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Ask the Times: Oakwood street sign colors have different, specific uses
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Why are there different colored street signs in Oakwood? Most of them are green, but I have also seen blue and brown ones.
Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said each colored sign has a specific use. Blue signs with white lettering are for city streets. Green signs are used for either state highways or county roads. Brown signs are typically used for parks and recreational areas.

Why can’t African-Americans as well as Latinos hang out in parking lots and cruise like others? Just curious.
Gainesville Police and Hall County sheriff’s deputies generally step in to combat cruising and loitering in parking lots when it’s requested by the business owner.

Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department, said the rules are typically set by those business owners or the management of a certain complex. Parking lots tend to be private property and the responsibility of the owner, he added.

“We as the police department will and do enforce these laws so long as the business or property owner has signage posting the law, and has given us permission to enforce these laws, or has called requesting an officer to take action,” he said. “Many times we are called because individuals are loitering or cruising the area of a local establishment and it is hindering the business or causing a safety issue.”

Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office echoed those sentiments.

“Those lots are private property, and if the property owners or tenants do not want people to gather, it is their right to have those people leave,” Wilbanks said. “In addition, if there is any activity going on that is in violation of state laws or local ordinances, such as noise violations, laying drags, etc., an officer may have reason to investigate further. Asking a group to leave might sometimes be part of the resolution to such issues.”

Georgia code addresses both issues.

“No person shall, after having been requested not to do so by a law enforcement officer or an authorized agent of the owner, park or stand an occupied or unoccupied motor vehicle in or repeatedly drive a motor vehicle through or within a parking area located on privately owned property and provided by a merchant, group of merchants, or shopping center or other facility for customers ...” according to section O.C.G.A. 40-6-252.

The rule requires a sign be posted in the parking lot and it includes exceptions such as for those using a particular facility in the area, like a telephone or ATM, traffic situations that make it difficult to continue travel or those who have express permission from the owner to use the parking area for a certain activity.

Deputies address the issues regardless of race, Wilbanks added.

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