Section 3: General Service Signs (White on Blue)Anchor: #i1003317
White-on-blue General Service signs provide road users with generic information about facilities and services that are available along the roadway. Several different types of General Service signs are commonly used in freeway corridors. They most commonly include:
- Rest Area signs
- Tourist Information and Welcome Center signs
- Radio-Traffic Information signs
- Specific Services signs.
Types of Facilities
General Service signs can identify several types of facilities that may be provided within the freeway right of way where road users can stop and avail themselves of various services. The following table describes these facilities in order from the most primitive to the least primitive.
(listed in order from most primitive to least primitive)
Provides only a place where vehicles can exit the freeway and park so drivers and passengers can stop traveling and take a break. No other services are typically provided at these locations.
Parking facility that also provides picnic tables.
Picnic facility that also provides restrooms. In some cases vending machines may also be provided at the rest area.
Tourist information and welcome center
Manned during some portion of the day to provide road users with travel information. They also provide the same services available at rest area facilities.
Rest Area Signs
Rest Area signs (see Figure 3-9 for examples) provide information about then location of rest areas:
Figure 3-9. Rest Area signs.
Rest Area signs are addressed in Section 2E.52 of the Texas MUTCD. The provisions in Section 2D.42 of the Texas MUTCD also apply; however, the signs should be suitable for freeway applications. Additional guidance is provided in Chapter 8, Section 5, of the Signs and Markings Volume of the Traffic Operations Manual.
Rest areas that include tourist information and welcome centers are addressed in Section 2E.53 of the Texas MUTCD.
Placement. Rest Area Advance signs must be placed 1 or 2 miles in advance of the rest area or at both locations.
Rest Area signs may only be used where parking and restroom facilities are available.
A rest area with parking and picnic tables but no restrooms should be signed PICNIC AREA. Figure 3-10 provides an example of Picnic Area signs.
A rest area with parking but no restrooms should be signed PARKING AREA.
Figure 3-10. Picnic Area signs.Anchor: #i1003428
Tourist Information and Welcome Center Signs
Tourist Information and Welcome Center signs (see Figure 3-11 for example), provide information about the location of tourist information and welcome centers.
Figure 3-11. Tourist Information sign.
Tourist Information and Welcome Center signs are addressed in Section 2E.53 of the Texas MUTCD.
Design. Minimum letter and numeral sizes for Tourist Information and Welcome Center signs should be the same as Rest Area signs.
Placement and Application. Section 2E.51 of the Texas MUTCD addresses location requirements for the Advance Guide, Exit Direction, and Exit Gore signs needed for tourist information and welcome centers.
Tourist information and welcome centers are usually built within rest areas. The Texas MUTCD provides the following information for rest areas that also serve as tourist information or welcome centers:
If the initial Advance Guide and Exit Direction signs for the rest area are already in place, Supplemental panels with the legend TOURIST INFO CENTER or WELCOME CENTER should be used. An alternative to the Supplemental panel is the Information Symbol (D9-10) described in Section 2D.45 of the Texas MUTCD. Otherwise, the message on the Advance Guide and Exit Direction signs should include a reference to the rest area and the tourist information and welcome center. The Advance Guide sign should also include the distance to the rest area. The Exit Gore sign should only contain the legend REST AREA.
For tourist information centers located off the freeway facility, the Texas MUTCD states that signing should be provided on the crossroad to guide drivers from the interchange to the tourist information center and back to the interchange.Anchor: #i1003480
Radio-Traffic Information Signs
Radio-Traffic Information signs (see 3-12 for example) provide information about radio stations that broadcast traffic-related information.
Figure 3-12. Radio-Weather Information sign.
Radio-Traffic Information signs are addressed in Section 2E.56 of the Texas MUTCD.
Radio-Traffic Information signs are designated as D12-1 signs with specifications given in Standard Highway Signs. For freeway applications, the larger letter height (10 inches) should be used.
The Texas MUTCD provides the following information about the location and content of Radio-Traffic Information signs:
- Only the numerical indication of the radio frequency may be used.
- No more than three frequencies may be shown on each sign. In rest area locations, signs may display a greater number of radio frequencies. However, those signs must not be visible from the main lanes.
- The signs must only display radio stations that broadcast driving-condition information affecting the roadway being traveled during adverse traffic conditions at no more than 15-minute intervals.
Specifically not allowed on the broadcasts of the radio stations displayed on the signs are:
- Identification of commercial names.
- Commercial messages.
Signs for stations that provide traffic information on a seasonal basis must be removed or covered during the off season.Anchor: #i1003559
Specific Information Logo Signs
Specific Information Logo signs (see Figure 3-13 for example) provide the driver with guidance for specific motorist services available at the approaching interchange. These signs are referred to as Specific Service signs in the Texas MUTCD and they are commonly known as Logo signs. The services eligible for Specific Information Logo signs are food, gas, lodging, and camping.
Figure 3-13. Specific Information Logo sign.
Sections 391.091 through 391.098 of the Texas Transportation Code set forth the conditions under which Logo signs and Shopping Mall signs are used. Texas Administrative Code Title 43, Section 25.400, describes the Logo and Shopping Mall sign programs in detail.
Chapter 14 of the Traffic Operations Manual: Signs and Markings Volume contains the operational procedures of the Specific Information Logo sign program.
Specific Services signs are addressed in Chapter 2F of the Texas MUTCD.
Traffic Engineering Standard Sheets LOGO(1), LOGO(2), and LOGO(3) address the design and layout of Specific Information Logo signs.
Specific Information Logo signs are installed and maintained by a private company under contract to TxDOT.