Local Roads and City Streets

Local Roads/City Streets

Arterials are fed, in turn, by local roads and city streets. These are often the streets outside our home. Some are larger and carry low volumes of traffic usually, and speed limit ranges from 15 m.p.h. (around schools), to 25 m.p.h. As they move toward larger arterials, the roads widen and speed limit increases to 35 and 45 m.p.h.

These roads are divided by broken white lines running down the center, although the street running outside your house may not have a center line at all.


It is impossible to drive around or through cities and towns without encountering intersections. Even tiny villages or towns have intersections, though they may not be regulated with a street light or signs. Simply put, intersections occur when two or more roads meet.  

What to Know and Do When Approaching an Intersection

  • Be sure you are in the proper lane; i.e., that it does not become a turn lane.
  • SEARCH all corners of the intersection.
  • If your line of sight is blinded or restricted, slow down, change lane position.
  • Check MIRRORS often.
  • Look to front, rear, left, right.
  • Brake slightly, tap breaks particularly if someone is closely following so they see you intend to stop.
  • Brake gently to stop at intersection.

At An Intersection

  • It is not unusual to brake to stop, and immediately the intersection light turns green when you are almost at a full stop. If so, release the brake, and slowly accelerate through the intersection.
  • If there is a yellow light as you approach the intersection, slow to a stop. You should all ready be slowing down. Remain stopped until the light turns green, and the traffic in front of you moves off and allows you a second or two space cushion.
  • If someone is following too closely, tap the breaks a bit to let them know you are slowing down. Hopefully, they will slow down and increase their space cushion.

Why is maintaining a space cushion front and back so important? To avoid a collision front or back.

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