Traffic Signs

 

 

Deaf / Blind Child Area Sign Policy

Purpose

To establish criteria for the installation of Deaf and Blind Child Warning signs (W15-10).

Information

The Manual does not establish any criteria for the installation of these warning signs. Therefore, the Washtenaw County Road Commission is establishing its own criteria for the installation of these signs.

Procedure

  1. A resident living on a street or road under the jurisdiction of the Washtenaw County Road Commission, who wishes to have a Deaf or Blind Child warning sign installed must submit a written request to the Washtenaw County Road Commission. The following criteria apply:
    1. The hearing and/or visually-impaired child for whom the sign(s) are to be installed must be under eighteen years of age.
    2. Written verification of the child’s hearing problem and/or documentation stating the child is legally blind must be received from a school official or a licensed physician.
  2. If the above criterion is met, a sign will be installed at the direction of the Washtenaw County Road Commission. The following guidelines will be followed:
    1. The Deaf and Blind Child warning signs shall be placed according to the procedures established in the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
    2. In the case where the child is confirmed to having both a hearing and visual impairment a “Deaf Child” sign will be chosen for installation.
    3. The sign placement will be reviewed at least every two years to insure that the above criterion is still being met.

Placement of Deer Crossing Signs

Purpose:

To establish guidelines to be followed when considering installation and placement of Deer Crossing signs (W11-3).

Information

The Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control devices lists Deer Crossing signs. However, it does not provide criteria for the installation and removal of these signs. Therefore, Washtenaw County Road Commission is defining criteria to be used in the installation and removal of Deer Crossing signs.

Procedure

A deer-car accident history should be researched for the stretch of road in question. Installation of deer Crossing signs is warranted if five deer car related accidents have occurred in a twelve month period. Placement of the signs should be reviewed every third year. Any necessary adjustments in the placement or removal of the sign should be made according to the following guidelines:

  • A deer-car accident study should be conducted for the stretch of road encompassing the deer crossing area and one mile to either side of the area.
  • The placement of signs shall be adjusted to reflect any change in the concentration of deer-car accidents in the study area.
  • When the accident study shows that no deer-car related accidents have occurred in the study area in a minimum of twelve month period, the sign may be removed at the discretion of Washtenaw County Road Commission.

This policy shall be superseded by any and all changes to the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices which affect the criteria and/or placement of deer crossing signs.

Neighborhood Watch Signs

The Washtenaw County Road Commission allows Neighborhood Watch signs to be placed within the right-of-way on local and subdivision roads but not on primary roads. The Road Commission works with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department's Neighborhood Watch Coordinator to stake proper sign locations within the county road right-of-way. It is then the responsibility of the Neighborhood Watch Association to install and maintain the Neighborhood Watch signs.

Road Name Signs

The Washtenaw County Road Commission places road name signs at the intersections of all county roads. These road name signs have yellow lettering on a blue background. The Road Commission receives frequent requests to replace or repair road name signs. When the Road Commission is notified of a missing road name sign, the signs are added to a list. If you see a missing road name please e-mail us so it can be added.

Stop Signs

One of the most common requests received by the Washtenaw County Road Commission is for a stop sign. Stop signs are installed at an intersection only after a traffic engineering study of the existing conditions indicates that their installation is appropriate. The Road Commission follows the guidelines and warrants for installing signs set forth in the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD). These warrants examine the traffic volumes, crash history, traffic flow and sight distance at the location to determine if a stop sign should be used. Each year, the Road Commission receives numerous requests for stop signs in order to reduce speeding. However, the purpose of a stop sign is to assign right-of-way at an intersection, not control speed. Research shows that stop signs installed for the wrong purposes often create more problems than they solve. While unwarranted stop signs may decrease speeds in the immediate vicinity of the sign, they actually increase speeds between the signs. Unwarranted stop signs have a high non-compliance rate which leads to a loss of respect for all traffic control devices. Proper installation of stop signs will maximize the safety and efficiency of county roads and help ensure that citizens maintain a healthy respect for the community's traffic control systems.

Passing and No Passing Zones

When a request for a passing or no passing zone is received, the Road Commission reviews that section of roadway according to the criteria outlined in the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. These criteria evaluate the available sight distance along the primary roadway and the speed limit of the roadway at vertical and horizontal curves. If adequate sight distance is not available, a no passing zone will be established. Each year, the Road Commission receives requests to modify passing zones due to concerns from drivers being passed turning off of or onto a road in the middle of a passing zone. Unfortunately the presence of driveways or crossroads is not a factor in this analysis because traffic traveling on the primary road has the right of way to any traffic waiting to enter its flow of traffic. Keep in mind, the practice of changing pavement markings from passing zones to no passing zones in areas that meet or exceed the sight distance criteria is not a sound engineering solution to a driver whose hazardous passing maneuver ignores turning vehicles or speed limits.

Establishing Speed Limits

Each year the Washtenaw County Road Commission receives many questions and requests regarding speed limits on county roadways. Many of these concerns materialize as requests for reduced speed limits. The purpose of a speed limit is to promote a safe roadway environment for motorists and pedestrians as well as to enable police enforcement of unsafe driving behavior. In order to promote the safest driving environment possible, established speed limits must be realistic.

How Speed Limits are Established on County Roads

Michigan State law governs the methods by which speed limits are established on the county road system. The Michigan Vehicle Code was updated in 2006 with unanimous approval from the Michigan House and Senate. The revisions to the vehicle code established a new prima facie method for determining speed limits. The revisions also placed great emphasis on establishing an absolute speed limit through an engineering study and the traffic control order process. The Legislature, Michigan State Police, County Road Association of Michigan (CRAM), and representatives of the Washtenaw County Road Commission worked together to develop the changes in the vehicle code. The methods established for determining speed limits are based on empirical evidence and practices that are used throughout the country. These methods are designed to promote uniform operating speeds across the driving population and to provide the safest driving conditions possible.

The Basic Speed Law and Prima Facie Speed Limits

The Michigan Vehicle Code states that at the most basic level a “person operating a vehicle on a highway shall operate that vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper”. The Vehicle Code places responsibility on the driver to be diligent and aware of their surrounding while being fully in control of their vehicle at all times. The Michigan Vehicle Code establishes the maximum speed limit on all highways as 55 mph. Prima facie reductions to this maximum speed include 25 mph in business districts, 25 mph on platted subdivision streets, and 15 mph in mobile home parks; these prima facie speeds do not need to be posted speed limits. Other prima facie speed reductions are based on access point density. The Michigan Vehicle Code allows for reductions in maximum speed limits to 45, 35, or 25 mph on the basis of access point density per half mile. Prima facie speed reductions on the basis of accesses points require the speed limit to be posted on the roadway. Maximum speed limit reductions made through this method require a field investigation where the number of access points (commercial driveways, residential driveways, and intersections) per half mile is determined. Reductions to the speed limit can be made if any of the following criteria are met:

  • 25 miles per hour on a highway segment with 60 or more vehicular access points within 1/2 mile
  • 35 miles per hour on a highway segment with not less than 45 vehicular access points but no more than 59 vehicular access points within 1/2 mile
  • 45 miles per hour on a highway segment with not less than 30 vehicular access points but no more than 44 vehicular access points within 1/2 mile
 

Sign Removal Brochure

Links

Michigan State Police Traffic Laws Contains a list of new traffic laws