Category:903 Highway Signing

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Highway signs are directly related to the design of the highway and effectively provide travelers with information needed to safely and efficiently complete trips. Signs must have uniformity of meaning. Excessive and inadequate signing can cause traveler confusion.

There are many aspects to be considered when inspecting construction quality and this article provides construction inspection guidelines, material inspection guidelines and laboratory testing guidelines.

Types of highway signing include guide,regulatory, warning, specific service signs, tourist-oriented directional, recreational and cultural interest and emergency management. There are also conventional road guide signs as well as freeway and expressway guide signs. Traffic controls for schools must often be addressed as well as traffic controls for highway-rail grade crossings.

This article outlines procedures for the preparation of contract signing plans, and supplements the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (MUTCD), and the FHWA manual of Standard Highway Signs. The standard plans are referred to for further details. Before beginning sign selection or location, the following are reviewed: the guidelines of the MUTCD, this article and FHWA's Standard Highway Signs manual. It is important to use standard sign design and layouts in order to provide consistent signing throughout the state of Missouri. The districts are responsible for proper review of signing plans for accuracy, to ensure standards are met and deviations from the standards to be justified.

The need for uniform standards was recognized long ago. The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), now known as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), published a manual for rural highways in 1927, and the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety (NCSHS) published a manual for urban streets in 1930. In the early years, the necessity for unification of the standards applicable to the different classes of road and street systems was obvious. To meet this need, a joint committee of AASHO and NCSHS developed and published the original edition of the MUTCD in 1935. That committee, now called the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD), though changed from time to time in name, organization, and personnel, has been in continuous existence and has contributed to periodic revisions of this article. The FHWA has administered the MUTCD since the 1971 edition. The FHWA and its predecessor organizations have participated in the development and publishing of the previous editions. There were eight previous editions of the MUTCD, and several of those editions were revised one or more times.

Economic activity such as tourism can be encouraged by proper signage

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, under authority granted by the Highway Safety Act of 1966, decreed that traffic control devices on all streets and highways open to public travel in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 109(d) and 402(a) in each state shall be in substantial conformance with the Standards issued or endorsed by the FHWA.

23 CFR 655.603 adopts the MUTCD as the national standard for any street, highway, or bicycle trail open to public travel in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 109(d) and 402(a). The “Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC)” is one of the publications referenced in the MUTCD. The UVC contains a model set of motor vehicle codes and traffic laws for use throughout the United States. States are encouraged to adopt Section 15-116 of the UVC that states, “No person shall install or maintain in any area of private property used by the public any sign, signal, marking, or other device intended to regulate, warn, or guide traffic unless it conforms with the State manual and specifications adopted under Section 15-104.”

The standards, guidance, options and support material described in this article provide the transportation professional with the information needed to make appropriate decisions regarding the use of traffic control devices on streets and highways. The material in this edition provides standards that must be satisfied for the particular circumstances of a situation, guidance that is to be followed for the particular circumstances of a situation and options that may be applicable for the particular circumstances of a situation.

Before laying out distances or determining sign sizes, the public agency is to decide whether to use the International System of Units (Metric) or the English equivalent units. The chosen units should be specified on plan drawings. The chosen unit of measurement is to be made known to those responsible for designing, installing or maintaining traffic control devices.

Except when a specific numeral is required by the text of an article in this manual, numerals shown on the sign images in the figures that specify quantities such as times, distances, speed limits and weights should be regarded as examples only. When installing any of these signs, the numerals should be appropriately altered to fit the specific signing situation.

The preliminary layouts of all signs included in the project, along with a completed Sign Design Order Form (Design Form D-28), shall be provided to Traffic so that 30 working days are allowed for review and design to be completed. Each sign shall be identified as an overhead or ground-mounted sign. Traffic shall be provided with a date the sign designs need to be returned for review. The return date needs to allow enough time to design and quantify the bases and trusses or posts.

This article also addresses extent of signing and sign supports. It provides typical signing applications and guidance for preparation of sign plansas well as highway signing general information and other signing items.

Refer to 620 Pavement Marking for traffic control markings.

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THE INTERSTATE SYSTEM. Signing of all interstate highways is coordinated on a national basis by the MUTCD and Standard Highway Signs.

OTHER HIGHWAYS. Signing of highways other than the interstate system is coordinated on a statewide basis by MoDOT and the MUTCD.