903.12 Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs (TODS)

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903.10.1 Purpose and Application (MUTCD Section 2G.01)

903.10 Tourism.jpg

Support. Tourist-oriented directional signs are guide signs with one or more panels that display the business identification of and directional information for business, service, and activity facilities.

This program is commonly referred to as the TODS Program. Pursuant to 7 CSR 10-22 of the Missouri Code of State Regulation (CSR), MoDOT has, in conformance with the MUTCD, established provision noted in this chapter to carry out a program that “provides signing for qualifying attractions. These signs are erected in advance of at grade intersections on state system.”

This program is administered by an outside contractor and is governed by a set of rules and regulations that are contained in the Missouri CSR. The current CSR for the TODS program is contained in this chapter.

Standard. A facility shall be eligible for tourist-oriented directional signs only if it derives its major portion of income or visitors during the normal business season from travelers not residing in the area of the facility.

When used, tourist-oriented directional signs shall be used only on rural conventional roads and shall not be used on conventional roads in urban areas nor at interchanges on freeways or expressways.

Option. Tourist-oriented directional signs may be used in conjunction with 903.7.49,General Service signs.

903.10.2 Design (MUTCD Section 2G.02)

Standard. Tourist-oriented directional signs shall have one or more panels for the purpose of displaying the business identification of and directional information for eligible facilities. Each panel shall be rectangular in shape and shall have a white legend and border on a blue background.


The content of the legend on each panel shall be limited to the business identification and directional information for not more than one eligible business, service, or activity facility. The legends shall not include promotional advertising.

Guidance. Each panel should have a maximum of two lines of legend including not more than one symbol, a separate directional arrow and the distance to the facility shown beneath the arrow. Arrows pointing to the left or up should be at the extreme left of the sign. Arrows pointing to the right should be at the extreme right of the sign. Symbols, when used, should be to the left of the word legend or logo.

Fig. 903.10.2, Examples of TODS signs

Option. The tourist-oriented directional sign may have the word message TOURIST ACTIVITIES at the top of the sign.

Standard. The TOURIST ACTIVITIES word message shall be a white legend and border on a blue background. If used, it shall be placed above and in addition to the panels.

Option. The 903.7.49, General Service sign symbols and the symbols for 903.11, recreational and cultural interest area signs may be used.

Logos for specific businesses, services, and activities may also be used. Based on engineering judgment, the hours of operation may be added on the panels.

Standard. When used, symbols and logos shall be an appropriate size (see 903.10.4). Logos resembling official traffic control devices shall not be permitted.

Support. Examples of tourist-oriented directional signs are shown in Figures 903.10.2 and 903.10.7.

903.10.3 Style and Size of Lettering (MUTCD Section 2G.03)

Guidance. All letters and numbers on tourist-oriented directional signs, except on the logos, should be upper case and at least 6 in. tall. Any legend on a logo should be proportional to the size of the logo.

Standard. Design standards for upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numerals, and spacing shall be as provided in Standard Highway Signs (see 903.19.11).

903.10.4 Arrangement and Size of Signs (MUTCD Section 2G.04)

Standard. The size of a tourist-oriented directional sign shall be limited to a maximum height of 6 ft. However, additional height shall be allowed to accommodate the addition of the optional TOURIST ACTIVITIES message discussed in 903.10.2 and the directional word messages discussed in 903.10.5.

Guidance. The number of intersection approach signs (one sign for tourist-oriented destinations to the left, one for destinations to the right and one for destinations straight ahead) installed in advance of an intersection should not exceed three. The number of panels installed on each sign is not to exceed four. The panels for right-turn, left-turn and straight-ahead destinations should be on separate signs. The left-turn destination sign should be located farthest from the intersection, and then the right-turn destination sign with the straight-ahead destination sign located closest to the intersection (see Figure 903.10.7). Signs for facilities in the straight-ahead direction should be considered only when there are signs for facilities in either the left or right direction.

When it is appropriate to combine the left-turn and right-turn destination panels on a single sign, the left-turn destination panels should be above the right-turn destination panels (see Figure 903.10.2). When there are multiple destinations in the same direction, they should be in order, based on their distance from the intersection. Except as noted in the second paragraph below, a straight-ahead panel is not to be combined with a sign displaying left- and/or right-turn facilities.

The panels are not to exceed the size necessary to accommodate two lines of legend without crowding. Symbols and logos on a panel are not to exceed the height of two lines of word legends. All panels and other parts of the sign should be the same width, which should not exceed 6 ft.

Option. At intersection approaches where three or fewer facilities are shown, the left-turn, right-turn and straight-ahead destination panels may be combined on the same sign.

903.10.5 Advance Signs (MUTCD Section 2G.05)

903.10.5 tourism.jpg

Guidance. Advance signs should be limited to those situations where sight distance, intersection vehicle maneuvers or other vehicle operating characteristics require advance notification of the services.

The design of the advance sign should be identical to the design of the intersection approach sign. However, the directional arrows and distances to the facilities should be omitted. The directional word messages NEXT RIGHT, NEXT LEFT, or AHEAD should be placed on the sign above the business identification panels. The directional word messages should have the same letter height as the other word messages on the panels (see Figures 903.10.2 and 903.10.7).

Standard. The directional word messages shall be a white legend and border on a blue background.

Option. The legend RIGHT 1/2 MILE or LEFT 1/2 MILE may be used on advance signs when there are intervening minor roads.

The height required to add the directional word messages recommended for the advance sign may be added to the maximum sign height of 6 ft.

903.10.6 Sign Locations (MUTCD Section 2G.06)

Guidance. If used, the intersection approach signs should be located at least 200 ft. in advance of the intersection. Signs should be spaced at least 200 ft. apart and at least 200 ft. from other traffic control devices.

If used, advance signs should be located approximately 0.5 miles from the intersection with 500 ft. between these signs. In the direction of travel, the order of advance sign placement should show the facilities to the left first, then facilities to the right, and last, the facilities straight ahead.

Position, height and lateral clearance of signs should be governed by 903.1.19 except as permitted in this article.

Option. Tourist-oriented directional signs may be placed further from the edge of the road than other traffic control signs.

Standard. The location of other traffic control devices shall take precedence over the location of tourist-oriented directional signs.

903.10.6.1 Contractor’s Role. (MUTCD Section 2G.06a)

Support. It is the contractor’s role to administer the day-to-day operations of the TODS program. The current contractor for this program is Missouri Logos, Inc. Missouri Logos makes contacts with prospective customers, proposes sign layouts for MoDOT review and arranges for the erection of new signs.

903.10.6.2 MoDOT’S Role. (MUTCD Section 2G.06b)

Support. MoDOT’s primary role in the TODS program should assure that sign installations follow our guidelines. Missouri Logos will provide the district a proposed layout of any new sign installation.

Guidance. District traffic personnel should field check each installation to be sure there is sufficient spacing for the signs and they do not interfere with any existing signs. Any requests for TODS signing should be referred to Missouri Logos for handling. Missouri Logo’s phone number (573) 893-6662.

903.10.6.3 Maintenance. (MUTCD Section 2G.06c)

Support. Missouri Logos is responsible for the initial erection of the TODS signs and panels. After the initial installation, the maintenance of the sign panels and logos remain the responsibility of Missouri Logos.

903.10.7 State Policy 7CSR 10-22 (MUTCD Section 2G.07)

Fig. 903.10.7, Examples of Intersection Approach and Advance TODs signs

Guidance. The rules and regulations for the Tourist Oriented Directional (TODS) Program, including guidelines for its administration, are available at the Code of State Regulations link below: http://www.sos.missouri.gov/adrules/csr/current/7csr/7c10-22.pdf