Engineering FAQ

Does the City replace curbs or sidewalks?
By Columbus City Code, sidewalks and curbs are the property owner's responsibility. However, the City does have a Shared Cost Sidewalk and Curb (SCSC) Program designed to encourage the reconstruction of residential sidewalks and curbs.  The City of Columbus will pay $4 per square foot of sidewalk and $25 per linear foot of curb, the applicant pays the rest. Funding is limited so apply early.

People are driving too fast in my neighborhood.  Can the City install a speed bump?
The speed bump is an increased hazard to the unwary....a challenge to the daredevil....a disruption of the movement of emergency vehicles...the cause of an undesirable increase in noise...and a problem to snow removal.  The City does not install speed bumps on City streets or alleys.

 I am concerned about the children in my neighborhood and the speeding motorists.  Can the city install a "Slow Children at Play" sign?
Children at Play signs are very popular with the general public.  The Indiana Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) does not suggest using this sign or similar signs such as "Deaf Child Area".  Our office receives many requests to install these signs from well-meaning citizens who want traffic to slow down so children will be safe.  If a driver does not slow down when they see children playing, they will not slow down because a sign says there are children playing.  The signs are not effective; therefore, the City does not install them.

Will lowering the speed limit slow down traffic on my street?

  • Studies show that a driver's speed is influenced more by the appearance of the roadway and prevailing traffic conditions than by the posted speed limit.
  • Some drivers will obey the lower posted speed while others will feel it is unreasonable and ignore it.  This disrupts traffic flow and increases accident potential.
  • When traffic is traveling at different speeds, the number of breaks in traffic to permit safe crossing is reduced.  Pedestrians also have greater difficulty in judging the speed of approaching vehicles.
  • Speed limits should always be based on traffic engineering surveys that include an analysis of roadway conditions, accident records and the prevailing speed of prudent drivers.

Will a stop sign slow traffic in our neighborhood?
The common misuse of stop signs is to arbitrarily interrupt traffic by causing it to stop or by causing such an inconvenience that motorists are forced to use other routes. Studies show that speed is reduced in the immediate vicinity of the "nuisance" stop sign but were actually higher between intersections than before they were installed.

How do I temporarily close a street?
To close a street, restrict traffic, or use a public sidewalk or parking space in a way other than its intended use, you must submit a Request for Special Use of Right-of-Way.  This requires approval from the Board of Public Works and Safety, which usually meets on Tuesdays.

I have a hump in my driveway.  Do I need a permit to fix it?
To perform any work in the right-of-way, you need to submit an Improvement in the Right of Way.  This includes replacing curb, sidewalk, installing an irrigation system, or repairing a driveway.  You may obtain this permit from our office and there is no fee.

I need to repair my sewer lateral and the contractor has to cut in the street.  Do I need a permit for this work? 
Your contractor is required to obtain a Permit to Excavate from the Engineering Office.  There is no charge for the permit, however a bond must be obtained to guarantee to the street cut for 3 years from the date the cut is made.  Also a Request for Special Use of Right-of-Way must be submitted if the street or alley will need to be blocked or closed.

I have a pothole in my street.  To whom should I report it?
Call the City Garage at 376-2508 to report a pothole.

A streetlight in my neighborhood is out.  To whom do I report this?
The most expedient way is to report it directly to the provider. You must provide a street address or a pole number.



 



 

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