Traffic Operations

  • Traffic Signs – Field Operations personnel fabricate, install, repair, and maintain approximately 30,000 traffic control and street name signs in Prescott as well as provide support for special events. Certain types of signs are essential for public safety and are handled as emergencies and replaced within 24 hours. These would include Stop, Yield, Do-Not-Enter and One Way signs. To report a missing or damaged sign please contact us at (928)777-1126 during normal business hours or (928)445-3131 after hours.
  • Traffic Striping – Pavement striping in the City of Prescott is accomplished by contract every year during the spring and summer. Red curb requests and special striping modifications however can be made as needed by contacting us at (928)777-1130.
  • Traffic Signals – The Traffic Signal Crew is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the City’s 51 traffic signals, interconnection wiring, 5 permanent traffic volume counting stations, and 335 historic district street light fixtures throughout Prescott. Maintenance and cleaning of traffic signals are scheduled regularly to help ensure safe and efficient operation. To report a malfunctioning traffic signal or street light, please contact us at (928)777-1130 during normal business hours or (928)708-2367 after hours.
  • Traffic Data collection and management – The Transportation Services Division also performs traffic engineering and field investigations for speed studies, traffic counts, traffic signal and stop warrant evaluations, collision statistics, school zones, traffic calming program, traffic safety education, visibility restrictions, construction traffic control and special event coordination.


  • Engineering
  • Ian Mattingly
  • Traffic Engineer
  • Public Works Building

    433 N Virginia St

  • 928-777-1130


  • New traffic signals are normally driven by several things; Development which increases volumes and vehicle delay at a particular location (because of a major jump in use, new shopping center, roadway connection, etc.) and existing intersections that experience increased volumes, collisions and vehicle delay because of surrounding growth or in fill.

  • The City has a traffic signal timing policy that sets guidelines (recommendations and minimum times allowed) for yellow, all red, pedestrian crossing and minimum green times. Based on these initial settings we use the volume of traffic entering each leg of the intersection, whether the signal is connected to other signals nearby or in a network and the type of movements it has (protected left turns, right turn overlap etc.) and enter the information into special signal timing software that allows us to provide the most efficient operation.

  • Once the timing is in operation we watch the signal to ensure it works in the real world. If there is any need to change the timing we can do it in the field to “fine tune” the system.

  • Traffic signals are a tremendous investment for the City. Design and installation costs can exceed $250,000 for every signal installed (plus monthly power and maintenance costs). Therefore, the City must carefully prioritize where and when traffic signals will be installed.

  • Roundabouts typically can move more cars through an intersection with less overall delay than a traffic signal because the cars only have to yield upon entry. This free flow movement results in the roundabout moving a lot more vehicles than a traffic signal that must stop all vehicles in one direction to allow even a single vehicle to turn off the cross street. Another major benefit of roundabouts is the increased safety provided. Unlike traffic signals which tend to have collisions that result in injury (high speed T-bones and left turn angle collisions) roundabouts normally have low speed sideswipe of rear end collision at the entry points.

  • A signal may increase the amount of traffic into and out of your neighborhood because a signal often can indicate that the street is a through street even though it may not be. Signals cause unnecessary delays to drivers during certain times of the day. This increase in delay increases air pollution. It can also cause driver frustration if there is not much traffic on the major street.

  • The City’s Transportation Services Division (under the Public Works Department) examines the existing conditions to decide if a traffic signal is appropriate at a particular location. The number of pedestrians, traffic flow, collision history, vehicle delay and presence of school children and bicyclists are then studied to determine if a traffic signal is the best means of controlling traffic at the location and meets certain guidelines (warrants) set forth by the Federal Highway Administration. Once a determination is made that the signal meets these criteria the signal will be City’s project schedule and budgeted for design and construction.

  • Each traffic control device has its own benefits and drawbacks and each must be carefully considered before installation. Normally intersection progress from no control to yield to stop to signal control based on the need to provide enhanced direction to the user. Guidelines for the installation of each type of device are covered in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and should be followed closely to ensure they are properly used.

  • When determining whether or not a traffic signal is necessary at a specific location, the City’s Transportation Services Division evaluates and tries to answer several questions:

    • How much traffic is there on the intersecting streets
    • Are high levels of traffic consistent throughout the day or just during a few hours?
    • Is there a lot of pedestrian traffic?
    • Is the street a wide, high speed, and busy thoroughfare?
    • Are school children crossing the street?
    • Will a signal improve the flow of traffic or cause gridlock with other nearby signals?
  • When a pedestrian feels that the marked crosswalk provides protection from oncoming traffic. Two painted lines do not provide protection against an oncoming vehicle and the real burden of safety has to be on the pedestrian to be alert and cautious while crossing any street. A pedestrian can stop in less than three feet, while a vehicle traveling at 25 miles per hour will require 60 feet and at 35 miles per hour approximately 100 feet. Crosswalks exist at all intersections unless signs prohibit pedestrian crossing. Some of these crosswalks are marked with painted lines, but most of them are not. Pedestrian crosswalk marking is a method of encouraging pedestrians to use a particular crossing. Such marked crossings may not be as safe as an unmarked crossing at the same location. Therefore, crosswalks should be marked only where necessary for the guidance and control of pedestrians, to direct them to the safest of several potential routes.

  • New signals are requested by citizens, other public and private agencies, council members and other City departments.

  • Transportation engineers world-wide are moving toward the use of symbol signs in place of word signs because they are easier for people to comprehend in a shorter amount of time. Easily recognized symbols also accommodate people who can’t read English.

  • The downtown square is the City’s heaviest pedestrian area and the countdown heads provide the users the highest direction for crossing. The countdown display allows users to see just how much time is left to cross providing them the information needed to make a decision to start the crossing movement or not. The new heads have resulted in fewer pedestrians being caught in the intersection on an opposing movement which increases safety and reduced delay to vehicles driving downtown.

  • The City is studying these locations o determine the best possible traffic control device. This is done by comparing the roundabout and a traffic signal at each location based on the number of vehicles which can be served efficiently, the delay of traffic using the intersection and the effects on safety. A roundabout will be used only if it proves to be the better device.

  • Signals don’t always prevent accidents… The City of Prescott’s Transportation Services Division wants to ensure that when a traffic signal is installed at a specific location, traffic and pedestrian safety are improved. You may be surprised that traffic signals do not always prevent accidents.

    Engineering studies have shown that in many instances, accidents increase after a traffic signal is installed. Not only are pedestrians lulled into a false sense of security because of the new signal, but studies have shown that rear-end collisions often increase too.


Sale & Redevelopment of Prescott City Hall

Posted on November 19, 2021

Request for Proposals Process Open until April 7, 2022 The City of Prescott is seeking proposals for the sale and redevelopment of City Hall located at 201 South Cortez Street. This is a highly visible downtown corner location adjacent to… Read more »

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