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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through August 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,
HIGHWAY DIVISION

 

DIVISION 20

TRAFFIC CONTROL

734-020-0005

Traffic Control Devices

(1) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:

(a) In accordance with ORS 810.200, the 2009 Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices dated December 2009 (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration) is hereby adopted by reference as the manual and specifications of uniform standards for traffic control devices for use upon highways within this state.

(b) The Oregon Supplement to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices dated December 2011 is hereby adopted by reference as a register of deviations to the 2009 Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

(c) The Oregon Temporary Traffic Control Handbook dated December 2011 is hereby adopted by reference as a standard for temporary traffic control for operations of three days or less.

(2) Traffic Control Devices Committee

(a) The Traffic Control Devices Committee is created to serve as an advisory body to the State Traffic Engineer on uniform standards for traffic control devices in this state. The committee shall consist of the following persons:

(A) The State Traffic Engineer of the Department of Transportation;

(B) A State Region Traffic Manager appointed by the Department of Transportation;

(C) The Superintendent of State Police or a representative designated by the superintendent;

(D) Three City Traffic Engineers appointed by the League of Oregon Cities;

(E) Three County Traffic Engineers appointed by the Association of Oregon Counties; and

(F) A Transportation Engineer appointed by the Oregon Sections of the Institute of Transportation Engineers;

(b) Committee members serve a maximum three-year term and may be re-appointed to serve an additional three-year term.

(c) Six Committee members constitute a quorum.

(d) A Chair and Vice-Chair shall be elected by the Committee to serve for the calendar year. The Chair shall prepare the agenda and moderate the meetings. The Vice-Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair. If both are absent, a temporary Chair shall be chosen by the Committee at the meeting.

(e) The State Traffic Engineer shall serve as Secretary to the Committee assisting the Chair in preparing the agenda, publishing an agenda prior to each meeting, maintaining Committee files, and publishing minutes of meetings.

(f) The Committee shall meet every other month and at such additional times as designated by the Chair or as requested by six or more members of the Committee.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205, 810.200 & 810.210
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: HC 1270, f. & ef. 1-18-72; HC 1277, f. & ef. 3-3-72; 1 OTC 80, f. & ef. 12-27-76; 1 OTC 7-1978, f. & ef. 4-27-78; 1 OTC 15-1979(Temp), f. & ef. 7-18-79; 1 OTC 25-1979, f. & ef. 10-30-79; 1 OTC 16-1980, f. & ef. 9-18-80; 1 OTC 22-1980, f. & ef. 11-26-80; 1 OTC 23-1980, f. & ef. 11-26-80; 2HD 9-1983(Temp), f. & ef. 4-20-83; 2HD 16-1983, f. & ef. 9-23-83; 2HD 9-1984(Temp), f. & ef. 10-4-84; 2HD 1-1985, f. & ef. 3-29-85; 2HD 3-1985, f. & ef. 9-13-85; 2HD 1-1986, f. & ef. 2-14-86; 2HD 6-1986(Temp), f. & ef. 7-29-86; HWY 1-1987, f. & ef. 1-9-87; HWY 2-1988(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 5-27-88; HWY 7-1988, f. & cert. ef. 12-2-88; HWY 2-1990(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-1-90; HWY 10-1990, f. & cert. ef. 6-29-90; TO 3-2002, f. & cert. ef. 4-15-02; HWD 6-2005, f. & cert. ef. 7-22-05; HWD 10-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 12-14-05 thru 6-11-06; HWD 4-2006, f. & cert. ef. 5-26-06; HWD 14-2011, f. & cert. ef. 12-22-11

734-020-0010

Establishment of Speed Limits on Interstate Highways (Except Variable Speed Zones, see OAR 734-020-0018)

(1) Definitions:

(a) “Commission” means the Oregon Transportation Commission.

(b) “Department” means the Oregon Department of Transportation.

(c) “Trucks” means a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight greater than 8,000 pounds that is primarily designed or used for carrying or drawing loads other than passengers.

(d) “Interstate congestion level” means the ratio of average daily traffic volumes to capacity for an interstate highway as reported by the Department's congestion management system.

(e) “Rate” means the number of crashes, injuries, or fatalities per vehicle miles traveled on a lineal section of roadway.

(f) “Speed Zone Review Panel” means the advisory committee created (by OAR 734-020-0015) to hear contested speed zone cases on public roadways in Oregon. Membership consists of representatives from the Oregon State Police, the Oregon Transportation Safety Committee, the League of Oregon Cities, the Association of Oregon Counties and the Department of Transportation.

(2) Process for Establishing a Speed Limit on Sections of Interstate Highway Exceeding One Mile in Length. The following procedures apply when the Department of Transportation proposes to establish a speed limit on any section of interstate highway more than one mile in length under ORS 810.180 (for less than one mile see Section (3) of this rule):

(a) The Department will establish sections of interstate highway for investigation based on the site specific characteristics such as crash history, physical conditions and traffic conditions. Sections will be as long as possible in order to achieve consistency in speed zoning on interstate highways. For each section of interstate highway under consideration the Department will prepare an engineering investigation report that will include all of the following:

(A) The average speed and the speed at or below which 85 percent of the vehicles sampled were traveling.

(B) Crash data to include the total number and rates for all crashes, injuries and fatalities.

(C) Law enforcement review and input including enforcement levels.

(D) The speeds, the crash data, and the law enforcement input required by paragraphs (A) through (C) of this subsection collected separately for trucks and for all other vehicles.

(E) Roadway geometry and physical characteristics, including curvature, interchange spacing, lane widths, and shoulder widths.

(F) Traffic characteristics, including the interstate congestion levels, average daily volumes, and the percentage of trucks.

(G) Emergency medical services availability, including response times.

(H) Trucking restrictions, including weight and height restrictions.

(I) Type and frequency of adverse road conditions, including weather, environment, and visibility.

(b) The Speed Zone Review Panel will determine if an issues report documenting potential impacts, benefits, and issues related to changes in interstate highway speed limits will be required and what items need to be included. The report will be applicable to all sections of interstate highway under consideration. The Speed Zone Review Panel may require the Department to include one or more of the following items, but this does not limit the Department to include only those items the Panel selects within the issues report:

(A) Current available local, national and international research on interstate highway speed limits changes as it relates to:

(i) Changes in fatalities and injuries and their corresponding impacts to emergency medical services and trauma care;

(ii) Environmental pollution and fuel efficiency issues; and

(iii) Economic effects, including changes in travel efficiency and movement of goods.

(B) Speed enforcement practices.

(c) The Department will recommend a speed that is indicated by the engineering investigation report required by subsection (a) and an issues report if required by the Speed Zone Review Panel in subsection (b) of this section to be reasonable and safe under the conditions found to exist for each section of interstate highway being considered.

(d) If the speed recommended in subsection (c) of this section is greater or less than the existing speed, the Department will prepare a draft rule specifying the recommended speed(s) and present it to the Speed Zone Review Panel.

(e) The Speed Zone Review Panel will determine if one or more public meetings in the same region as the section(s) of interstate highway under consideration are required for the purpose of receiving comments from the public. If public meetings are required, the Department will provide notification to the public at least 30 days prior to any such meeting.

(f) The Department will prepare a report of the comments received at the public meeting(s) required by subsection (e) of this section, including both general comments and those for a specific section of interstate highway.

(g) The Speed Zone Review Panel will make a recommendation to the Commission of a reasonable and safe speed for a section of interstate highway under the conditions found to exist and as indicated by the engineering investigation report, the issues report if required, and comments received at the public meetings. A Panel report shall explain the basis of the recommendation.

(h) The Commission will hold a public hearing prior to adopting the final rule. The Commission, after consideration of the recommendation and explanation from the Speed Zone Review Panel, will make the final determination of a reasonable and safe speed for a section of interstate highway under the conditions found to exist and as indicated by the engineering report, the issues report if required, and comments received at the public hearing. The Commission will then adopt a rule establishing the interstate highway speed limit for each section(s) of interstate highway under consideration.

(i) The new speed limit becomes enforceable when signs are posted.

(3) Process for Establishing a Speed Limit for Sections of Interstate Highway One Mile or Less. The following procedures apply when the Department of Transportation proposes to designate a speed limit or extend, shorten or otherwise modify the boundaries on any section of designated speed limits for interstate highways which are currently listed in OAR 734-020-0011, not to exceed one mile:

(a) The Department will establish sections of interstate highway for investigation based on the site-specific characteristics such as crash history, physical conditions and traffic conditions. For each section of interstate highway under consideration the Department will prepare an engineering investigation report that will include all of the following:

(A) The average speed and the speed at or below which 85 percent of the vehicles sampled were traveling;

(B) The crash rate for the specific section of highway being considered;

(C) The average crash rate for similar functional classification highways (if available);

(D) Roadway geometry and physical characteristics, including number of lanes, curvature, interchange spacing, lane widths, shoulder widths, and adjacent land use;

(E) Traffic characteristics, including the interstate congestion levels, average daily volumes, and the percentage of trucks.

(b) The maximum length is one mile when establishing or modifying the boundaries of an existing speed limit on the interstate under section (3) of this rule.

(c) The Department will recommend a speed that is indicated by the engineering investigation report required by subsection (a) of this section to be reasonable and safe under the conditions found to exist for each section of interstate highway being considered to be established, extended, shortened or modified.

(d) If the speed recommended in subsection (c) of this section exceeds the maximum length described in subsection (b) of this rule, the Department will follow the applicable portions of Section (2) of this rule to amend OAR 734-020-0011.

(e) For speed limit boundary changes, if the speed recommended in subsection (c) of this section is greater or less than the existing speed limit specified in OAR 734-020-0011, the Department will prepare a draft rule specifying the changes to the boundaries and speed limits depending on the recommendation.

(A) The Speed Zone Review Panel will make a recommendation to the Commission of a reasonable and safe speed for a section of interstate highway under the conditions found to exist and as indicated by the engineering investigation report. A Panel report shall explain the basis of the recommendation.

(B) The Commission may hold a public hearing prior to adopting the final rule. The Commission, after consideration of the recommendation and explanation from the Speed Zone Review Panel, will make the final determination of appropriate boundaries for a section of interstate highway under the conditions found to exist and as indicated by the engineering report. The Commission may then adopt an amended rule establishing a speed limit or modifying the existing interstate highway speed limit boundaries for each section(s) of interstate highway under consideration.

(f) The new speed limit becomes enforceable when signs are posted.

(4) Process for review of interstate highway speed limit:

(a) The Department will, for the first four years after the establishment of any speed limit on interstate highways under section (2), conduct an annual review of crash and fatality history. A written record of the annual review will be provided to the Governor's office and maintained by the Department.

(b) At any time that interstate highway crash trends significantly change, the Department will perform an analysis of the crash patterns on affected sections of interstate highway to determine if a review of speed limits is appropriate.

(c) The Department may review an interstate highway speed limit at any time at the discretion of the Commission or the State Traffic-Roadway Engineer.

(d) If appropriate, the Department will follow the process in section (2) or (3) as appropriate to initiate rulemaking to make changes to the interstate speed designations.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 810.180 & 2003 OL Ch. 819
Stats. Implemented.: ORS 810.180 & 2003 OL Ch. 819
Hist.: 1 OTC 7(Temp), f. & ef. 11-15-73; 1 OTC 20, f. 1-28-74, ef. 2-11-74; 1 OTC 24(Temp), f. & ef. 3-1-74; 1 OTC 28, f. 6-5-74, ef. 6-25-74; HWY 5-1987, f. & ef. 12-8-87; HWY 3-1989, f. & cert. ef. 5-23-89; HWY 7-1990, f. & cert. ef. 4-18-90; HWY 3-1996, f. & cert. ef. 8-15-96; HWD 4-2004, f. & cert. ef. 5-6-04; HWD 3-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-27-11; HWD 1-2014, f. & cert. ef. 2-21-14

734-020-0011

Locations of Interstate Speed Limits other than 65 MPH

(1) All locations of mainline interstate highways not specifically listed in section (2) of this rule have speed limits of 65 MPH per ORS 811.111(1)(a). The speed limit for vehicles listed in 811.111(1)(b) is 55 mph unless a lower speed is specified in section (2) of this rule.

(2) Under the provisions of ORS 810.180(3), the speed limits on the following sections of interstate highways are established as follows for all vehicles except as provided in section (1) of this rule:

(a) Pacific Highway (I-5):

(A) Mile Post 0.00-11.00 -- 55 MPH;

(B) Mile Post 27.00-30.85 -- 55 MPH;

(C) Mile Post 73.18-73.95 (Southbound) -- 55 MPH;

(D) Mile Post 107.83-108.85 (Northbound) -- 50 MPH;

(E) Mile Post 107.86-108.67 (Southbound) -- 50 MPH;

(F) Mile Post 190.41-196.00 -- 60 MPH;

(G) Mile Post 251.00-260.85 (Northbound) -- 60 MPH;

(H) Mile Post 251.00-259.86 (Southbound) -- 60 MPH;

(I) Mile Post 288.60-296.34 -- 55 MPH;

(J) Mile Post 296.34-298.02 -- 50 MPH;

(K) Mile Post 298.02-299.53 -- 55 MPH;

(L) Mile Post 299.53-303.49 -- 50 MPH;

(M) Mile Post 303.49-307.30 -- 55 MPH;

(N) Mile Post 307.30-308.38 -- 50 MPH.

(b) Columbia River Highway (I-84):

(A) Mile Post 0.00-0.84 -- 50 MPH;

(B) Mile Post 0.84-9.94 -- 55 MPH;

(C) Mile Post 9.94-18.25 -- 60 MPH.

(c) Eugene-Springfield Highway (I-105):

(A) Mile Post 0.00-0.54 -- 45 MPH;

(B) Mile Post 0.54-3.49 -- 55 MPH.

(d) East Portland Freeway (I-205): Mile Post 6.00-26.60 -- 55 MPH.

(e) Stadium Freeway (I-405): Mile Post 0.00-4.21 -- 50 MPH.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 810.180 & 811.111
Stat. Implemented: ORS 810.180 & 811.111
Hist: HWD 6-2004, f. & cert. ef. 10-6-04

734-020-0014

Speed Zone Definitions

Definitions. The following definitions apply to OAR 734-020-0014 through 734-020-0017.

(1) “Average daily traffic” (ADT) means the total number of vehicles during a given time period greater than one day and less than one year, divided by the number of whole days in that time period.

(2) “Crash rate” means the number of crashes per million vehicle-miles (MVM) traveled on a section of road.

(3) “Computed Speed” means the eighty-fifth percentile speed minus the crash rate above the average statewide crash rate for similar functional classification highways.

(4) “Department” means the Oregon Department of Transportation.

(5) “Designated speed” means the speed that is designated under ORS 810.180 as the maximum permissible speed for a highway. The designated speed is established through a speed zone order. Designated speeds shall be in multiples of 5 mph. The designated speed supersedes the statutory speed that would be in effect if no designated speed was established except for school speed zones.

(6) “Eighty-fifth percentile speed” means the speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists drive on a section of road for which speeds were measured.

(7) “Free flow speed” means the speed of vehicles when drivers tend to drive at their chosen speed unrestricted by conditions such as congestion, inclement weather, road work, law enforcement activity or traffic control such as traffic signals, stop or yield signs or by road geometry such as infrequent curves or hills.

(8) “Engineering study” means a documented investigation with analysis and evaluation of the pertinent information and applicable engineering principles.

(9) “Gravel road” means an unpaved road which has a running surface of small rock, gravel or other approved aggregate road surfacing material and may have a dust palliative applied.

(10) “Highway” means any road, street or thoroughfare that is maintained by a public agency (i.e., city, county, state, or federal) and open to travel by the public. Highway and road are synonymous.

(11) “Interested jurisdiction” means any governing agencies, other than the Road Authority, which may have interest in the speed on a highway by virtue of being within the city limits, or having responsibility for maintaining the highway.

(12) “Low volume road” means any road, street or thoroughfare which has an average daily traffic of less than 400 vehicles, and is open to travel by the public. State highways are not considered low volume roads, regardless of ADT.

(13) “Pace limits” means the ten mile-per-hour range containing the largest number of sample vehicles observed in a spot speed check.

(14) “Paved road” means a regularly maintained solidified hard surfaced road typically solid bituminous (asphalt concrete), oil mat or Portland cement concrete.

(15) “Recommended Speed” is the speed that has been determined from an engineering study. Recommended speeds shall be in multiples of 5 mph.

(16) “Road authority” means the governing agency which has the jurisdiction to place, maintain and operate traffic control devices as defined in Oregon Revised Statute 810.010.

(17) “Rural state highway” means a section of state highway that is outside the city limits of an incorporated city.

(18) “School zone exception” means a specific section of highway where a statutory school speed limit (20 mph) is posted as specified in ORS 811.111.

(19) “Speed zone” means a specific section of highway where a designated speed is posted under ORS 810.180.

(20) “Speed Zone Review Panel” means the hearings panel created in OAR 734-020-0015.

(21) “Statutory speed” means the speed that is established in statute, under ORS 811.111 or 811.105.

(22) “Transition speed zone” means a speed zone(s) established to make the change in legal speeds less abrupt for drivers. As an example, instead of going directly from a 55 mph section to a 25 mph section, it may be desirable to establish one or more transition speed zones in between, such as 45 mph and 35 mph.

(23) “Unpaved road” means a road which has a surface that does not meet the definition of a paved road. The road surface may be dirt, rock, gravel, or other non-solidified material and may have a dust palliative applied.

(24) “Written order” means the official document that delineates the roadway segment(s) and designates the speed in a speed zone or speed zones established. This is commonly known as a speed zone order.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 810.010, 810.180
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.180
Hist.: HWD 3-2007, f. & cert. ef. 6-25-07; HWD 3-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-27-11

734-020-0015

Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Roads Except Public Paved Low Volume or Public Unpaved Roads

(1) Purpose: This rule is adopted for the purpose of establishing speed zones on public roads by the Department and other road authorities under ORS 810.180. This rule applies to all public roads except for the establishment of speed limits on interstate highways under OAR 734-020-0010 or where the Department may delegate its authority to establish designated speeds on low volume or unpaved roads under ORS 810.180(5) (f). The delegation of authority for low volume roads and unpaved roads is covered in OAR 734-020-0016 and 734-020-0017. Establishment of speed zones on low volume roads may follow the standard method described in this rule or the procedures described in OAR 734-020-0016. The State Traffic Engineer may approve an experimental alternative investigation method that could be used instead of the standard engineering study identified in section (2) of this rule after consideration of the recommendation of the Speed Zone Review Panel.

(2) Speed Zone Standard Method:

(a) An engineering study must be performed to determine the recommended speed for proposed speed zoning. The standard engineering study will use the following criteria:

(A) Analysis of the speed of free flowing traffic to include the eighty-fifth percentile speed and pace limits;

(B) The crash rate for the specific section of highway being considered;

(C) The average crash rate for similar functional classification highways (if available);

(D) The difference between the crash rate for the specific section being considered and the average crash rate for similar functional classification highways; and

(E) The computed speed, which is the eighty-fifth percentile speed minus the crash rate above the average rate as determined in paragraph (D) of this subsection.

(b) The following additional factors may be considered in the standard engineering study:

(A) Accesses;

(B) Crash history;

(C) Enforcement;

(D) Geometric features;

(E) Pedestrian and bicycle movements;

(F) Public testimony;

(G) Traffic volumes;

(H) Type and density of adjacent land use; and

(I) Other applicable factors.

(c) Speed Zone Recommendation. The Department is subject to the following guidelines when determining the recommended speed using the standard engineering study:

(A) The recommended speed may be varied a maximum of 10 miles per hour above or below the computed speed on all public roads except for state highways outside city limits.

(B) The recommended speed may not be varied, except under paragraph (2)(c)(C), more than five miles per hour above or below the computed speed on rural state highways.

(C) The recommended speed may be varied a maximum of 10 miles per hour below the computed speed on state highways outside city limits for one or more of the following reasons:

(i) The crash rate for the specific section exceeds the average crash rate for similar functional classification highways;

(ii) There has been more than one fatal or serious injury crash in the last three years;

(iii) The specific section meets the definition of a “business district” under ORS 801.170 or a “residence district” under ORS 801.430;

(iv) There are residences, businesses, or other public service facilities that front the specific section, and the section is located within an area that has been identified by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development as an Unincorporated Community, and is listed in the Survey of Oregon Unincorporated Communities;

(v) The specific section has urban character and environment and pedestrian attractions such as businesses, schools, parks or other facilities; or

(vi) There is limited stopping sight distance which has contributed to crashes or near misses.

(d) Transition speed zones should be considered when the difference between two adjoining posted speeds would otherwise exceed 20 miles per hour:

(A) The recommended speed for transition speed zones may exceed 10 miles per hour above or below the computed speed as deemed appropriate by the Department; and

(B) The Department is not restricted by paragraphs (A) through (C) of subsection (2)(c) when determining the recommended speed for transition speed zones.

(e) The section length used 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.

(f) An existing designated speed zone may, at the discretion of the State Traffic Engineer, be extended or shortened up to 500 feet without obtaining a spot speed check within that section.

(3) An experimental alternative investigation to replace the standard engineering study in order to determine a speed zone recommendation on certain City of Portland streets (not state highways) may be approved for a two-year trial period by the State Traffic Engineer. The alternative method must include an evaluation plan for the City of Portland to provide a review and report to the Speed Zone Review Panel at the end of the trial period for a recommendation on the suitability of the City’s alternative method.

(a) After the two-year trial period, the State Traffic Engineer will decide whether to continue or terminate the alternative method.

(A) The Speed Zone Review Panel will review the evaluation of the alternative method and make a recommendation on whether or not to adopt the alternative method as an additional standard (not experimental) method, extend the evaluation period an additional year or terminate the use of the alternative method.

(B)The State Traffic Engineer will consider the Speed Zone Review Panel recommendation in the final decision.

(C) Establishment of the alternative method as an additional standard speed zoning procedure after the two-year trial period requires Department adoption by administrative rule.

(b) The alternative method shall include the following factors as a minimum:

(A) Street classification;

(B) Street character and roadside development;

(C) Traffic volumes;

(D) Street width and lane configuration; and

(E) An analysis of the current speed distribution of free-flowing vehicles.

(c) The alternative method will not be used on streets that are state highways or ones that are classified as Arterials in the Federal Functional Classification System. Federal Functional Classification is shown on ODOT City and County maps.

(d) The Department could determine that the standard engineering method, not the alternative method, is to be used on any street.

(e) If another local agency is involved in the jurisdiction of the street (an interested jurisdiction), the local agency using the alternative method must obtain the interested jurisdiction's concurrence with the use of the alternative method and the speed zone recommendation.

(f) The road authority shall perform the alternative investigation and submit the report containing the recommended speed to the Department for review and approval. The road authority shall refer to the Department for accepted report format and content.

(4) Speed Zone Procedures:

(a) The Department of Transportation is subject to the following procedures while exercising its authority for establishing the designated speed, using the standard engineering study method, on state highways within city limits, city streets, county roads and any other rural roads under ORS 810.180 unless otherwise provided under ORS 810.180:

(A) The road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, must make written request to the State Traffic Engineer in order for the Department to perform an engineering study with respect to establishing a designated speed on a highway under ORS 810.180. The application must state the recommended designated speed for the highway or section of highway by the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any;

(B) The Department must determine the recommended speed by performing or causing to be performed an engineering study;

(C) The Department, when requested by the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, may allow the requestors to perform or cause to be performed an engineering study of the roadway section under its own jurisdiction and remit a copy of the investigation to the Department for review. Refer to the Department for acceptable methodologies and procedures for an engineering study of speed zones;

(D) The Department must allow the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, that is requesting an investigation under this section to participate with the Department in the investigation;

(E) The Department may recommend a change in the existing designated or statutory speed for a specific section of highway if the investigation establishes to the satisfaction of the Department that the existing speed is greater or less than reasonable or safe under the conditions found in the specific section in question;

(F) The Department must give written notice to the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, of the Department’s determination concerning a recommended speed;

(G) The Department must issue a Speed Zone Order if the recommended speed is mutually agreeable to the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any;

(H) If mutual agreement cannot be reached, the road authority may take the matter to the Speed Zone Review Panel;

(I) A written speed zone order must be issued to establish a designated speed;

(J) A copy of the written speed zone order must be provided to the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, as appropriate, and the original retained in the Department of Transportation’s records for each speed zone established; and

(K) 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.

(b) The Department of Transportation is subject to the following procedures while exercising its authority for establishing the designated speed on rural state highways under ORS 810.180 unless otherwise provided under ORS 810.180:

(A) A Government agency or citizen must make written request for the Department to perform an engineering study with respect to speed on a highway under ORS 810.180. The request must be made to the State Traffic Engineer or Region Traffic Manager. The request must state the reason for the requested change in speed zoning;

(B) The Department may perform or cause to be performed an engineering study. If the engineering study is performed by someone other than the Department, that person should refer to the Department for accepted methodologies and procedures for an engineering study of speed zones;

(C) The Department may change the existing designated or statutory speed for a specific section of highway if the engineering study establishes to the satisfaction of the Department that the existing speed is greater or less than reasonable or safe under the conditions found in the specific section in question;

(D) The Department must give a written reply to the original requestor of the Department's determination concerning a designated speed;

(E) Written objections by the requestor may be filed with the Department to any speed established by the Department;

(F) If the recommended speed exceeds the guidelines established under paragraph(2)(c)(B) or (2)(c)(C) of this rule, the Department may refer the matter to the Speed Zone Review Panel;

(G) A written speed zone order must be issued to establish a designated speed;

(H) The original written order must be retained in the Department of Transportation's records for each speed zone established; and

(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.

(c) The Department of Transportation is subject to the following procedures while exercising its authority for establishing the designated speed using the alternative method in the City of Portland,

(A) The Department will evaluate the recommendation on the report using the factors from (3)(b) as approved by the State Traffic Engineer for the alternative method. The Department may change the existing designated or statutory speed for a specific section of highway if the alternative method establishes to the satisfaction of the Department that the existing speed is greater or less than reasonable or safe.

(B) If the recommended speed is mutually agreeable to the road authority, the Department and any interested jurisdictions, the Department will issue a written speed zone order.

(C) When differences of opinion about the recommended speed occur among the Department, the road authority and any interested jurisdictions, the road authority may take the matter to the Speed Zone Review Panel for decision.

(D) A written speed zone order must be issued to establish a designated speed. A copy of the written speed zone order must be provided to the road authority and any interested jurisdictions, and the original retained in the Department's records.

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

(F) A speed zone established under the approved alternative method shall be considered as duly established under ORS 810.180 whether the alternative method becomes permanent or is terminated.

(G) Subsections (2)(d), (e), and (f) and Sections 5 and 6 of this rule apply to the alternative method process (as well as the standard engineering study method).

(5) Speed Zone Review Panel:

(a) The Speed Zone Review Panel is created to conduct hearings for deciding contested speed zone recommendations and to serve as an advisory body to the Department. The panel must consist of the five following persons:

(A) The Chair of the Transportation Safety Committee or a representative designated by the Chair;

(B) The Superintendent of State Police or a representative designated by the superintendent;

(C) The Chief Engineer of the Department of Transportation or a representative designated by the Engineer; and

(D) Two additional members, one representative of the interests of cities and one representative of the interests of counties. The League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties must each appoint a member representing the interest of cities and counties respectively. City and county representatives may serve a maximum three-year term. City and county representatives may be re-appointed to serve an additional three-year term.

(b) Three Speed Zone Review Panel members attending a hearing constitute a quorum.

(c) The State Traffic Engineer will designate the Chairperson.

(d) The Department is responsible to pay from the State Highway Fund the per diem travel and other expenses of the members of the Speed Zone Review Panel for the purpose of conducting hearings on speed zone appeals.

(e) The Speed Zone Review Panel must conduct a hearing when the State Traffic Engineer determines the Department has received a sufficient number of appeals to convene the panel:

(A) The State Traffic Engineer must arrange the hearing date and present the speed zone appeals;

(B) The Department must notify the road authority, interested jurisdiction, if any, and any citizen having expressed an interest to the Department regarding the contested speed zone of the hearing in writing at least 30 days prior to the hearing. The 30-day hearing notification may be waived if it is mutually agreeable among the Department, road authority and any interested jurisdiction;

(C) The opportunity to present testimony in person or in writing must be included in the notice of hearing date;

(D) Written testimony received by the State Traffic Engineer at least three days prior to the hearing must be considered in the speed zone appeal review;

(E) The criteria and procedures established under ORS 810.180, OAR 734-020-0015, OAR 734-020-0016 and OAR 734-020-0017 for determining speed zoning will be considered in deciding the appeals;

(F) The decision of the panel is final and any speed zone order must be issued accordingly; and

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

(6) Rescission.

(a) A designated speed established in a speed zone order created under ORS 810.180 supersedes the statutory speed except for school speed zones 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.

Stat. Auth.: 184.616, 184.619, 810.010, 810.180
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.180
Hist.: HC 1277, f. 3-3-72; HWY 4-1994, f. 9-19-94, cert. ef. 1-1-95; HWD 3-2007, f. & cert. ef. 6-25-07; HWD 3-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-27-11

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 speed zones on low volume roads may follow the standard method described in OAR 734-020-0015 or the method described in this rule.

(2) Delegation of Authority.

(a) Upon the request of a road authority, the Department may delegate its authority under ORS 810.180 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 roads 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(4)(a).

(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 eighty-fifth percentile speed.

(b) The following additional factors may be considered in the engineering study:

(A) Accesses;

(B) Crash history;

(C) Enforcement;

(D) Geometric features;

(E) Pedestrian and bicycle movements;

(F) Public testimony;

(G) Traffic volumes;

(H) Type and density of adjacent land use; and

(I) Other applicable factors.

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

(A) The recommended speed may be varied a maximum of 10 miles per hour above or below the eighty-fifth percentile speed; and

(B) The section investigated for speed zoning should be at least one-quarter of a mile in length except transitions 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 exceeds 10 mph above or below the eighty-fifth percentile speed, 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 10 mph difference from the eighty-fifth percentile speed 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 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.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 810.010, 810.180
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.180
Hist.: HWD 3-2007, f. & cert. ef. 6-25-07; HWD 3-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-27-11

734-020-0017

Establishment of Speed Zones on Public Unpaved Roads

(1) Purpose. This rule is adopted for the purpose of establishing speed zones on unpaved roads by the Department when appropriate.

(2) Guidance. ODOT provides the following guidance to assist the road authority in determining if creation of a speed zone is appropriate:

(a) Establishing speed zones on unpaved roads is generally discouraged:

(A) The risk with establishing a specific speed zone is that a “Speed Zone” sign creates an expectation by the driver that the roadway is safe to drive at the posted speed. Since unpaved roadway conditions can change rapidly depending on weather, season, traffic volumes and amount of road maintenance, establishing the appropriate speed zone for all conditions is difficult, if not impossible; and

(B) Oregon’s basic rule speed law requires drivers to adopt a reasonable and prudent speed. The driver should rely primarily on their visual observation of the roadway conditions, rather than a speed zone sign to determine the safe speed to drive a road.

(b) There are other factors that reduce the effectiveness of, or necessity for setting speeds on unpaved roads:

(A) Enforcement is minimal on unpaved roads. There would be poor compliance with speed zoning without enforcement commitment; and

(B) Risks of vehicle conflict are very low on these roads; most are used by travelers who are familiar with the roads and their condition.

(c) Given the factors in subsections (2)(a) and (2)(b), speed zones will only be established for unpaved roads that are gravel roads as defined in OAR 734-020-0014. Speed zones will not be established under ORS 810.180 for other unpaved roads except for speed zones established by a road authority under ORS 810.180(7), (8) or (9).

(3) Speed Zone Application Process. The road authority must do all of the following:

(a) Make written application to the State Traffic Engineer requesting authority to perform or cause to be performed an engineering study for a specific unpaved road under their jurisdiction;

(b) State the reason for the requested change in speed;

(c) Specify that the engineering study will be performed; and

(d) Submit the following documentation:

(A) Evidence of crash history;

(B) Written commitment from law enforcement that the subject roadway will be part of routine patrols;

(C) Written commitment from the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, that the roadway will be graded a minimum of every six months when open to normal traffic; and

(D) If there is an interested jurisdiction on the specified unpaved road within the boundaries of the road authority, the written application 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.

(4) Delegation of Authority.

(a) The Department will delegate authority to perform the engineering study if the road authority satisfactorily completes the application process as outlined in section (3) of this rule; and

(b) The road authority will proceed with the engineering study upon review and approval of the application by the Department.

(5) Speed Zone Criteria. A road authority granted authority under section (4) 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 following criteria:

(A) The eighty-fifth percentile speed; and

(B) Documented history of crashes related to excessive speed in the section of unpaved road for which a speed zone is requested.

(b) The following additional factors may be considered in the recommended speed:

(A) Accesses;

(B) Crash history;

(C) Enforcement;

(D) Geometric features;

(E) Pedestrian and bicycle movements;

(F) Public testimony;

(G) Traffic volumes;

(H) Type and density of adjacent land use; and

(I) Other applicable factors

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

(a) The recommended speed may be varied a maximum of 10 miles per hour above or below the eighty-fifth percentile speed; and

(b) The section considered 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.

(7) Speed Zone Procedures. The following procedures apply to consideration and approval or denial of a speed zone recommendation:

(a) The road authority must submit two copies of the completed engineering study to the Department.

(b) The road authority should refer to the Department for acceptable methodologies and procedures for an engineering study of speed zones.

(c) The Department:

(A) May change the existing designated or statutory speed on a specific section of highway if the engineering study establishes to the satisfaction of the Department that the existing speed is greater or less than reasonable or safe for the specific section in question;

(B) Must give written notice to the road authority and interested jurisdiction, if any, of the Department’s determination regarding the designated speed; and

(C) May issue a speed zone order if the recommended speed is mutually agreeable to the road authority and any interested jurisdiction.

(d) The Department will refer the matter to the Speed Zone Review Panel when:

(A) There are differences of opinion among the Department and the road authority or interested jurisdiction;

(B) There are differences of opinion between the road authority and interested jurisdiction; or

(C) The recommended speed exceeds 10 mph above or below the eighty-fifth percentile speed.

(e) A copy of the written speed zone order must be filed with the road authority and any interested jurisdiction, as appropriate, and the original retained in the Department’s records for each speed zone established.

(f) The road authority is responsible for installing speed zone signing.

(g) 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.

(8) Rescission.

(a) A designated speed established in a speed zone order created under ORS 810.180 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.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 810.010, 810.180
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.180
Hist.: HWD 3-2007, f. & cert. ef. 6-25-07; HWD 3-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-27-11

734-020-0018

Establishment of Variable Speed Zones

(1) Purpose:

(a) This rule is adopted for the purpose of the Department and other road authorities establishing variable speed zones on public roads under ORS 810.180. A variable speed zone may be established on a section of highway when an engineering study determines that a range of speeds in response to recurring conditions provides for better traffic safety and operation than a single set speed.

(b) A variable speed zone is established by a written order or rule defining the criteria, boundaries and procedures for speed changes in a designated manner over a given range of speeds at minimum specified intervals. At a particular time and place, the applicable speed zone reflects some of the same factors a prudent driver also considers. Examples include the effects of congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or weather conditions. Improving the consistency between a responsible driver’s speed selection and the speed zone can keep traffic moving smoothly and improve safety. An engineering study is required.

(c) This rule applies to all public roads except where the Department has delegated its authority to establish designated speeds on low volume or unpaved roads under ORS 810.180(5)(f). The delegation of authority for low volume roads and unpaved roads is covered in OAR 734-020-0016 and 734-020-0017.

(2) The State Traffic Engineer may apply this rule to establish a limited number of Variable Speed Zone pilot projects around the state. The State Traffic Engineer, subject to the following limitation, will decide the appropriate number of pilot projects to test the criteria and procedures in this rule. There may be pilot projects for a particular recurring condition such as congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or weather conditions.

(a) An evaluation of each pilot project Variable Speed Zone will be completed by the State Traffic Engineer after two years from the start of operation of that pilot project until each pilot project has been evaluated for an identified recurring condition under Section (1).

(b) The Speed Zone Review Panel will review the evaluations for each identified recurring condition. The Speed Zone Review Panel will make a recommendation to the State Traffic Engineer to continue the evaluation period, terminate the evaluation, amend this rule to revise the criteria and procedures or remove the pilot project requirement.

(c) The State Traffic Engineer will consider the recommendation of the Speed Zone Review Panel and decide whether to continue the evaluation period, terminate the evaluation, amend this rule to review the criteria and procedures or remove the pilot project requirement.

(d) The State Traffic Engineer may continue the established pilot projects pending further evaluation, Speed Zone Review Panel review and final decision on establishing Variable Speed Zones.

(3) Definitions: the following definitions apply to this rule in addition to the speed zone definitions in OAR 734-20-0010 and 734-020-0014,

(a) “Algorithm” means the method or procedure by which the optimum speed is determined based on road, traffic or weather conditions.

(b) “Maximum Speed” means the maximum designated speed or statutory speed that may be posted in the variable speed zone, typically when conditions such as congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or weather conditions are not present to support a reduced variable speed. A maximum designated speed is determined per OAR 734-020-0010, 734-020-0015 or 734-020-0016. A maximum statutory speed is established as a speed limit under ORS 811.111 or basic speed rule under 811.105.

(c) “Speed Change Interval” means the magnitude of allowed change in miles-per-hour when the posted speed is changed in response to conditions.

(d) “Speed Change Record” is the long term storage of each activated change including the reason or condition, in the posted speed at each variable speed sign in a manner such that the posted speed at a given location and time within a variable speed zone can be determined and reported.

(e) “Transportation Operations Center” (also called a Traffic Management Center or Traffic Management Operations Center) means the facility through which the road, traffic and/or weather conditions are monitored and collected, processed, distributed and communicated to the variable speed signs.

(f) “Variable Speed Zone” means a designated speed that changes based on congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or weather conditions.

(4) Establishing a Variable Speed Zone on Interstate Highways: the following procedures apply when the Department of Transportation proposes establishing a variable speed zone on any section of interstate highway under ORS 810.180:

(a) The Department may establish variable speed zones on a section of interstate highway based on an engineering study of the characteristics such as congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or weather conditions. For each section of interstate highway under consideration the Department will prepare an engineering study that will include all of the following:

(A) The Maximum speed.

(B) Crash patterns in the section of highway under consideration by time of day, day of week, season of year or other period exhibiting recurring crash patterns.

(C) Law enforcement consultation and input.

(D) Traffic characteristics by time of day, day of week, season of year or other periods where recurring congestion levels and reduced average speeds occur, such as hourly congestion levels and calculated eighty-fifth percentile speeds (85% speeds).

(E) Type and frequency of adverse road conditions, including weather, environment, and visibility.

(b) The Department will prepare a written analysis and recommendation of the boundaries and algorithms for the variable speed zone. The recommendation will include:

(A) Locations of each sign,

(B) Set of algorithms,

(C) The speed change intervals,

(D) The means, responsibilities and procedures for changing posted speed and

(E) The means, responsibilities and procedures for keeping the speed change records.

(c) If appropriate, the Department will institute rulemaking to make changes to the interstate speed designations which are included in OAR 734-020-0019.

(d) The speed change record must be retained and maintained for at least 3 years.

(e) The speed zone becomes enforceable when variable speed signs are installed and operated.

(5) Establishing a Variable Speed Zone on rural state highways except unpaved roads: the following apply when the Department of Transportation proposes to establish variable speed zones on sections of state highway outside city limits:

(a) The Department may establish variable speed zones on a section of rural state highway based on an engineering study of the characteristics such as congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or other weather conditions. For each section of rural state highway under consideration the Department will prepare an engineering study that will include all of the following:

(A) The Maximum speed.

(B) Crash patterns in the section of highway under consideration by time of day, day of week, season of year or other period exhibiting recurring crash patterns.

(C) Law enforcement consultation and input.

(D) Traffic characteristics by time of day, day of week or season of year or other periods where recurring congestion levels and reduced speeds occur, such as hourly congestion levels and calculated eighty-fifth percentile speeds (85% speeds).

(E) Type and frequency of adverse road conditions, including weather, environment, and visibility.

(b) The Department will prepare a written analysis and recommendation of the boundaries and algorithms for the variable speed zone. The recommendation will include all of the following:

(A) Locations of each sign,

(B) Set of algorithms,

(C) The speed change intervals,

(D) The means, responsibilities and procedures for changing posted speed and

(E) The means, responsibilities and procedures for keeping the speed change records.

(c) A written variable speed zone order must be issued by the department to establish a variable speed zone.

(d) The original written variable speed zone order must be retained in the Department of Transportation’s records for each speed zone issued.

(e) The speed change record must be retained and maintained for at least 3 years.

(f) The speed zone becomes enforceable when variable speed signs are installed and operated.

(6) Establishing a Variable Speed Zone on state highways inside city limits, city streets, county roads and any other rural public roads except unpaved public roads: the following procedures apply when the applicable Road Authority proposes to establish variable speed zones on sections of state highways inside city limits, city streets, county roads and any other rural public roads except unpaved public roads:

(a) The road authority must make a recommendation to the State Traffic Engineer to establish a variable speed zone. The recommendation will include all of the information required in this section including the engineering study.

(b) The Department may establish variable speed zones on a section of state highways inside city limits, city streets, county roads and any other rural public roads except unpaved public roads based on an engineering study of the characteristics such as congestion, road conditions, reduced visibility or other weather conditions. For each section of public road under consideration an engineering study must be completed that will include all of the following:

(A) The Maximum speed.

(B) Crash patterns in the section of highway under consideration by time of day, day of week or season of year or other period exhibiting recurring crash patterns.

(C) Law enforcement consultation and input.

(D) Traffic characteristics by time of day, day of week or season of year or other periods where recurring congestion levels and reduced average speeds occur, such as hourly congestion levels and calculated eighty-fifth percentile speeds (85% speeds).

(E) Type and frequency of adverse road conditions, including weather, environment, and visibility.

(c) The road authority, or the Department on state highways, will submit an engineering study to the State Traffic Engineer, which includes the analysis and recommendation of the boundaries and algorithms for the variable speed zone. The recommendation will include all of the following:

(A) Locations of each sign,

(B) Set of algorithms,

(C) The speed change intervals,

(D) The means, responsibilities and procedures for changing posted speed and

(E) The means, responsibilities and procedures for keeping the speed change records.

(d) A written variable speed zone order must be issued by the department to establish a variable speed zone.

(e) The original written variable speed zone order must be retained in the Department of Transportation’s records for each speed zone issued.

(f) The speed change record must be retained and maintained for at least 3 years.

(g) The speed zone becomes enforceable when variable speed signs are installed and operated.

[ED. NOTE: Tables referenced are not included in rule text. Click here for PDF copy of table(s).]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 810.180 & Ch. 819, OL 2003
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.180 & Ch. 819, OL 2003
Hist.: HWD 1-2012, f. & cert. ef. 1-27-12

734-020-0019

Locations and Criteria of Variable Interstate Speed Limits

(1) All locations of mainline interstate highways have speed limits set in OAR 734-020-0011 or a maximum speed limit of 65 MPH per ORS 811.111(1)(a). The speed limit for vehicles listed in 811.111(1)(b) is 55 mph unless a lower speed is posted under section (3) of this rule or in section (2) of OAR 734-020-0011.

(2) There are no variable speed limit locations on the interstate at this time.

(3) Criteria for Changing Speeds.

(a) Normal automated variable speed limits:

(A) The minimum traffic volume for variable speed limit system operation shall be greater than 1,200 vehicles per hour in any lane.

(B) Speed limits between subsequent highway sections shall not be reduced by more than 10 MPH.

(C) The speed limit shall be lowered in 5 MPH increments.

(D) The speed limit shall not be changed more than once within a 5 minute period.

(E) The minimum variable speed limit shall not be less than 30 MPH.

(F) The variable posted speed limit shall be within 10 MPH below the 85th percentile speed and posted in accordance with the following Table: [Table not included. See ED. NOTE]

(b) During periods of crashes and other traffic lane blockage incidents the Transportation Operations Center may establish variable speed limits other than the normal automated variable speed limits in accordance with the following:

(A) The speed increment of 5 MPH for changing the speed under normal conditions may be system overridden.

(B) The minimum traffic volume criteria may be system overridden.

(C) The minimum 5 minute period for changing speeds may be system overridden and the posted speed changed immediately to the minimum of 30 MPH.

[ED. NOTE: Tables referenced are not included in rule text. Click here for PDF copy of table(s).]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 810.180 & 811.111
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.180 & 811.111
Hist.: HWD 1-2012, f. & cert. ef. 1-27-12; HWD 10-2012, f. & cert. ef. 9-27-12

734-020-0020

Warrants for Parking and Turn Prohibitions

The State Traffic/Roadway Engineer (STRE) is delegated the authority to establish parking or turn prohibitions on state highways for state wide consistency. Region Traffic Engineers (RTE) are delegated the authority to establish parking or turn prohibitions on state highways within their respective Regions. RTE may consult with the STRE prior to establishing prohibitions. RTE will notify the STRE of the prohibitions.

(1) Parking prohibitions and turn prohibitions shall be warranted if:

(a) An engineering investigation indicates that such prohibitions will improve safe traffic operating conditions; or

(b) An engineering investigation indicates that such prohibitions are necessary to increase the capacity of the roadway or to otherwise expedite the movement of traffic.

(c) The engineering investigation will include a review and analysis of the past accident history, a study of the traffic volumes, patterns and turning movements when appropriate. A field investigation of the physical conditions will be made when required.

(2) Parking prohibitions shall be warranted if an engineering investigation indicates that such parking prohibitions are necessary:

(a) to prevent the imminent damage to the facility. Where parked vehicles could damaged the pavement surface; or

(b) to prevent facility conflicts with maintenance; or

(c) for time limit restrictions or loading zones.

(3) Turn prohibitions shall be warranted if an engineering investigation indicates that such turn prohibitions are necessary for safety or operations.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & 810
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.160 & 810.210
Hist.: 1 OTC 53, f. 3-3-75, ef. 3-25-75; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes

734-020-0043

High Occupancy Vehicle Lane on Interstate 5

(1) One northbound lane of Interstate 5 from milepoint 303.98 to milepoint 307.49 is reserved for exclusive use by high occupancy-use passenger vehicles as designated.

(2) For purposes of this rule, the following definitions apply:

(a) "Designated" means signed as specified in section (4) of this rule;

(b) "High occupancy-use passenger vehicle" means passenger vehicles of 8,000 pounds or less carrying the driver and one or more additional passengers, and motorcycles or buses regardless of occupancy level;

(c) "High occupancy vehicle lane" or "HOV lane" means a lane reserved only for high occupancy-use passenger vehicles; and

(d) "Reserved for exclusive use" means only high occupancy-use passenger vehicles may use the lane when so indicated by signs or pavement markings specified in section (4) of this rule.

(3) Emergency vehicles may use the HOV lane when engaged in emergency action.

(4) The HOV lane shall be designated by signs or pavement markings as defined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or other approved signs and markings not in conflict with Oregon or Federal Highway Administration regulations. Signs may specify the times or days when the lane is designated as a HOV lane.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619 & ORS 810.140
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.140
Hist.: TO 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 9-14-98

734-020-0045

Prohibition of Non-Motorized Vehicles on Freeways

(1) Bicycles and pedestrians as defined in ORS 801.150 and 801.385, are prohibited upon the following segments of freeways within the State of Oregon:

(a) Portland area:

(A) The Columbia River Highway No. 2 (Banfield/I-84) from its intersection with I-5, M.P. 0.00, to 238th Drive, M.P. 15.96;

(B) The Sunset Highway No. 47 easterly of the Jefferson Street Interchange, M.P. 73.35;

(C) Interstate 5 (Hwy. No. 1) northerly of the Beaverton - Tigard Highway Interchange, M.P. 292.20;

(D) Interstate 205 (Hwy. No. 64) northerly of the Overcrossing of the Oswego Highway No. 3, M.P. 8.82;

(E) Interstate 405 (Hwy. No. 61) in its entirety; and

(F) Lower Columbia Highway No. 2W from its intersection with I-405, M.P. 0.00, to 23rd Street, M.P. 1.99.

(b) Medford area: Interstate 5 (Pacific Highway No. 1) from the South Medford Interchange, M.P. 27.16, to the North Medford Interchange, M.P. 30.29 (in Medford).

(2) The closure of the above sections to bicycles and pedestrians shall become effective following the erection of adequate signing.

(3) The prohibition of pedestrians from the above segments of freeways does not prohibit the driver and passengers of a disabled vehicle from walking to the nearest freeway exit in accordance with ORS 814.100.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.619, 810.020 & 810.030
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.020 & 810.030
Hist.: HC 1280, f. & ef. 4-5-72; HWY 2-1987, f. & ef. 2-6-87; HWY 4-1987, f. & ef. 11-24-87; HWY 2-1996(Temp), f. 3-7-96, cert. ef. 5-1-96; HWY 2-1996(Temp), f. 3-7-96, cert. ef. 5-1-96; HWD 13-2010, f. & cert. ef. 10-25-10

Bicycle Lanes and Paths

734-020-0060

Design and Construction of Bikeways

(1) The Department of Transportation adopts by reference The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, "Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities," (Guide), dated August, 1991, to establish bikeway design and construction standards, to establish guidelines for traffic control devices on bikeways including location and type of traffic warning signs and to recommend illumination standards, all in accordance with and pursuant to ORS 366.514, 184.616, 184.619, and 366.205.

(2) The following constitute supplements and exceptions to the August, 1991 Edition of the "Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities":

(a) Signing and Marking:

(A) All bicycle signing and markings on the State Highway System or installed on local city streets or county roads under state contract or agreement shall be in conformance with the current Department of Transportation "Sign Policy and Guidelines for the State Highway System" and the "Traffic Line Manual." Any signing or markings not included in these guidelines or manual, but which is deemed necessary and required for the bicycle facility shall conform to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission;

(B) The standard width longitudinal painted solid line separating the motor vehicle travel way and a bike lane shall be a solid nominal eight-inch wide white stripe as required by OAR 734-020-0055; and

(C) The desirable width for a one-way bike lane on the State Highway System or installed on local city streets or county roads under state contract or agreement is six feet. Where six feet is not practical to achieve because of physical or economic constraints, a minimum width of four feet may be designated as a bike lane.

(b) Definitions: For the purpose of this rule and the Guide, the definitions on pages two and three of the Guide shall control, rather than any conflicting statutory or rule definitions. Terms not defined in the Guide shall be given their ordinary every day interpretation, even if defined otherwise for use in specific chapters in the Oregon Revised Statutes.

[Publications: The publication(s) referred to or incorporated by reference in this rule are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619, ORS 366.205 & ORS 366.514
Stats. Implemented: ORS 366.514(4) & ORS 810.200
Hist.: 1 OTC 38, f. 9-26-74, ef. 10-25-74; 2HD 7-1983, f. & ef. 2-18-83; HWY 3-1988, f. & cert. ef. 5-27-88; HWY 1-1992, f. & cert. ef. 2-11-92

Winter Recreation Parking Areas

734-020-0070

Fee for Issuance of Parking Permits

(1) The fee for parking permits in winter recreation parking areas (Sno-Parks) shall be as follows:

(a) One day – $4;

(b) Three consecutive days – $9;

(c) Annual, beginning each November – $25.

(2) Sno-Park permits may be issued by the Department or persons appointed by the Department as provided in ORS 811.595.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 811.595 & 811.600
Stats. Implemented: ORS 811.600
Hist.: 1 OTC 23-1979(Temp), f. & ef. 9-24-79; 1 OTC 28-1979, f. & ef. 11-26-79; 2HD 4-1982, f. & ef. 10-5-82; 2HD 17-1983, f. & ef. 9-23-83; HWY 13-1992, f. & cert. ef. 10-20-92; HWY 7-1993, f. & cert. ef. 10-27-93; HWY 9-1997, f. & cert. ef. 9-22-97; TO 2-1999(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 9-3-99 thru 2-29-00; TO 1-2000, f. & cert. ef. 1-19-00; HWD 7-2007, f. & cert. ef. 10-17-07; HWD 7-2010, f. 7-30-10, cert. ef. 8-1-10; HWD 11-2011, f. & cert. ef. 10-26-11; HWD 3-2013, f. & cert. ef. 8-26-13

State Highway Right-of-Way Parking

734-020-0080

General Policy

It is the policy of the Oregon Transportation Commission to permit the Chief Engineer to define areas within the state highway rights-of-way in which overnight parking of any motor vehicle shall be prohibited. Accessible areas are provided and motorist usage will be permitted for reasons of safety and rest by drivers in need thereof and to permit viewing of scenic vistas.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 366, ORS 390 & ORS 810
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030 & ORS 810.160
Hist.: 2HD 4-1981(Temp), f. 7-22-81, ef. 7-23-81; 2HD 8-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

734-020-0085

Parking Regulations

(1) At defined areas requiring parking regulation, the Chief Engineer shall install signs using the legend "NO OVERNIGHT PARKING -- PARKING (Between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.) PROHIBITED." Such signs shall be installed at locations visible to a driver and frequently enough at any one area to properly advise a driver of the parking restriction.

(2) Emergency parking shall be permitted in areas of regulated parking.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 366, ORS 390 & ORS 811
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030 & ORS 810.160
Hist.: 2HD 4-1981(Temp), f. 7-22-81, ef. 7-23-81; 2HD 8-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

734-020-0090

Criteria for Parking Regulation

(1) If overnight parking in waysides, rest areas and winter recreational parking areas creates traffic and/or personal safety hazards, visible sanitation problems, sanitation problems not directly discernible, interferes with normal highway maintenance procedures or interferes with public usage for reasons of traffic safety or the intended use of the location, then the Chief Engineer shall regulate parking.

(2) If parking overnight or otherwise on beach access roads and all other accessible areas on state highways creates any type of safety hazard, visible sanitation problems, sanitation problems not directly discernible or interferes with normal highway maintenance procedures, or the intended use of the location, then the Chief Engineer shall regulate parking.

(3) The extent of parking regulation and the areas to be regulated shall be determined by a study of the areas.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 366, ORS 390 & ORS 811
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030 & ORS 810.160
Hist.: 2HD 4-1981(Temp), f. 7-22-81, ef. 7-23-81; 2HD 8-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

Prohibited Activities on State Highway Right-of-Way

734-020-0095

Prohibited Activities

(1) The following activities are prohibited on the right-of-way of any state highway as defined by ORS 377.710(34):

(a) Lighting of fires;

(b) Depositing refuse of any kind except in designated containers;

(c) Camping or staying overnight, or any establishment of occupancy or of a residence, whether temporary or permanent; and

(d) Erection of any building or facility, including but not limited to tents, shacks, lean-tos, stands or shelters of any kind.

(2) This rule does not apply to rest areas covered under OAR Chapter 734, Division 30.

(3) Violation of subsection (1)(c) or (d) of this rule will subject the violating party to a possible citation for criminal trespass under the laws of this state.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 9-1981(Temp), f. & ef. 10-2-81; 2HD 18-1981, f. & ef. 11-24-81

Use of Freeway Median Crossovers

734-020-0100

Definitions

(1) "Freeway" means a fully access controlled throughway.

(2) "Median" means the space between inside shoulders of the separated one-way roadways of a freeway.

(3) "Crossover" means a surfaced roadway crossing the median and located generally at right angles to, between and connecting the inside or median shoulders of the separate through roadways of a freeway.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 5-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

734-020-0105

Criteria for Approval of Freeway Median Crossovers

(1) A freeway median crossover may be approved and constructed if the following criteria are met:

(a) The median is 40 or more feet in width measured at right angles between the edges of the inside paved shoulder and does not have a metal or concrete median barrier;

(b) The crossover is in a location providing adequate vehicle stopping and sight distance and other safety requirements;

(c) The crossover is three or more miles distant in either direction from an interchange, measured to the center of the undercrossing or overcrossing structure; and

(d) The crossover is one or more miles distant in either direction from any other entrance or exit ramp, (i.e., safety rest area), and 1/2 mile or more distant in either direction from an undercrossing or overcrossing structure measured to the center of the structure.

(2) The criteria of section (1) of this rule establishes the standards for all freeway median crossovers in this state. However, if one or more of those criteria are not met, the Chief Engineer, considering need and safety, may approve and order the construction and installation of a freeway median crossover following and based upon an engineering investigation.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 5-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81; 2HD 8-1982(Temp), f. & ef. 12-28-82; 2HD 12-1983, f. & ef. 5-18-83

734-020-0110

Conditions under which Crossovers May Be Utilized

(1) In a bona fide emergency (emergency means a serious physical injury or substantial property damage requiring immediate response).

(2) Under fully signed and protected traffic control conditions, or under official pilot car or traffic escort conditions which are under the direction and control of highway or police personnel.

(3) For official state police operations, i.e., accident or incident response and expeditious, fuel efficient law enforcement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 5-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

734-020-0115

Persons Authorized to Use Crossovers

(1) Personnel operating Department of Transportation maintenance vehicles.

(2) Police officers.

(3) Personnel operating any fire department emergency response vehicle.

(4) Personnel operating public or privately owned ambulances, paramedic or authorized emergency service vehicles, if the agency or firm has received prior approval from the Department of State Police or the Department of Transportation.

(5) Any personnel operating public or privately owned towing vehicles or towing equipment, if the agency or firm has received prior approval from the Department of State Police or the Department of Transportation.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 5-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

One-Way Operation for Trucks and Buses

734-020-0120

General Policy

It is the policy of the Oregon Transportation Commission to establish one-way operation for trucks and buses on certain sections of the State Highway System on which there has been a demonstrated need due to accidents.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 6-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

734-020-0125

One-Way Traffic Regulations

On defined sections of state highways the Chief Engineer shall install signs for each direction of traffic using the legend "ONE-WAY TRAFFIC FOR TRUCKS AND BUSES AHEAD" and "ONE-WAY TRAFFIC FOR TRUCKS AND BUSES" at the beginning of the defined section.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 6-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

734-020-0130

Criteria for One-Way Operation

(1) A field investigation shall be made for each section of highway on which one-way operation may be required. The following field data shall be recorded:

(a) Curb to curb width for the bridge tunnel or underpass;

(b) Sight distance on both approaches based on geometric design and/or other obstructions;

(c) Typical cross-sections;

(d) Location of the striped centerline with respect to pavement edge or curb; and

(e) Approach speeds.

(2) The following cases may be considered:

(a) If curb to curb distance or roadway width is more than 20 feet and the painted centerline is centered in the roadway, one-way operation will not normally be established if there are no speed restrictions (i.e., 55 MPH maximum basic rule under 55 maximum);

(b) Curb to curb or roadway width 20 feet or less may be considered for one-way operation;

(c) Any consideration of one-way operation shall consist of a review of the past accident history for the section involved including structural damage accidents;

(d) Sections of existing roadway already signed for one-way truck and bus operation shall be reviewed based on these rules and engineering judgment. No existing one-way operation for trucks and buses shall be removed without prior approval of the Chief Engineer;

(e) A written report shall be prepared.

(3) The Traffic Engineer shall maintain a complete file of all investigations and reports and a record of approved sections on the State Highway System. As needed, a report under delegated authority will be prepared for the Chief Engineer by the Traffic Engineer.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 6-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

Removal of Spilled Vehicle Loads and Wrecked
Vehicles from Traveled Portion of State Highways

734-020-0145

Removal of Cargo or Debris

(1) Whenever cargo is spilled or lost, or any other debris or items are deposited or left upon a state highway, any and all items, including wrecked, stalled or struck vehicles, trailers or cargo, which prevent safe passage in at least one lane of a two lane highway or one or more lanes in one direction of a multi-lane highway, are deemed to be obstructions which interfere with the maintenance and operation of state highways. As obstructions, these items are further deemed to interfere with the free flow of traffic and are a hazard to the motoring public. Such obstructions are found to be a threat to public safety (e.g., are impediments to emergency vehicles, create dangers of spillage of flammable materials and toxic substances, result in unexpected congestion and quick stops, and draw crowds of onlookers); and to result in public inconvenience; and, therefore, should be removed in the most expedient manner possible for the protection of the public. Under the general police power the Oregon Department of Transportation may remove such items or vehicles, or order such removed.

(2) Whenever such obstruction occurs, except in instances where the obstruction can be removed within a reasonable time without damage to the cargo or vehicles, the District Manager, or Assistant District Manager, or if both are not available, the Region Manager or other appropriate members of the Region Manager's staff, should be notified at once. A decision shall be made and approval must be received from one of the above individuals before department employees may take any action to remove the obstruction. In making the determination to remove the obstruction by department employees, and to return the highway to normal traffic operations the following considerations may be made, however, this list may not be exhaustive of all considerations and some may not be appropriate considerations in each instance:

(a) Time of day the obstruction occurred and was discovered;

(b) Location of the obstruction;

(c) The hazard which it creates;

(d) Weather conditions;

(e) The type and condition of highway;

(f) Traffic volume;

(g) The type of vehicle, and the nature of the cargo or other items and any special characteristics of each which may impact on the extent of the hazard; and

(h) Availability of equipment for removal of the hazard and types of equipment which may be reasonably available.

(3) If, after consideration of the above factors, a determination is made that removal of the obstruction by highway employees would be in the interest of the general public, the removal may be ordered. The method of removal and guidelines for the safe keeping of the vehicle, cargo or item shall be discretionary and are to be determined by the District Manager, in conjunction with law enforcement and environmental protection agencies when appropriate, and shall be immediately transmitted to the department employees at the scene of the obstruction.

(4) Alternative methods of removal by other than department employees may be considered. In considering this alternative, in addition to the above criteria, other considerations may include whether removal of the obstruction by the owner of the vehicle or cargo will result in further interference with highway traffic; protection of the cargo, vehicle or other items; resulting damage to highway property, including highway surface; the time required for removal and the likelihood of successful removal.

(5) The safety and convenience of highway traffic shall always be the major consideration; however, once the method of removal has been determined, the department employee shall take reasonable care to ensure that unnecessary damage does not occur to the vehicle, cargo or item which is being removed, while still utilizing the method of removal directed and taking reasonable precautions for removed items. All discretionary decisions for removal and method of removal shall be made in light of the nature of the hazard and the need for speedy removal, and the resources and equipment available for speedy removal.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184 & ORS 366
Stats. Implemented: ORS 366.445 & ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 11-1981, f. & ef. 10-2-81

Disabled, Abandoned, or Otherwise
Unattended Vehicles on State Highways

734-020-0147

Disabled, Abandoned, and Otherwise Unattended Vehicles on State Highways Constituting Hazards or Obstructions to Motor Vehicle Traffic

(1) As used in this rule, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Freeway” means a highway for through traffic; access to the highway is fully controlled except as may be allowed at designated interchanges;

(b) “Expressway” means a highway for through traffic where access to the highway is partially controlled;

(c) “Interstate” means the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways that are marked with the distinctive red/white/ blue route shields; and

(d) “State Highway” means the public way for vehicular travel that is under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Department of Transportation, including the Interstate system.

(2) Pursuant to ORS 819.120, a vehicle that is disabled, abandoned, parked or left standing unattended on a state highway constitutes a hazard or obstruction to motor vehicle traffic and may be taken into immediate custody and removed by an appropriate authority as defined in ORS 819.140, when such vehicle meets any of the following criteria:

(a) Any vehicle, any part of which is on or extends within the travel portion of any state highway as identified by painted edge lines, or when there are no edge lines, other clear delineation of the travel portion from the highway shoulder;

(b) Any vehicle, any part of which is on or extends onto the inside or median paved shoulder (i.e., next to the high speed lane) of a freeway; or

(c) Any vehicle, any part of which is on or extends within a paved shoulder of:

(A) Any freeway or expressway within the city limits of any city in this state during the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds;

(B) Any freeway or expressway within the city limits of any city in this state at any time if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less;

(C) Any freeway or expressway within 1,000 lineal feet of a freeway exit or entrance ramp gore area (the area where the ramp first enters or leaves the freeway);

(D) Any freeway ramp;

(E) Any state highway during or into a period between sunset and sunrise; or

(F) Any state highway where the sight distance is limited to 500 feet or freeway where the sight distance is limited to 1,000 feet because of roadway horizontal or vertical curvature.

(d) Any vehicle, any part of which is on or extends within a bicycle lane, or within a bicycle path which is immediately adjacent to a state highway.

(3) Section (2) of this rule, except for subsection (2)(a) of this rule, does not apply to vehicles for which there is an indication that the vehicle’s position is temporary in nature, e.g., hazard flashers are operating, the hood of the vehicle is up, the vehicle engine remains running, or there is advance warning such as emergency flares or emergency signing in place. The indication of the vehicle’s position being temporary in nature may be overcome by the passage of time, or a change in the condition or appearance of the vehicle. Section (2) of this rule also does not apply to appropriately signed or indicated parking areas including scenic viewpoints, winter recreation parking areas, rest areas and other locations or to areas where traffic has been restricted by an appropriate authority because of a special event.

(4) Section (2) of this rule, defining a vehicle on a state highway which is a hazard or obstruction to motor vehicle traffic, is not intended to impose a legal obligation upon any appropriate authority to remove the vehicle from a state highway. Removal of a vehicle defined under this rule as constituting a hazard or obstruction to motor vehicle traffic may be accomplished by an appropriate authority consistent with law enforcement priorities and budgetary constraints on the appropriate authority.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619 & 819.120(9)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 819.120
Hist.: 2HD 5-1986, f. & ef. 7-28-86; HWY 3-1987, f. & ef. 4-17-87; HWY 2-1997, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-97; HWD 7-2008, f. & cert. ef. 8-26-08

734-020-0148

Tow Hearing Process

If a vehicle has been taken into custody by The Oregon Department of Transportation (department) in accordance with ORS 819.110 or 819.120, the department shall provide written notice to the owner of the vehicle in accordance with ORS 819.170 or 819.180. The vehicle owner(s), person entitled to possession or any person with an interest recorded on the title of the vehicle, may request a hearing in writing, which must be received by the department at the address identified in the notice, within 5 days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excluded) from the date of the posting or mailing of the notice, to contest the validity of the towing and custody of the vehicle, and subject to subsection 7 below, the reasonableness of the charges for towing and storage. The hearing shall comply with all of the following:

(1) The department shall set a time for the hearing within 72 hours of the receipt of the request and shall provide notice of the hearing to the person requesting the hearing and to the owner(s) of the vehicle, and any lessors or security interest holders shown in the department records. The 72 hour period of time does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays.

(2) Actions taken by department, including conducting the hearing, are not subject to ORS chapter 183; and are therefore, not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act and the hearings are not conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(3) The department District Manager for the district within which the tow occurred is hereby designated to act as the department’s hearings officer. In the event the District Manager is unable or unavailable to conduct the hearing, a department employee shall be designated by the District Manager to act as hearings officer.

(4) The hearing shall be conducted via telephone unless the person requesting the hearing requests other accommodations with justification for the request in which case the hearing shall be held at the District Manager’s or the designee’s office.

(5) If the District Manager, or designee, determines the towing of the vehicle was invalid, the vehicle shall be immediately released upon payment by the department of the towing and storage fees, which shall occur as quickly as reasonably possible. The person to whom the vehicle is released is not liable for any towing or storage charges. If the towing and storage fee has already been paid, the department shall reimburse the person who paid the fee for the charges upon presentation of satisfactory proof of payment.

(6) If the District Manager, or designee, determines the custody and towing of the vehicle was valid, the department shall order the vehicle to be held in custody until the costs of the hearing and all towing and storage costs are paid by the party claiming the vehicle.

(7) If the person requesting the hearing contests the reasonableness of the charges for towing and storage, the District Manager, or designee, shall consider such request only when the department has used its own personnel, equipment and facilities for the towing and storage of vehicles and shall provide a determination concerning the reasonableness of the department's charges in the written statement of the results of the hearing.

(8) The department shall only conduct one hearing for each vehicle custody and tow even if the person requesting the hearing, or any other interested party or witness fails to appear at the scheduled hearing unless the person provides reasons satisfactory to the District Manager or designee for such failure to appear.

(9) Hearings shall be informal in nature, and the presentation of evidence shall be consistent with the requirements of ORS 183.450.

(10) The District Manager, or designee, shall provide a written statement of the results of the hearing to the person requesting the hearing.

(11) The determination of a hearing is final and is not subject to appeal.

Stat. Authority: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 819.120, Ch. 371 OL 2009
Stats. Implemented: ORS 819.110 - 819.215, Ch. 371 OL 2009
Hist.: HWD 1-2010(Temp), f & cert. ef. 1-28-10 thru 7-19-10; HWD 4-2010, f. & cert. ef. 5-18-10

Closure of Highways

734-020-0150

Temporary Closure or Conditional Closure of Highways

(1) When weather conditions or road conditions constitute a danger of highway damage or a danger to the safety of the driving public, the Chief Engineer, Region Manager, or District District Manager or Assistant District Manager may prohibit the operation upon such highway or section of a highway of any or all vehicles, or any class or kind of vehicles.

(2) Such prohibition of vehicles may result in total closure or conditional closures of highways or highway sections. Conditional closures may, in the discretion of the Chief Engineer, Region Manager, District Manager or Assistant District Manager, include but not be limited to prohibition of the following classes or kinds of vehicles:

(a) Vehicles or combinations exceeding a specified gross weight;

(b) Vehicles in combinations exceeding a specified length;

(c) Vehicles and loads exceeding a specified height;

(d) Combinations of vehicles or vehicles pulling trailers; or

(e) Vehicles, or certain classes of vehicles or combinations without tire chains.

(3) Closures or conditional closures should be accomplished by physically barricading or blocking the highway, with placement of appropriate warning signs or devices, and where possible signing indicating conditional closure with types of vehicles allowed or prohibited. Department of Transportation employees may be stationed, when practical, at the barricade to offer information and assistance, and to enforce a conditional closure. Whenever possible, law enforcement agencies should be contacted and their assistance requested to aid in the enforcement of the closure or conditional closure.

(4) Road closures and conditional closures are to exist only on a temporary basis and should be removed as soon as road conditions or weather conditions permit, the hazard has been removed, and the danger to the highway or the driving public no longer exists.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.619 & ORS 810.030
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.030
Hist.: 2HD 1-1983, f. & ef. 1-7-83; HWY 2-1996(Temp), f. 3-7-96, cert. ef. 5-1-96; HWY 2-1996(Temp), f. 3-7-96, cert. ef. 5-1-96

Yield Signs Attached to Transit Buses

734-020-0200

Scope

OAR 734-020-0200 through 734-020-0220 establish specifications for a yield sign to be attached to the back of transit buses as directed by ORS 811.167. The yield sign shall warn a person operating a vehicle approaching the rear of the transit bus that the person must yield when the transit bus in entering traffic.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619 & ORS 811.167
Stats. Implemented: ORS 811.167
Hist.: TO 3-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98

734-020-0210

Sign Specifications

The specifications for yield signs on transit buses as required by ORS 811.167 are as follows:

(1) The sign housing shall be of adequate size to accommodate the yield symbol.

(2) A flashing light shall internally illuminate the yield sign when the bus is signaling an intention to enter a traffic lane after stopping to receive or discharge passengers.

(3) When flashing the legend shall resemble a yield sign with a downward pointing, equilateral triangle having a red border band and the word "YIELD" in red inside the border band.

(4) The message shall flash at a rate between 30 and 80 flashes per minute.

(5) The sign shall be designed to minimize the visibility of the message when not lighted.

(6) The background shall be flat black.

(7) The lettering shall be all capitols and a minimum of 1-11/16 inches tall.

(8) The equilateral triangle shall be a minimum of 6-3/4 inches tall.

(9) The sign shall have a minimum candlepower of 30 candela and provide uniform lighting throughout the lighted area.

(10) The size, shape and color shall be as provided in this rule and as shown in Exhibit 1.

[ED. NOTE: The Exhibit referenced in this rule is not printed in the OAR Compilation. Copies are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619 & ORS 811.167
Stats. Implemented: ORS 811.167
Hist.: TO 3-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98

734-020-0220

Yield Sign Placement

The yield sign shall be located on the rear of the bus, to the left of center and in the lower two-thirds. Preferably the yield sign would be located next to or near the left turn indicator lamp. If receiving or discharging passengers to the left side of the bus and entering traffic lanes to the right, the sign shall also be placed right of center in the lower two thirds, preferably next to or near the right turn indicator lamp. A transit agency may place a single sign near the center of the rear of the bus, in the lower two thirds of the bus, which would signal for right and left merges, instead of having two separate signs.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619 & 811.167
Stats. Implemented: ORS 811.167
Hist.: TO 3-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98; HWD 5-2005, f. & cert. ef. 6-16-05

Standards for Installation, Operation and
Use of Traffic Control Signal Operating Devices

734-020-0300

Purpose

The Department of Transportation is responsible for establishing standards for signal preemption devices and the use of traffic control signal operating devices for use upon the highways within the state. The Department is also responsible for establishing priorities among authorized operators of traffic control signal operating devices. Authorized operators include operators of emergency vehicles, buses and traffic signal maintenance vehicles. These standards consider safety, the efficiency and response times of emergency response operations, requirements for traffic signal maintenance, the efficiency of public transit operations and traffic flow. OAR 734-020-0300 through 734-020-0330 do not apply to rail vehicles.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619 & ORS 810.260
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.260, ORS 815.440 & ORS 815.445
Hist.: TO 4-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98

734-020-0310

Definitions

For the purposes of OAR 734-020-0300 through 734-020-0330, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Authorized user” or “user” means an emergency vehicle, a bus or a traffic signal maintenance vehicle that is equipped with a traffic control signal operating device and operated by a driver who has been trained in the proper use of a traffic control signal operating device as established by OAR 734-020-0330 and is operating an approved system.

(2) “Bus” is as defined in ORS 184.675. Only buses with pneumatic tires are subject to OAR 734-020-0300 through 734-020-0330.

(3) “Bus priority system” is a traffic control signal system that includes a traffic control signal operating device and signal preemption device designated to provide buses the capability to modify the green intervals but not the display sequence of a traffic control signal. The system can be implemented for an intersection, an arterial corridor or a defined geographic area.

(4) “Emergency preemption system” is a traffic control signal system that includes a traffic control signal operating device and signal preemption device for the purpose of providing emergency vehicles the capability to modify the green intervals of a traffic control signal or change the display sequence. The system can be implemented for an intersection, an arterial corridor or a defined geographic area.

(5) “Emergency vehicle” is as defined in ORS 801.260.

(6) “Fire emergency vehicle” is an emergency vehicle operated by a public fire agency.

(7) “Signal preemption device” means traffic control signal equipment that reacts to a traffic control signal operating device and produces signal preemption and/or signal priority. A signal preemption device may respond to a single activation or may respond in recognition of priorities assigned to different users.

(8) “Traffic control signal” means a type of highway traffic signal by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and permitted to proceed.

(9) “Traffic control signal operating device” means any active or passive device that is affixed to, or carried within, a vehicle that causes a change in the operation of a traffic control signal located at an intersection.

(10) “Traffic control signal owners” means the road authority that owns the traffic control signal.

(11) “Traffic control signal operators” or “operator” means an entity other than the owner that operates or maintains the traffic control signal for the owner.

(12) “Traffic signal maintenance vehicle” means a vehicle used to maintain traffic control signals.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619 & 810.260
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.260, 815.440 & 815.445
Hist.: TO 4-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98; HWD 9-2010, f. & cert. ef. 8-27-10

734-020-0320

Standards for Installation and Operation of Emergency Preemption and Bus Priority Systems

(1) The traffic control signal owner is responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of signal preemption devices unless otherwise agreed to by a traffic control signal owner and a traffic control signal operator.

(2) The traffic control signal owner or operator may install signal preemption devices to control signal operations at specific intersections, for arterial corridors or for defined geographic areas.

(3) The emergency preemption and bus priority system approval authority and process is as follows:

(a) The traffic control signal owner has approval authority for emergency preemption systems. Entities operating emergency vehicles must make a written request to the traffic control signal owner for authorization to use a traffic control signal operating device. If this is an additional use, the incremental cost, if any, shall be allocated to the additional users;

(b) The traffic control signal owner has approval authority for bus priority systems. The traffic control signal owner and transit authority shall sign an agreement that covers cost, installation, operation, maintenance and use. If this is an additional use, the incremental cost, if any, shall be allocated to the additional users; and

(c) No emergency preemption system or bus priority system shall be installed until an engineering study has been approved by the traffic control signal owner. The study should consider the needs of the road authority; local transportation plans; and the impact on safety, the efficiency and response times of emergency response operations and traffic flow. If a bus priority system is being considered, the engineering study must also consider the impact on the efficiency of public transit operations.

(4)(a) The traffic control signal owners and operators will operate the preemption system giving the priority established by OAR 734-020-0330 unless they enter into a signed Memorandum of Understanding with authorized users that documents the following:

(A) Agreement on the use and operation of the emergency preemption system by authorized users and the traffic control signal systems owners and operators. Agreement can include any concessions or operational adjustments including but not limited to addressing the weight, operating speed, and braking distance of vehicles, corridor congestion impacts, or assigning multiple priorities to different classes or types of emergency vehicles.

(B) When considering assigning multiple priorities for emergency vehicles, entities using emergency vehicles and traffic control signal system owners and operators will address allocating additional costs to users and the signal system owners and operators.

(b) New authorized users wanting to operate within the emergency preemption system agreed upon and documented within a signed Memorandum of Understanding must do so within the bounds of the Memorandum unless the traffic signal owner agrees to reopen the Memorandum.

(5) Operating requirements for signal preemption devices and traffic control signal operating devices are as follows:

(a) All signal preemption devices and traffic control signal operating devices shall be tested by the Oregon Department of Transportation and approved for use;

(b) Where multiple users of traffic control signal operating devices are authorized, the signal preemption device shall recognize and respond to the priority of each user as established by OAR 734-020-0330;

(c) Actuation of a bus priority system is available only if the system has not been preempted by an emergency vehicle call. Bus priority operation will be immediately canceled when an emergency preemption call is received;

(d) A traffic control signal operating device shall not continue to control the traffic control signal once the vehicle has entered the intersection or if a vehicle remains stationary for more than two minutes; and

(e) Neither emergency preemption nor bus priority shall terminate an active pedestrian or vehicular clearance interval.

(f) Entities operating emergency vehicles will provide training for all drivers in the operation and limitations of emergency preemption systems.

(g) Lights and sirens on emergency vehicles must be activated when the traffic control signal operating device is activated.

(h) Traffic control signal operating devices shall be deactivated when the emergency vehicle’s transmission is set in park or the parking brake is engaged.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619 & 810.260
Stats. Implemented.: ORS 810.260, 815.440 & 815.445
Hist.: TO 4-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98; HWD 9-2010, f. & cert. ef. 8-27-10

734-020-0330

Standards for Use of Traffic Control Signal Operating Devices

(1) Only authorized users may use a traffic control signal operating device:

(a) Emergency vehicles may use an authorized emergency preemption system;

(b) Buses may use an authorized bus priority system. Use must be according to the signed agreement described in OAR 734-020-0320(3)(b); and

(c) Traffic signal maintenance vehicles may use traffic control signal operating devices to test and maintain emergency preemption systems or bus priority systems.

(2) Priority for the actuation of emergency preemption and bus priority systems is as follows:

(a) First priority will be given to emergency vehicles. Authorized users and the traffic control signal system owners and operators may agree as described in OAR 734-020-0320 to assign multiple priorities for emergency vehicles, by type or class within their service areas.

(b) Secondary priority will be given to buses authorized to use a bus priority system.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619 & 810.260
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.260, 815.440 & 815.445
Hist.: TO 4-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-16-98; HWD 9-2010, f. & cert. ef. 8-27-10

Traffic Signal Approval Process

734-020-0400

Purpose

The purpose of OAR 734-020-0400 through 734-020-0500 is to establish the approval process for installation, modification, or removal of traffic signals under the authority of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

734-020-0410

Authority

OAR 734-020-0400 through 734-020-0500 are adopted pursuant to ORS 184.616, 184.619 and 810.210. The Oregon Transportation Commission has authority to place, maintain and operate traffic control devices on state highways. By this rule, the Oregon Transportation Commission delegates to the State Traffic Engineer the authority to approve the installation of traffic control devices on state highways.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619, ORS 366.205 & ORS 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & ORS 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99

734-020-0420

Definitions

For the purposes of OAR 734-020-0400 through 734-020-0500, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Approach” means all lanes of traffic moving toward an intersection or a mid-block location from one direction.

(2) “MUTCD” means the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as adopted by OAR 734-020-0005.

(3) “Private approach “ means a private roadway or connection that is legally constructed and recognized by the Department in accordance with OAR 734-051.

(4) “Public road” means a public roadway, or similar facility under the jurisdiction of a public entity and open to public travel.

(5) “Roadway improvement project” means a major construction, reconstruction or realignment of a section of state highway.

(6) “State Highway System” means the group of roads and highways, so designated by law or by the Oregon Transportation Commission pursuant to ORS 366.220.

(7) “Traffic signal” means any highway traffic signal by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and permitted to proceed.

(8) “Engineering study” is a documented comprehensive analysis and evaluation of available pertinent information, and the application of appropriate principles, standards, guidance, and practices as contained in the MUTCD and other sources, for the purposes of deciding upon the applicability, design, operation, or installation of a traffic control device.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

734-020-0430

Traffic Signal Approval List

(1) No traffic signal shall be designed for, or constructed on, the State Highway System, regardless of the funding source, without the prior approval of the State Traffic/Roadway Engineer (STRE).

(2) Regardless of any ODOT approved documents, such as land use documents, transportation system plans, corridor plans or other agreements a traffic signal shall not be designed or constructed unless first approved by the STRE.

(3) An engineering study is required for approval. The study shall indicate the need for the traffic signal and demonstrate that the installation of a traffic signal would improve the overall safety and operation of the intersection.

(4) Intersections shall meet MUTCD traffic signal warrants, unless the STRE finds special conditions documented in the engineering study where no existing warrant is applicable.

(5) Traffic signal warrants should be met within three years after construction when a traffic signal is constructed as part of a roadway improvement project.

(6) Traffic signal warrants should be met on day of opening to accommodate additional traffic from a public or private development. The traffic signal shall not be turned-on more than one month in advance of day of opening.

(7) If traffic signal is not advanced to construction within five years the STRE traffic signal approval is automatically rescinded.

(8) For private approaches, assess the ability of the existing, planned, and proposed public roads to accommodate the traffic at another location.

(9) The STRE traffic signal approval does not assure the eventual design, installation, or operation of a traffic signal.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99; HWD 6-2005, f. & cert. ef. 7-22-05; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

734-020-0470

Traffic Signal Spacing Requirement

The desirable spacing of signalized intersections on statewide and regional highways is 1/2 mile. The STRE may approve the installation of a traffic signal at locations where 1/2-mile spacing is inappropriate or infeasible due to:

(1) Topography;

(2) Existing or proposed road layout;

(3) Identified traffic crash pattern;

(4) Unique physical constraints; or

(5) Existing or proposed land use patterns.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

734-020-0480

Traffic Signal Progression Analysis for Traffic Signal Approval

(1) A traffic signal progression analysis is required for both existing and future conditions when a proposed traffic signal location is within one half mile of any existing or proposed new traffic signal. The STRE may require traffic signal progression analysis for spacing greater than one half mile.

(2) A traffic signal progression analysis for all new or modified approaches at traffic signals on state highways may be required for both existing and future conditions.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

734-020-0485

Design Standards for Installation or Modification of a Traffic Signal

The following design standards apply to new, replaced, or significantly modified signal installations:

(1) The traffic signal design plans shall conform to the conditions listed in the STRE traffic signal approval.

(2) All approaches to a traffic signal controlled intersection shall be signalized.

(3) Design geometry of a private approach shall be consistent with that of public road intersections including curbs, appropriate lane widths, pavement markings, and vertical alignment.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

734-020-0500

Removal of Traffic Signals

An existing traffic signal may be removed if MUTCD traffic signal warrants are no longer met or a proposed change in geometry or traffic flow pattern will eliminate the need for the traffic signal. No traffic signal shall be removed from the State Highway System without prior approval of the STRE. A traffic control engineering study is required for approval, which shall include all of the following:

(1) A comprehensive investigation of traffic and safety conditions.

(2) Assessment of needs of the local community.

(3) Public opinion considerations.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 366.205 & 810.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 810.200 & 810.210
Hist.: TO 5-1999, f. & cert. ef. 12-17-99; HWD 5-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-12

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