.  
It is very important for vehicles on the side road or driveway
 to yield the right of way to all vehicles on the mainline.    
With all that being said, there is one thing I can think of 
that we would allow and may be of interest/help to you all.  
Considering the fact that the Rock County Sheriff’s office 
likely doesn’t have the ability/personnel to patrol Cooksville 
on a regular basis, have you thought about installing
 dynamic speed display signs.  You probably have 
seen them around (some in Stoughton).  In my 
experience the communities who have them seem to 
think they do a nice job in helping reduce speeds.  
We allow them to be placed at the beginning of reduced 
speed zones entering communities.  We would require 
a local unit of government be the one requesting them 
and that they be installed and maintained by the local unit 
of government.  I have attached our policy on these if you 
are interested in learning more.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments 
on this, and once again, I apologize for the delay in responding.

 Thank you,
Ryan A. Mayer, P.E.
Traffic Safety Engineer
WisDOT SW Region - Madison Office
(608) 246-3810

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