TRAFFIC SIGNSAND SIGNALS

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					                                                                                                                         A Guide to

Traffic Signs and Signals
                                                                                                                        TRAFFIC
As a result of population and economic

growth, Kalamazoo County has experienced                                                                               SIGNSAND
increased traffic volume on county roads.

  To safely manage this expanded traffic and      For more information
                                                                                                                        SIGNALS
                                                                                                                           along
to permit the smooth flow of vehicles, both       This brochure has been prepared
                                                                                                                         Kalamazoo
along major roads and from side roads,            to provide information about                                          County Roads
additional traffic signs and signals have         traffic signs and signals.

become necessary. Such signs and signals are      If you have further questions

installed, however, only after careful analysis   or concerns about county-road

of traffic patterns, accidents and volumes to     traffic issues, we invite you

determine if they are warranted. Inappropriate    to call us or visit our offices

placement can compound a problem and              between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.,

even increase the risk of accidents.              Monday through Friday.

  If you are concerned about traffic problems
                                                  All programs, activities and services are provided equally without
at a specific location on a county-maintained     regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or handicap.


road, please call, fax or email us. The Road

Commission will inspect the location you cite

considering state rules, and then respond to
                                                             3801 East Kilgore Road
you its findings.                                            Kalamazoo, MI 49001
                                                             Telephone: (269) 381-3171
                                                             Fax: (269) 381-1760
                                                                                                                           (269) 381-3171
                                                             www.kalamazoocountyroads.com


                                                        Printed on recycled paper                          Rev. 2007
Traffic Signs                                        Traffic Signals                                         KCRC role in traffic signs,
Traffic signs come in a variety of shapes and        Traffic signals interrupt vehicle traffic flow at       signals, speed limits
designs. But their purpose is singular—to make       intersections to permit orderly pedestrian and          The Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic
driving as safe and efficient as possible for you,   vehicle movement. They also are installed to help       Control Devices is the Kalamazoo County
the motorist.                                        avoid certain types of accidents —such as right-        Road Commission’s definitive reference on
   There are three types of traffic signs:           angle collisions.                                       traffic signs and signals. This joint publication
                                                        Although it is commonly believed that traffic        of the Michigan Department of Transportation
Regulatory signs                                     signals can solve all traffic problems at intersec-     and the Michigan Department of State Police
N Speed limit signs                                  tions, unwarranted signals can lead to excessive        clearly indicates under what circumstances
   These signs are based on what is the reasonable   delay, disobedience of signal indications, increased    signals and signs are warranted.
and prudent speed for a given road. A traffic and    accident frequency—especially the rear-end type,           The Road Commission also enjoys a cooper-
engineering study is often conducted to determine    and the use of less adequate routes to try to           ative relationship with the Kalamazoo County
the properly posted speed limit. In addition, a      avoid signals.                                          Sheriff’s Department, which offers traffic-
prima facie speed limit may be established based        The State of Michigan has developed a set of         control recommendations. The responsibility
on the number of vehicular access points on a        eight guidelines, called warrants, for use in deter-    for setting speed limits on county-maintained
road segment.                                        mining whether a traffic signal is needed. The most     roads is shared by the Road Commission, your
N Yield signs                                        closely reviewed warrants include:                      local township and the Michigan State Police,
N Stop signs                                         N Minimum vehicular volume                              with the local police and the Kalamazoo
N Parking signs                                         Is sufficient traffic coming from the side road      County Sheriff’s Department providing the
                                                        to require a signal?                                 vital role of enforcement.
N Weight limit signs
                                                     N Interruption of continuous traffic                       The Road Commission purchases ready-
N Turn prohibition signs
                                                                                                             made traffic signs and maintains all traffic
N Lane-use control signs                                Is the main road’s traffic flow so constant that
                                                                                                             signs on county roads. Traffic signs and signals
                                                        side-road traffic cannot enter or cross the
                                                                                                             are routinely checked to determine maintenance
Warning signs                                           main road?
                                                                                                             needs. Vandalism of traffic signs is a constant,
These generally diamond-shaped warning signs         N Accident experience
                                                                                                             costly problem, consuming dollars that could
are necessary to alert motorists to existing or         Has a significant number of right-angle              be used for other road needs.
potential conditions on, ahead or adjacent to the       accidents occurred at this intersection?
roadway that may require increased awareness            Other warrants address pedestrian crossings,
or caution on the motorist’s part. Typical           peak traffic periods and delays.
situations that may warrant the use of these            During certain hours of the day or night, some
signs include:                                       traffic signals are timed to change to flashing
N Curve ahead                                        signals because of decreased traffic volume.
N Stop or signal ahead                               Flashers sometimes are used with four-way stop
N Pedestrian or railroad crossing                    signs as a motorist alert.
N Construction zone                                     Most of us are frustrated at one time or another
                                                     when trying to enter a main road. But traffic signals
Guidance signs                                       are not magic cures. An uncoordinated, whimsical
These signs are purely informational — road-name     approach to traffic signal placement can create
signs, route-marker signs and signs that provide     traffic-flow disruption, leading to a higher number
advance notice of the name of a side road.           of accidents.