By Joel Martin
The Troup County government wants to make it easier for motorists to find their way around.
The county has started reporting errors on digital maps such as Google, Yahoo and Mapquest, in addition to GPS devices such as Garmin and TomTom.
“We often hear complaints … especially from newcomers about this or that map giving them bad directions,” zoning administrator Scott Turk said.
He said Willie Hodnett Road shows up as Buddy Hodnett Road on GPS systems in cars and cell phones, and those roads are on opposite ends of the county.
“I know of many other errors, and they’ve been reported,” Turk said.
He said the public can report mistakes to a new e-mail address, email@example.com. Zoning technician Andy Harper will report them to Navteq and TeleAtlas, which supply most information for the world’s digital maps. Harper also will report new roads and streets as they come on line.
“It’s part of an ongoing effort to correct our mapping system in the county,” Turk said, and that’s especially important with all the new residents and visitors coming here because of Kia Motors and its suppliers.
Meanwhile, county engineer James Emery has ordered the road department to start putting up street and road signs at intersections where they’re missing.
“A lot of intersections don’t name the road you’re intersecting with,” Emery said.
For example, a driver on Fling Road wouldn’t know he had come upon West Point Road unless he were already familiar with the intersection. The same is true for motorists coming out of a subdivision. Emery said the county has been operating on the assumption that everybody is familiar with all the road names.
“We get complaints about it occasionally,” he said. “I changed the policy several months ago to mark all the intersections.”
It will take years to get all the signs up because of the limited road department staff, he said. The county orders heavy gauge aluminum plates and makes the signs at the county shop. They cost about $100 apiece on average.