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Section 2: Basic Departure Placement Considerations

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Introduction

The concept of a no sign zone has been developed to improve the probability of a sign being seen by drivers. Where possible, signs should be located beyond the no sign zone.

The two guide sign installations typically located on the departure from a highway intersection, Confirming or Reassurance Assembly and Distance sign, have been moved beyond the no sign zone. These placement locations are further from the intersection than that shown in the Texas MUTCD.

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Distance Between Departure Signs

The number and types of signs that may be placed on the intersection departure can vary significantly from one intersection to another. There is no set distance that a departure sign should be from the intersection. Instead, the departure signs should be placed so that there are at least 325 ft between signs.

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Effect of Speed on Placement Distances

Unlike the signing on the approach to an intersection, there are no separate placement distances for lower speed departures. The size of the no sign zone and the minimum distance between departure signs remain the same regardless of the speed.

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No Sign Zone

A driver’s attention is focused upon maneuvering through the intersection and the associated traffic during the time that the vehicle is passing through the intersection. Once the vehicle passes through the intersection, the driver has to refocus upon the driving task, checking speed, position, and other items. Departure signs that are located within a short distance of the intersection may not be seen by the driver due to the fact that the driver’s attention may be focused on other items.

In order to improve the ability of drivers to obtain the appropriate guidance information, a “no sign zone” should be established from the intersection to a point approximately 200 to 300 ft beyond the intersection. Signs should not be placed in this zone, if possible.

  • Departure Signs beyond the No Sign Zone – Wherever practical, signs located on the departure leg of an intersection should be located beyond the no sign zone. Examples of these signs include:
    • Confirming or Reassurance Assembly – This assembly should be located no closer than 200 ft from the intersection unless a Texas Reference Marker is attached to the assembly.
    • Speed Limit sign – This sign is typically used when the speed limit on the departure is different from the speed on any of the approaches.
    • Distance sign – This sign should be one of the last in the series of intersection departure signs.
  • Departure Signs in the No Sign Zone - In some cases, it may be necessary to place signs at the beginning of the departure. These signs are generally used to indicate a prohibition or restriction that the road user needs to be aware of before turning onto the departure roadway. These signs should be located at the intersection prior to the beginning of the no sign zone. However, before placing a sign in the no sign zone, the impacts of locating the sign further from the intersection (beyond the no sign zone) should be considered.

Examples of types of signs that might be located in the no sign zone include:

  • Regulatory signs – Typically indicate a regulation or prohibition that begins at the intersection. Examples include:
    • Keep Right signs (R4-7 series, in divisional island).
    • Do Not Enter signs (R5-1 series).
    • Vehicle, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Prohibition signs (R5-2 through R5-10).
    • One Way signs (R6-1 and R6-2).
    • Road Closed signs (R11-2 through R11-4).
    • Weight Limit signs (R12 series).
    • Width Restriction sign (R12-9 and R12-9a).
    • Hazardous Cargo Prohibition sign (R14-2 and R14-3).
    • Crossbuck (R15-1).
  • Warning signs – Typically warn of a potential hazard located a short distance beyond the intersection. Examples include:
    • Turn/Curve signs (W1-1 through W1-5, W1-11, W1-11T, W1-11p, and W1-15T).
    • Advance Railroad Warning signs (W10 series).
    • Crossing signs (W11 and S1 series).
    • Vertical Clearance sign (W12-2, W12-2Tp, W12-3p, and W12-4).
    • Load Zoned Bridge sign (W12-5).
    • Dead End signs (W14-1T, W14-1, W14-2, W14-1p, and W14-2).
  • Construction signs – If possible, locate construction signing beyond the no sign zone.
  • General information signs – Signs that do not serve a traffic control function.
  • Other Signs – Signs that are related to some aspect or physical characteristic of the intersection where it would be inappropriate to locate the sign away from the intersection. Examples include:
    • Texas Reference Marker.
    • State Maintenance Begins (D28).
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