Signs and Speed Zones

Please note: if you are concerned about high speed traffic we encourage you to thoroughly review the information presented here including the suggested links to brochures and other information. The process of addressing high speed traffic is very well defined, and becoming familiar with this information will benefit you as we work through the various steps in the process. Thank you in advance for investing the time.

By Ordinance, Jackson County Roads is committed to the policies and regulations contained in the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and the Oregon Supplement to the MUTCD. The MUTCD regulates traffic signs, signals, and pavement markings. The object of having all states and local jurisdictions in conformance with the MUTCD is for the sake of uniformity. Imagine the confusion during a long trip if each jurisdiction you passed through had its own version of traffic control devices.

signsSpeed zones must also be consistent throughout the state. Without uniformity, you might be able to legally travel at high speed in one city or county but receive a citation for traveling at the same speed in another. In order to ensure that speed zones are set in a uniform manner it is necessary that each area be investigated using the same criteria. The investigative work is done by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and all speed zones are set by the traffic management division of ODOT in Salem, Oregon. The ODOT website has further information about how speed zones are set, FAQ's, flow charts, brochures, etc.

Sign postTourist Oriented Directional (TOD) signage is also important to have standardized.  These are the blue guidance signs you might see for a tourist attraction or other place of business.  The process of installing TOD signs on county roads actually begins with the interested business contacting the State of Oregon Travel Information Council (TIC).  The TIC will determine qualification criteria are met and if there is availability on the state highway system.  If approved, the TIC will send the business applicant a letter including the location(s) of any necessary follow-up signs.  Please note the TIC charges an annual fee for this informational signage.  For any follow-up signs on Jackson County roads, please contact us for help in determining the best way to approach your project.  We will work with you on estimating the cost of the work, as well as ensuring you understand the ongoing maintenance requirements.  Signs are typically located near intersections where drivers need to make a turn, and are of a style similar to a street name sign - usually with an arrow added to indicate direction.  While the signs won't include logos or hours of operation, they will include enough information to ensure the public can get to your business by making the necessary turns at intersections.
How can I get a sign installed on a county road?
Call or write to Jackson County Roads. The Project Engineer, located at 200 Antelope Rd, White City, Oregon, 97503, (541) 774-6201, will assess your request and advise you on what action will be taken.  For Tourist Oriented Directional signage to a business location, please see the information above related to first contacting the Oregon Travel Information Council.
How about a sign on a local access road?
Jackson County Roads does not install or regulate signs on local access roads. Learn more about the different types of roads in our area.
How long does it take to get a sign installed?
Non-regulatory signs (advisory and warning signs) are normally installed within 4 working days from the time the County Engineer issues directions. Regulatory signs ("STOP", "YIELD", "NO PARKING", etc.) usually require about 2 to 3 weeks for installation. This is because the County Administrator must approve the regulatory sign order before installation if the sign is to be legally enforced.

Tourist Oriented Directional signage can take longer due to the process involving the Oregon Travel Information Council.  See the details above to help you get started with this type of sign project.
Can I have a sign installed for my private business?
Advertising signs for the private sector are to be located outside of the public right-of-way. Tourist Oriented Directional signs will be allowed in the right-of-way only after approval and recommendation by the Travel Information Council located in Salem (1-800-574-9397). Other informational and directional signing for general locations having regional significance, not related to private enterprise, will be allowed once an encroachment permit is applied for and approved by Jackson County Roads.
How do I go about getting a speed zone put on a county road?
You need to send a letter to the Project Engineer. The letter should specify the section of road to be considered, requested speed, and the reasons for the request. The Project Engineer will submit this and other data to ODOT for investigation if appropriate.
How long does it take to get speed signing installed?
Speed signing will be installed immediately after notification from ODOT that a new or revised speed limit has been entered. Generally, it takes from 4 to 9 months for the County to perform a preliminary investigation and prepare and submit the application to ODOT, and then for ODOT to conduct the investigation and reach a decision.
Can I get a speed zone on a gravel road?
No -- ODOT feels that conditions on gravel roads vary too much for a specific speed limit to be appropriate.
If there is no speed limit posted on a road, does it mean everyone can travel at 55 m.p.h.?
Without posted speed signing the concept of Basic Rule applies, except in an alley, business district, school area, park, or residential district. Basic Rule does not mean that 55 m.p.h. speeds are legal under all conditions and, 55 m.p.h. may not be exceeded on any county road. Consult Oregon Vehicle Code Sections 811.100 and 811.105 for further information.
Can I get Jackson County to install speed humps on a road?
Speed humps are not allowed on county-maintained roads.
What else can be done about speeding vehicles?
The Jackson County Traffic Safety Coordinator located in the Sheriff’s Office, 5179 Crater Lake Highway, Central Point, Oregon, 97502, (541) 774-6809, has many ideas on how communities can combat the problem of speeding vehicles. Many times there is a 3-pronged approach to speed issues involving:

  • Education
  • Enforcement
  • Engineering (the installation of signs or other devices)
We also have a tri-fold brochure on setting speeds in Oregon and a 2-page information sheet.