The Traffic Division of the City of Canton Engineering Department is dedicated to providing safe, well-marked roadways and thoroughfares for use by visitors and residents alike while traveling in the city.
This function of our office is probably the most regular interaction that everyday citizens have with the Engineering Department because so much of our lives are regulated by where and how we travel in the course of completing our daily routines. Our everyday duties focus on:
- City Street Paving Plan - Each year, our office works with the Mayor, City Council, and the Street Department to create that year's street paving plan. With a focus on highly traveled streets and main thoroughfares, we use our technical knowledge and expertise to assist in selecting which streets need to be repaired the most.
- Design/Layout of Traffic Controls - From stoplights to pavement stripes and roadside information signs, many of the traffic signals we all encounter on a daily basis are designed and located to achieve maximum effectiveness. Our office makes sure that the city's traffic controls are designed in accordance with all applicable laws and commonly accepted traffic practices so that they are easily understood by the general public.
- Developing City Traffic Policies - The Traffic Engineering Division regularly uses established City traffic policies to make decisions and implement changes. These policies cover all aspects of traffic engineering including traffic control devices (stop signs, traffic signals, pavement markings, etc.), traffic flow (one-way streets, turn lanes, detours), and on-street parking.
- These policies have been developed over the past 30 years since Traffic Engineering was first established in the City. The policies are developed using three things the laws, experience and common engineering practice. The most important of the three is the laws and more specifically the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The ORC also refers to the "manual" which is the bible of traffic engineering in Ohio, the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devises (OMUTCD).
- General Departmental Support - Because our division is usually working in the streets at any given time, we sometimes find ourselves in a position where we are able to support the operations of other divisions within the department. We also provide technical expertise regarding the city's roadways to other divisions within the Engineering Department, as well as other city service departments like Sanitation or Streets.
- Roadway Design - A key component of travel safety focuses on how the roads themselves have been laid out. When creating new streets or improving upon existing roadways, special attention must be paid to how that thoroughfare will impact surrounding roads (as well as the neighborhood it runs through). Our office is responsible for making sure that Canton roadways have been designed with these factors in mind to ensure that residents and visitors are properly funneled through our city streets.
- Signal Timing and Coordination - There are sophisticated formulas and methods used to determine the timing and coordination of traffic lights throughout the city. Signal timing and coordination is one of the best ways to control the flow of traffic (especially in very busy areas), and can easily improve the safety of an intersection with only slight modification.
- Traffic Studies - Traffic studies may be initiated for any number of reasons, but their end goal is always the same: to improve the safety and efficiency of Canton roadways. By regularly evaluating the system that has been set up to control the flow of automobiles within city limits, our office is able to pinpoint areas for improvement and allow residents to travel more freely.