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Unwarranted or inappropriately placed signals can:
* Increase overall travel times by adding stops and delay for through traffic. * Cause the diversion of traffic onto residential streets to avoid the signal. * Cause a significant increase in rear-end collisions. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUT
• Does the number of vehicles on intersecting streets create confusion or congestion? • Is main street traffic so heavy that drivers on the side street will try to cross unsafely? • Are there enough pedestrians trying to cross a busy main street to create a hazard? • Does the number of school children crossing a street require special controls for their protection? • Will a signal allow for continuous, uniform traffic flow with a minimum number of vehicle stops? • Does an intersection's crash history indicate that a signal will reduce the possibility of a collision?
Our staff will compare the existing conditions against nationally accepted minimum standards established by The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) - Section 4C. At intersections where standards have been met, the signals generally operate effectively with good public compliance. Where not met, compliance is generally reduced resulting in additional hazards.While a properly placed traffic signal improves the flow and decreases crashes, an unnecessary one can be a source of danger and annoyance to all who use an intersection: pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
Unwarranted or inappropriately placed stop signs can:
* Increase traffic delay, speed and congestion with little or no gain in safety. In fact, safety is sometimes reduced. * Frustrate and anger motorists, who may divert to less suitable streets. * Reduce the credibility of stop signs and cause them to be ignored.
Although the physical installation of a stop sign is relatively inexpensive, studies have shown that there are "associated" costs involved which must also be considered:
* The sign must be maintained after installation. * Extra fuel is consumed when vehicles stop and then re-accelerate - 24 hours per day. * Extra fuel consumption also leads to increased air pollution. Stopping 5,000 vehicles per day generates 15 tons of additional pollutants per year.
A common reason for requesting an all-way stop is to encourage speeding drivers to slow down. It is important to note that Section 2B.04, Paragraph 05 of the MUTCD states: “YIELD or STOP signs should not be used for speed control.” Installation of an all-way stop intersection solely to slow traffic would constitute a violation of 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F and will not be considered. The FHWA based this decision on a large volume of research, some of which is available online, which indicates that:
• All-way stops do not control speeds except under very narrow conditions, and• Drivers learn to ignore unwarranted stop signs risking similar behavior at other intersections. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUT
The majority of traffic signals in ACC are designed to be either traffic responsive or part of a traffic signal system. Traffic responsive traffic signals are designed to adjust their patterns based on traffic demand. These systems work well, but are limited to locations where we can communicate with the traffic signals from our office. Typically, ACCTE will use traffic counts that have been taken at the intersection to model the traffic signal operation and determine the preset maximum time. Timing for traffic signals that are part of a traffic signal system is typically designed to progress groups of vehicles along a corridor. The department uses traffic modeling software along with traffic counts to determine appropriate traffic signal timings to progress these groups of vehicles along a corridor. Once timing has been programmed for the traffic signal, we will observe traffic flow and further adjust the traffic signal timing to accommodate site-specific issues as needed.
Call Traffic Engineering for the replacement of downed or missing signs. Provide information on the location of the sign, including the street block or intersection, side of street, color of sign and what the sign says.
During daytime work hours M-F (6:00 AM - 4:30 PM), call (706) 613-3460. For after hours, weekends, and holidays, call the Athens-Clarke County Police dispatch (706)-546-5900.
Athens-Clarke County does not install these signs. Nationwide studies have shown no evidence that these signs help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents or lower travel speeds. Furthermore, Federal standards do not support these signs because the signs are suggesting that it is acceptable behavior for children to play in the streets. The Federal Highway Administration has revised the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices to no longer include "Children at Play" signs which makes installation of such signs a violation of 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F.
Inductive “loops”- Are installed to detect vehicles approaching a signalized intersection. A” loop” is wire that is installed in a two inch deep slot that is cut into the asphalt in a rectangle shape which is 6 feet wide by 20 -30 feet long. This “loop” is placed just behind the white line referred to as a “stop bar”. When a vehicle is on top of the “loop” the traffic signal controller will see a change of electrical inductance due to the metal content of the vehicle. If a vehicle comes to a stop past the “stop bar” the traffic signal controller will “NOT” see the presence of a vehicle and the traffic signal will not change. Drivers should always place their vehicle just behind the “stop bar” for proper traffic signal operation.
Please report malfunctioning traffic signals to Traffic Engineering at 706-613-3460.
Answers to Common Questions about these cameras:
• The video on these cameras is not recorded. • These cameras are not used for photo-enforcement of red-light running. • Video detection cameras will detect bicycles when stopped behind the STOPBAR (large white stripe located in each lane at every intersection for vehicle stop placement).
During daytime work hours - M-F (6:00 AM - 4:30 PM), report a damaged or malfunctioning traffic signal to the Traffic Engineering Office (706) 613-3460.
After hours, weekends, and holidays, report the signal to Athens-Clarke County Police dispatch (706) 546-5900.
PLEASE NOTE: in the event a traffic signal is not operating correctly, the intersection should be treated as a 4-way stop.