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Road FAQ's

Where is Public Works located?

How can I find out about road conditions?

What road improvement or road approach requirements can be expected when applying for a building permit?

Where can I get a copy of the Road Approach Ordinance and Permit Application?

What are standards for newly built roads?

My building permit involves connecting to utilities in the road right of way. What do I do?

Dust control?

Traffic FAQ's

What can we do to help slow traffic down in our neighborhood?

How are speed limits determined?

What effect do posted speed limits have on actual traffic speeds?

What about installing more speed signs in our neighborhood?

What are traffic control devices?

Will the County install "Children at Play" signs on my street?

Will the County install a stop sign in our neighborhood to slow drivers down?

Can our neighborhood streets have speed bumps installed to slow drivers down?

No Parking signs procedures/standards?

Sign Request Policy?

Engineering FAQ's

Right of Way Encroachments? New? Existing?

Paving a gravel road?

Road vacation?

Vegetation Management FAQ's - click here

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Road FAQ's Answers

QUESTION:  Where is Public Works located?

ANSWER:  Tillamook County Public Works is located at 503 Marolf Loop by the County Fairgrounds. For driving directions click here.

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QUESTION:  How can I find out about road conditions?

ANSWER:  For County Roads: call the Public Road Information Line: 503-842-3451 (updated by the Road Dept during work hours, 911 other times).  You can also call the Road Department for county road conditions during other than storm conditions at 503-842-3419

For State Highway road conditions: from within Oregon 1-800-977-6368; from outside Oregon 1-503-588-2941

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QUESTION:  What road improvement or road approach requirements can be expected when applying for a building permit?

ANSWER:  Please review the Road Approach Ordinance #44 for how it may apply to your building permit.  After reading the Ordinance, further questions can be answered by contacting the Public Works Permit Staff.  Ordinance #44 can be found on the Public Works Documents page.

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QUESTION:  Where can I get a copy of the Road Approach Ordinance and Permit Application?

ANSWER:  The Road Approach Ordinance (#44) and the permit application are available on the Public Works Documents page.  Hard copies are available at Public Works.

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QUESTION:  What are standards for newly built roads?

ANSWER:  If your road question is very specific and none of the below apply contact Public Works for further assistance.

Major Partition or Subdivision Roads
If the road is part of a major partition or subdivision, Section 42 of the Land Division Ordinance (available through the Department of Community Development) has most of the applicable standards.  After reading the Ordinance, further questions on road standards can be directed to Public Works.  Questions on partition or subdivision procedures can be directed to Community Development. 

If adjacent property owners are interested in improving an existing platted or substandard road, questions on improvement standards can be directed to the engineering staff at Public Works.

City Urban Growth Boundary
If the proposed road is within a city Urban Growth Boundary, the respective city road standards may apply. Contact Public Works with further questions.

Single Lot Development
If the road is part of a single lot development (i.e. a building permit) see Question #1.

Wetland Location
If the road is located in or near wetlands, there may be some specific wetland issues that you must resolve before any sort of road construction. Wetlands questions can be directed to Coastal Resource Planner at Community Development.

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QUESTION:  My building permit involves connecting to utilities in the road right of way. What do I do?

ANSWER:  Contact the respective utility company or, if in doubt, contact the Permit Staff at Public Works.

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QUESTION:  Dust control?

ANSWER:  The Road Department is no longer providing dust control due to lack of funding.

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Traffic FAQ's Answers

QUESTION:  What can we do to help slow traffic down in our neighborhood?

ANSWER:  Speeding is typical of a large and diverse family of problems that has a complex set of human responses and reactions at its foundation. People tend to drive at the speed that they feel is safe and appropriate. They are also affected by the speeds that others are driving. In many cases, the speeders are your neighbors (and possibly, you). For your local area roads, discussions among the neighbors can help to reduce the problem. The Traffic Safety Commission acquired a radar reader board that can be checked out through the Sheriff’s Office, 842-2561. That radar reader board can be an effective education tool to help remind road users of their speed. A speeding problem should be reported to the Sheriff's Office Department so that they can review the issue for possible enforcement in the area as their resources allow. Under those circumstances, it is helpful to be able to advise the Sheriff's Department as to days and times of day when the problem is most noticeable. It is our responsibility to drive safely and within the speed limit ourselves. Often, the most important part of the equation is YOU. When we drive safely and appropriately, it has a positive affect on the driving habits of others. The more of us that take that challenge seriously, the greater will be the positive impact on safety within our neighborhoods, and within our community, in general.

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QUESTION:  How are speed limits determined?

ANSWER:  A widely accepted principle is to set speed limits as near as practicable to the speed below which 85% of the vehicles are traveling on the highway. Experience has shown that approximately 85% of the motorists drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent. Speed limits thus established encourage voluntary compliance because they appear reasonable to the public. Those 15% of drivers who will not comply with reasonable speed limits are the drivers who are subject to enforcement action.

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QUESTION:  What effect do posted speed limits have on actual traffic speeds?

ANSWER:  Very little effect. There is a common belief among laymen, and even by some officials, that the mere posting of speed limit signs will cause drivers to react accordingly. This is not true and is why posted speed limits must be realistic to receive compliance. Unrealistically low speed limits will invite violation by responsible drivers. Enforcement of unreasonably low limits sets up the so-called "speed trap," which results in poor public relations. The posting of proper speed limits has the beneficial effects of smoothing traffic flow and aiding effective law enforcement.

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QUESTION:  What about installing more speed signs in our neighborhood?

ANSWER:  It is a common myth that posting slower speed signs forces drivers to slow down and will result in fewer traffic accidents. National research has shown that the prevailing traffic conditions and the type of street, not the posted speed limit, influence drivers. Generally, speed signs are typically installed at quarter-mile intervals on the major arterial streets and are posted at half-mile intervals on collector streets. Twenty-five mph speed signs are installed at the entrances to subdivisions where the speed zone changes from a higher posting (35 or 45 mph) to the residential speed (25-mph). It is not practical to install speed signs at the end of every residential street.  If an unreasonably low speed is posted, many drivers tend to ignore the signs. There are some drivers who, on the other hand, always try to stay within the posted speed. This can cause conflict between faster and slower drivers, resulting in more accidents. Traffic engineering studies help to determine the prevailing speed of most drivers using a certain street. Additionally, the studies take into account accident records and road conditions. An appropriate speed is then set based upon this data.

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QUESTION:  What are traffic control devices?

ANSWER:  Traffic Control devices are all signs, signals, markings, and devices placed on, or adjacent to, a street or highway by a public body having authority to regulate, warn, or guide traffic. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) outlines the basic principles in which the design and usage of traffic control devices are governed. Uniformity means treating similar situations in the same way. This simplifies the task of the driver because it aids in instant recognition and understanding. Uniformity aids police, courts and road users by giving everyone the same interpretation. It aids public highway officials through economy in manufacture, installation, maintenance, and administration. MUTCD is the publication that sets forth the basic principles, which govern the design and usage of traffic control devices. A National Committee that included state, county, and municipal representation prepared the Manual. The standards in this Manual with certain exceptions apply to all streets and highways regardless of the governmental agency having jurisdiction.

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QUESTION:  Will the County install "Children at Play" signs on my street?

ANSWER:  As a policy, the County does not install "Children at Play" signs. There are several reasons for this policy:

Every neighborhood has children, so an absence of the sign would incorrectly imply that children do not live in the area.

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QUESTION:  Will the County install a stop sign in our neighborhood to slow drivers down?

ANSWER:  Under the right conditions, STOP signs can play an important role in traffic safety. However, STOP signs installed in the wrong place usually create more problems than they solve. Many requests are received for STOP signs to interrupt traffic or slow traffic down. However, studies across the nation show that there are a high number of intentional violations when STOP signs are installed as nuisances or speed breakers.
STOP signs are installed at an intersection only after a careful engineering evaluation of the existing conditions indicates that their installation is appropriate. Four-way Stops are only helpful when traffic volumes are high and close to equal on all approaches to an intersection.

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QUESTION:  Can our neighborhood streets have speed bumps installed to slow drivers down?

ANSWER:  The County does not install “speed bumps” on County Roads. Primary reasoning is focused on liability injury to travelers and damage to vehicles. Additionally, speed bumps are a concern to most emergency services during their response to an emergency.
A jurisdiction that does use speed bumps usually has a very involved program. Under certain conditions, appropriately designed speed bumps can slow traffic within the immediate vicinity of such installations. Properly designed speed bumps involve an engineered design set to a given speed. They are typically 12-22 feet long and are installed in conjunction with pavement markings, advance signing and are most effective in curbed road sections (drivers might opt to drive over the road shoulder creating other maintenance and safety issues over time). Such installations are only appropriate on low volume, lower speed roadways. As with many other types of controls, improperly designed or inappropriately located speed bumps can have the opposite affect and increase the problem.
Speed bumps must impose reasonable reductions in speed. A speed bump installed on a higher speed road with the expectation of drivers slowing to a 20-25 mph speed creates the potential for sudden deceleration movements and/or loss of driver control.
There are adverse side-affects of even properly designed and located speed bumps. Studies have shown that drivers tend to accelerate after crossing a speed bump in order to make up lost time. Another side affect, which may be annoying to adjacent homeowners/residents, is the noise resulting from acceleration, deceleration, and vehicle noises (undercarriage, rattling parts, etc.) when crossing the bump. A third side affect is the frequent attempts by drivers to vary their approaches to the bump in order to lessen their impact and potentially increase their comfortable crossing speed.
One important element of a traffic calming or speed reduction program is enforcement. Often if there is enforcement to enforce existing traffic control measures, a speed bump may not be needed.
Lastly, infrequent or first-time users of a road typically will follow the posted or appropriate speed. It is often the local, regular road user that drives faster than the posted speed. It is often your neighbors and maybe even you. Neighborhood meetings to discuss the problem or temporary use of a radar reader board available through the Sheriff’s office for check-out can alert offenders to the problem or at least remind them to be safe.
Not all reasoning for not utilizing speed bumps is outlined above. While not every topic mention is applicable to Tillamook County, this speed bump flyer does outline a variety of arguments against speed bumps.

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QUESTION:  No Parking signs procedures/standards?

ANSWER:  Generally the primary considerations for a restricted parking zone are Safety & Health reasons. On County Roads, the Board of Commissioners are the approving authority for such restricted parking zones. The Board considers a No Parking after receipt of a staff report from Public Works with a recommendation. Past considerations of No Parking zone have had to balance citizen concerns of a No Parking zone being established in spite of another resident’s regular use of that area, No Parking zone requests that are related to other agendas (i.e. limiting access to the beach, etc.) and limiting already very limited Parking areas can often get controversial.

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QUESTION:  Sign Request Policy?

ANSWER:  Tillamook County Road Department often receives road signing requests. The purposes of this signing policy is to outline procedures for handling various types of signing requests in County right of ways.  For a copy of the Sign Request Policy please visit the Public Works Documents page.

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Engineering FAQ's Answers

QUESTION:  Right of Way Encroachments? New? Existing?

ANSWER:  A non-road related structure or feature in a public road is called encroachment. Placement of new encroachments in right of way is not endorsed or recommended by the County Road Department. Sometimes a new encroachment or authorization to keep an existing encroachment in the right of way may have merit. Ultimately the Board of Commissioners is the approval authority for encroachments. Details regarding procedures for consideration of a road right of way encroachment can be obtained by contacting the Public Works office.

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QUESTION:  Paving a gravel road?

ANSWER:  A citizen initiated request for the paving of a public (local access) gravel road is often handled through a Local Improvement District (LID) or Community Paving Agreement (CPA).  At this time, the Road Department does not have any available funding to contribute to paving public (local access) gravel roads.

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QUESTION:  Road vacation?

ANSWER:  Road vacation procedures for County right of ways are governed by State law.  Please contact the Road Department engineering staff for further information.

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Last updated: Thursday, March 09, 2017 03:11 PM

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