Traffic Signal & Communication Shop
The Traffic Signal & Communication Shop:
- maintains traffic signals, pedestrian crossing signals, and flashing lights at school crossings throughout the city;
- maintains the decorative City-owned street lights; and
- installs and maintains the communication systems in City-owned vehicles.
Although most street lights around the city are owned and maintained by NorthWestern Energy, the Traffic Signal & Communication Shop maintains the decorative street lights around Missoula, such as those downtown.
To report a burned out street light, call NorthWestern Energy at 1-888-467-2669, or use their online.
The State of Montana Department of Transportation owns and regulates most of the traffic signals in the Missoula area, and the Signal & Communications Shop is contracted to maintain the signals. Currently, there are 63 signals in our area. We also maintain 23 school crossings with amber flashing lights.
Traffic signals are placed at a location only when that location meets specific requirements described in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD is a Federal Highway Administration publication and is followed to the letter by all agencies involved with traffic signals, street signs, striping, road safety, and more.
Each traffic signal is different in its own way. It is engineered for its unique environment and utilizes new technologies as they are developed. Some differences in design are simply matters of choice from the engineers. We have many different signal designs in Missoula because many engineers were involved over the years and technology has changed along the way.
- How do traffic signals work?
- How does a traffic signal sense cars?
- Why do some lights stay green when there are no cars present?
- How does an emergency vehicle, such as a fire truck or ambulance, change the signal to give them a green light in the direction they are traveling?
- Can I make a light change to green by flashing my headlights?