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Frequently Asked Questions

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Traffic Signing, Marking and Signals


Traffic control devices shall be defined as all signs, signals, markings and other devices used to regulate, warn, or guide traffic, placed on, over, or adjacent to a street, highway, pedestrian facility, or bikeway by authority of a public agency having jurisdiction.

Columbia County and the State of Georgia have adopted the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways.  This federal manual is recognized as the national standard and contains the basic principles that govern the design and use of traffic control devices for all streets and highways open to public travel.

Q.  Where do I stop at an intersection when there is both a stop bar and a stop sign?
A.  The stop bar is supposed to be placed at the critical point.  It should be placed where one will be out of the flow of oncoming traffic and where the stopping vehicle can see oncoming traffic.  According to code requirements, the stop sign can be anywhere from six feet to fifty feet from the edge of the intersecting street.    

Q.  Can I get a speed limit sign on my street?
A.  The placement of speed limit signs are based on several factors.  One of the main factors is the functional classification of the roadway.  If it is a local road (typical subdivision street), speed limit signs are normally placed only on the local roads that serve as entrances/exits to subdivisions.  Usually, none of the interior subdivision streets have speed limit signs placed. 

Q.  Will a lower speed limit reduce speeding on my street?
A.  This is a common myth, research conducted throughout the country over several decades has shown that drivers are influenced by the type of street and the current traffic conditions and not the posted speed limit.

Q.  Who do I call if a traffic signal is not working properly?
A.  You can report the problem to Traffic Engineering  at (706) 868-4223 or email us. 

Q.  What is the contact information for the Georgia DOT Area Engineer's office?
A.   Area 4 services Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Warren, and Wilkes counties.  They are located at 4260 Frontage Road, Augusta, GA  30909.   Phone number: (706) 855-3466

Q.  I want to stop speeding on my street, can a stop sign be installed?
A.  According to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a stop sign shall not be used to control speed.

Q.  How do I get a "Children at Play" sign in my neighborhood?
A.  Columbia County no longer installs "Children at Play" or "Watch for Children" signs.  The Manual of  Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) no longer recognizes "Children at Play" signs.  There is no evidence to prove that this sign helps reduce pedestrian accedents or lower speeds and in some instances studies have shown that speeds have increased in areas where these signs are present.  Currently, when a "Children at Play" or "Watch for Children" sign is present in a work area, it will be removed.

Q.  Who do I need to call to request sidewalks?
A.  You can call the Columbia County Road Construction Department at (706) 447-7600.


Traffic Studies and Speed Hump Program

Q.  I need traffic count information along a road I am planning to open a business, who do I contact?
A.  You can call the Traffic Engineering Analyst at (706) 447-7611 for this information or you may visit the Georgia Department of Transportation website at http://www.dot.ga.gov/DS/Data

Q.  Who do I call to request Speed Humps?
A.  Traffic Engineering at (706) 868-4223.  The current Speed Hump Program Policy Manual is also available on our website.

Q.  What is the difference between a speed "hump" and a speed "bump"?
A.  A speed "bump" is a shorter speed control device that is primarily used in parking lots, they are approximately 12-15 inches wide.  A speed "hump" is used as a traffic control device on streets and roads.  They are approximately 20 feet or wider.

Q.  What is the "85th Percentile Speed"?
A. The 85th percentile speed is defined as the speed at which eighty-five percent of drivers are traveling at or below, while fifteen percent of drivers are exceeding that speed.


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