Traffic Controls

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Traffic Controls Overview

The placement of traffic control devices, such as signals, signs and pavement markings, is governed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. These guidelines have been adopted by the State of Georgia and the City of Decatur as well as most traffic agencies throughout the nation.

Traffic Signals   

Typical traffic signal mast arm

Warning signs used in connection with the Red-Light program

Typical traffic signal mast arm 

Warning signs used in connection with the
Red-Light program


Red Light Program

The City of Decatur installed the State's first fully operational red light camera at the intersection of Clairemont Avenue and Scott Boulevard. The intersection is equipped with speed detectors and cameras that photograph vehicles running the red light. Although the cameras do not photograph the vehicle drivers, it does take clear pictures of the vehicle running the light, including a close-up picture of the license plate. The photographs are later analyzed and reviewed by the Decatur Police Department, and a summons is then mailed to the offender.

Traffic signals located throughout the City, except those on state highways, are linked together and synchronized to form a grid system. Each signal is synchronized and timed to facilitate traffic flow along arterial or collector roads, while maintaining an adequate vehicular progression on local roads. The traffic signals located within the City limits are operated and maintained by DeKalb County on behalf of the City and the state of Georgia.

The amount of green time each signal approach receives (the timing plan) is related to the volume of traffic it serves. Most of the traffic signals in the City have traffic sensors (loop detectors) on their approaches to monitor traffic volumes and perform minor adjustments to serve the actual demand. However since major changes in traffic volumes and patterns can occur over time, the timing plans for the signals must be adjusted periodically to keep them operating at peak efficiency for new conditions.

To report a traffic signal problem please notify the Design Environment and Construction Division at 404-370-4104, or the DeKalb County Traffic Operation Center at 404-297-3947.

Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings

Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings 1 Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings 2

The Engineering Department is responsible for maintenance of traffic signs throughout the City, except those located on state roads. Typical signage includes regulatory signs for speed limit designation, as well as stop, yield, and parking restriction signs. It also includes warning signs for school zones, and hazardous road conditions as well as other informational and directional signs.

Most pavement markings, such as street centerlines (double yellow), lane lines (skip lines), edge lines and pavement reflectors are installed and maintained by DeKalb County on behalf of the City. The Engineering Department does limited installation of pavement markings such as stop bars and pedestrian crosswalks, primarily at intersections.

Speed Humps

Speed HumpsThe Engineering Department performs the installation and maintenance of speed humps, traffic calming measures intended to slow traffic down. The speed humps are placed on designated streets only on approval by the City Commission based on resident petitions.

Speed hump petitions must be submitted to the City Manager's Office for review before they are presented to the City Commission. The neighborhood petitions are reviewed to verify that they meet submission requirements, which include having a sufficient level of support in the neighborhood.