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Section 9: Directional Signs

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Definition

A directional sign is a sign that contains only a message that identifies an attraction or activity that meets the requirements of this section and provides directional information, such as mileage, route number, or exit number, useful to the traveler in locating the attraction or activity. A directional sign may not contain descriptive words or phrases or pictorial or photographic representations of the activity or its environs.

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Registration

A directional sign may be erected and maintained without a license and permit. However, prior to erecting a directional sign, the owner must file an application on Form ROW-OA-26, Registration for Directional Signs , showing the location, message content, construction, and dimensions of the sign. Each application must have the applicant's notarized signature. There will be no fee associated with this registration.

The following criteria are applicable to directional signs.

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Message Content

The message on directional signs shall be limited to the identification of the attraction or activity and directional information useful to the traveler in locating the attraction, such as mileage, route numbers, or exit numbers. Descriptive words or phrases, and pictorial or photographic representations of the activity or its environs are prohibited.

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Selection Method and Criteria

Privately owned activities or attractions eligible for directional signing are limited to the following:

To be eligible, privately owned attractions or activities must be nationally or regionally known, and of outstanding interest to the traveling public. Examples of these sites may be found in the National Register of Historic Places, the National Registry of Natural Landmarks published by the U.S. Department of Interior, and the Texas State Travel Guide published by the State of Texas. Each District Engineer is authorized to determine whether a particular sign advertises an activity or attraction which is nationally or regionally known and of outstanding interest to the traveling public. A Chamber of Commerce sign may also qualify as a directional sign.

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Prohibited Directional Signs

The following directional signs are prohibited:

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  • signs advertising activities that are illegal under Federal and State law or regulation in effect at the location of those signs or activities;
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  • signs located in such a manner as to obscure or otherwise interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, signal, or device, or obstruct or interfere with the driver's view of approaching, merging, or intersecting traffic;
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  • signs erected or maintained upon trees, or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features;
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  • obsolete signs;
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  • signs that are structurally unsafe or in disrepair;
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  • signs that move or have animated or moving parts; and
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  • signs located in rest areas, parklands or scenic areas.
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Size

No sign shall exceed the maximum area of 150 square feet, maximum height of 20 feet and maximum length of 20 feet. All dimensions include border and trim, but exclude supports.

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Lighting and Movement

Directional signs must not contain, include or be illuminated by flashing, intermittent, or moving lights.

Lights that are part of or illuminate a directional sign must be shielded so that beams or rays of light are not being directed at any portion of the traveled way that could cause distractions or safety hazards. Lights should not interfere with the effectiveness of an official traffic sign, device, or signal.

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Spacing

TxDOT must approve each location of a directional sign.

No directional sign may be located within 2,000 feet of an interchange or intersection at grade along the interstate system or other primary system. The measurement is made from the nearest point of the beginning, ending, or pavement widening at the exit from or the entrance to the main-traveled way.

No directional sign may be located within 2,000 feet of a rest area, public park, or scenic area.

No two directional signs facing the same direction of travel shall be spaced less than one mile apart.

No more than three directional signs pertaining to the same activity and facing the same direction of travel may be erected along a single route approaching the activity.

Signs located adjacent to the Interstate System shall be within 75 air miles of the activity.

Signs located adjacent to the primary system shall be within 50 air miles of the activity.

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