Traffic & Safety

Speed Feedback Signs Program

Intent of Program

Sign Feedback Sign

Install speed feedback signs to improve the safety and overall livability of Iowa’s local communities. These signs are proven traffic calming devices that will be placed along state highways within a community. The Iowa DOT will procure and install the signs at no cost to the city as long as the city agrees to accept ownership and will maintain the sign.

Speed management is a significant challenge for small cities in Iowa where the state highway through town serves a dual role. Outside of town, the roadway provides high-speed travel over long distances. But within the community, the same roadway accommodates local access, pedestrians of all ages, on-street parking, bicycles, and many other features unique to the character of a community. All of this presents both an enforcement challenge and a potential safety concern for the local residents.

 Purpose of Speed Feedback Signs

Sign Feedback Sign

A speed feedback sign measures the speed of approaching vehicles and displays the speed on a digital sign. Installing these signs:

  • Slows traffic through town
  • Improves safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Enhances the environment or "livability" of the streets for residents and visitors
  • Reduces the need for constant police enforcement
  • These devices provide speed feedback to drivers, they do not store data and do not conduct radar enforcement or result in automated speed violation tickets/citations

Attention icon

Program Eligibility

Incorporated cities with a population between 750 and 15,000 that are located along one or more state highways. Eligibility requirements may be relaxed in future years.

Program Details

Speed Feed back Sign

One-speed feedback sign assembly may be approved for each state highway approach to the community. For example, if a city has one state highway that runs through town, then up to two assemblies may be approved, one for each direction. 

The Iowa DOT will install a speed feedback sign assembly at each approved location. Each assembly will consist of a foundation, a pole, a speed feedback sign, a speed limit sign, a solar panel, and other hardware (similar to the image above). Sign assemblies will be installed in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and Iowa DOT standards.

No local funding or match is required. However, the local community is required to take ownership and maintenance responsibility of the sign assemblies once they are installed and operating. All equipment, including batteries, comes with a full 5-year warranty on the sign that will be transferred to the city upon installation. Labor costs to replace warranty equipment would be a city cost.

How to apply  

Interested cities should contact their local DOT district office (District Map). If the city meets the eligibility requirements, an on-site meeting will be set up to jointly determine proposed speed feedback sign locations. Following the meeting, the city will complete and submit an " Application for Approval of Traffic Control Device" form and the DOT representative will complete this "Site Visit form" sheet.

Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated on a variety of measures including, but not limited to, funding availability, crash history, grouping of devices for efficient installation, and the date applications are received.


Speed feedback sign assemblies will be provided and installed by the Iowa DOT at no cost to the city. No local match is required. As an FYI, the equipment cost for the 24”x30” sign with 12” display is $2,435, the 36”x48” sign with 18” display is $3,906, and the average  cost for footing/base/pole is around $1,194. Labor to install is additional but still not a city cost.


The city will own each sign assembly and will agree to inspect, operate, maintain it as outlined in the Traffic Control Device Agreement. A 5-year warranty is included. Repairs are the city’s responsibility.

Program’s funding level

Approximately $750,000 per year. Future program spending is contingent on available funding and program success. Initial installations are planned to begin in July 2023.

Application deadline


For more information

Contact your Iowa DOT district office (District Map).

DOT and Applicant Resources

Traffic Control Device application

Official document that cities must sign to request a sign.

Statewide Speed Feedback Sign Project

Inventory information and install details for each sign location.

Install & Ownership Information

Traffic Logix Signs

Carmanah Signs

18” LED Display Height, 36”x48” full sign size

Stalker Signs


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