Oregon Department of Transportation, Highway Division

Rule Rule 734-020-0016
Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Paved Low Volume Roads


(1)

Purpose. This rule is adopted for the purpose of establishing speed zones on public paved low volume roads by the Department and other road authorities and interested jurisdictions when appropriate. Establishment of a speed zone on a public paved low volume road must follow the method described in OAR 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads)(2) or (3), as applicable. With the permission of the State Traffic-Roadway Engineer, the alternative investigation method may be followed as described in OAR 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads)(4).

(2)

Delegation of Authority.

(a)

Upon the request of a road authority, the Department may delegate its authority under ORS 810.180 (Designation of maximum speeds) for public paved low volume roads if the road authority agrees to exercise the authority according to this rule. The written application must:

(A)

Be made to the State Traffic Engineer requesting delegated authority to determine and establish speed zones for public paved low volume roads under their jurisdiction;

(B)

Include a specific roadway or all roadways under their jurisdiction for which the road authority is requesting delegation;

(C)

If there is an interested jurisdiction on any public paved low volume road within the boundaries of the road authority, the written application from the road authority must include a statement that the road authority and interested jurisdiction have agreed to the need to perform an engineering study and if appropriate, establish a designated speed according to this rule; and

(D)

Specify that the road authority will perform or cause to be performed an engineering study to determine the appropriate designated speed.

(b)

If the Department determines that the road authority has established a speed zone without complying with this rule, the Department may withdraw the delegation of authority and the road authority must remove existing speed zone signing and post the section of roadway at the speed that was posted preceding the engineering study.

(c)

The Department may perform the engineering study at the request of the road authority following the procedures set forth in OAR 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads)(2) or (3), as applicable.

(3)

Speed Zone Criteria. A road authority granted speed zone authority under section (2) of this rule is subject to the following:

(a)

Perform or cause to be performed an engineering study to determine the recommended speed for the proposed speed zone using the criteria specified in OAR 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads).

(b)

Speed Zone Recommendation. The road authority is subject to the following guidelines when determining the recommended speed:

(A)

The engineering study must recommend a speed for the highway which falls within the range of recommended speeds described in OAR 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads)(2) or (3), as applicable to the particular segment of highway; and

(B)

The section investigated for speed zoning should be at least one-quarter of a mile in length except transition speed zones may be a minimum of one thousand feet in length.

(4)

Speed Zone Procedures.

(a)

The road authority may establish a different speed on a specific section of highway if the engineering study finds that the existing designated or statutory speed is greater or less than reasonable or safe under the conditions found in the specific section in question unless any part of subsections (b) or (c) of this section apply.

(b)

If the recommended speed falls outside the range allowed pursuant to 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads)(2) or (3), as applicable, the road authority must notify the Department and the matter will be presented to the Speed Zone Review Panel.

(c)

If there is an interested jurisdiction on the section of road, the following procedures must be followed:

(A)

If the recommended speed is within the range allowed pursuant to 734-020-0015 (Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads)(2) or (3),as applicable and it is mutually agreed to by the road authority and interested jurisdiction then the road authority may issue a written order to establish the speed zone; or

(B)

When differences of opinion between the road authority and interested jurisdiction occur, the road authority must notify the Department and the matter will be presented to the Speed Zone Review Panel.

(d)

The road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, should refer to the Department for further guidance on acceptable methodologies for an engineering study of speed zones.

(e)

The road authority must file with the Department a copy of the written speed zone order and engineering study.

(f)

The road authority must retain the original speed zone order and engineering study.

(g)

The road authority may authorize the Department to issue the speed zone order by submitting a copy of the engineering study.

(h)

The road authority is responsible for installing speed zone signing.

(i)

The speed zone becomes enforceable when appropriate signs giving notice of the designated speed are posted on the portion of the highway where the designated speed is imposed.

(5)

Rescission.

(a)

A designated speed established in a speed zone order created under ORS 810.180 (Designation of maximum speeds) supersedes the statutory speed that would otherwise apply, until or unless the speed zone order is rescinded.

(b)

A road authority may request that the Department rescind an established speed zone order if the road authority has determined that the statutory speed is more appropriate for the roadway and the roadway meets the statutory definition of the proposed statutory speed.

(c)

When a speed zone order has been formally rescinded, the road authority may post the statutory speed.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021