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Section 2: Warning Sign Advance Placement

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Introduction

Warning signs are placed in advance of a potential hazard. The Texas MUTCD presents basic information in Table 2C-4 of the manual. The information in this section expands upon the information in the Texas MUTCD.

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Advance Placement Condition Descriptions

The placement of a warning sign is based on the potential hazard the sign warns of and the amount of advance warning needed by a road user. There are five placement conditions:

  • Condition A represents a situation that involves a complex driving decision, often in heavy traffic conditions. Lane changes in heavy traffic, exiting maneuvers, and merging traffic are common examples. This condition typically applies to freeways and high volume urban arterial situations that require additional response time.
  • Condition B represents a condition where a vehicle may have to stop as a result of the potential hazard identified by the warning sign.
  • Condition C represents a condition where a vehicle may need to slow down in response to the potential hazard.
  • Condition D represents a condition where a vehicle may not need to slow down in responding to the potential hazard indicated by the warning sign.
  • Condition E represents a condition where the warning sign is placed at or in close proximity to the potential hazard indicated by the warning sign.
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Relation Between Minimum Distances and Sign Crew Field Book Distance

The minimum advance placement distances for warning signs shown in the next subheading are intended primarily for installation of isolated warning signs. When a warning sign is installed as part of a series of signs, it may be appropriate to place a warning sign further from the potential hazard than the values indicated in the table. In particular, warning signs on the approach or departure from an intersection are placed using the distances shown in the figures in Chapters 5 and 6 to maintain the system perspective with all the signs on the approach or departure.

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Advance Placement Distance for Warning Signs

Warning signs are placed in advance of a potential hazard based on the roadway speed limit, the type of response needed (the condition), and the speed associated with the warning sign response. Table 2-1 presents the minimum advance placement distances for warning signs. This table is an expansion of the information in Table 2C-4 from the Texas MUTCD. The underlined information was added to Table 2-1. Table 2-2 provides a description of each condition and information about which warning signs are associated with each condition.

Table 2-1: Minimum Advance Placement Distances for Warning Signs

Posted Speed (mph)

ConditionA

A

B: Stop

C: decelerate to indicated advisory speed (mph)

D

E

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

20

225

xB

xB

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

25

325

xB

xB

xB

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

30

450

xB

xB

xB

xB

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

35

550

100

xB

xB

xB

xB

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

40

650

125

100

100

xB

xB

xB

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

45

750

175

125

125

100

100

xB

xB

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

50

850

250

200

200

175

150

125

100

100

xB

xB

xC

xB

0

55

950

325

275

275

250

225

200

175

150

100

100

xB

xC

xB

0

60

1100

400

350

350

325

300

300

250

225

175

150

100

xB

xC

xB

0

65

1200

475

450

425

425

400

375

350

300

275

225

175

125

100

xC

100

0

70

1250

550

525

525

500

500

475

425

400

350

325

250

200

150

100

xC

100

0

75

1350

650

625

625

600

600

575

525

500

450

425

350

300

250

175

100

xC

100

0

80

1475

725

725

725

700

700

675

625

600

550

525

475

400

350

275

200

125

125

0

Notes:

These are minimum placement distances. Signs may be placed further away if appropriate.

ASee Table 2-2 for a list of the signs associated with each condition. The preceding page describes each of the conditions.

BCalculated placement distance is less than 50 ft. Accordingly, no suggested placement distance provided.

CSee distance for Condition D.

Underlined distances are not provided in MUTCD Table 2C-4.

— Advisory speed is greater than the posted speed, placement distance not appropriate.



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Conditions Associated with Specific Warning Signs

Table 2-2 lists the signs that are associated with the five conditions used in Table 2-1

Table 2-2: Warning Sign Placement Conditions

Placement Condition

Condition Description

Applicable Warning Signs

A

Complex Maneuvers

W4-1, Merge

W4-1a, Thru Traffic Merge Right

W9-1, Right (Left) Lane Ends

W9-2, Lane Ends Merge Left (Right)

B

Stop

W2-1, Cross Road

W2-2, Side Road (perpendicular)

W2-3, Side Road (oblique)

W2-4, T symbol

W2-5, Y symbol

W2-6, Circular Intersection

W3-1, Stop Ahead

W3-2, Yield Ahead

W3-3, Signal Ahead

W5-3, One Lane Bridge

W8-6, Truck Crossing

W8-13t, Water Crossing

W8-14, Water Over Road

W8-15, Watch for Water on Road

W10-1, Advance Railroad Crossing

W10-2, Parallel Railroad Crossing (cross road)

W10-3, Parallel Railroad Crossing (side road)

W10-4, Parallel Railroad Crossing (T road)

W10-5, Low Ground Clearance

W10-11, Railroad T Crossing

W10-12, Railroad Skewed Crossing

W11-1, Bicycle Crossing

W11-2, Pedestrian Crossing

W11-3, Deer Crossing

W11-4, Cattle Crossing

W11-5a, Farm Machinery Crossing

W11-6, Snowmobile Crossing

W11-7, Equestrian Crossing

W11-8, Emergency Vehicle Crossing

W11-9, Handicapped Crossing

W11-10, Truck Crossing

W11-11, Golf Cart Crossing

W11-11T, Watch for Emergency Vehicles

W11-14, Horse and Buggy Crossing

W12-2, Low Clearance

W14-1T, Road Ends

W14-1, Dead End

W15-1, Playground

W19-1, Draw Bridge Ahead

W19-2, Watch for Ice on Bridge

W19-3, Ramp Metered When Flashing

W19-4, Ramp Signal Ahead

W19-6, Loose Livestock

W19-10, Falling Rock

W19-11, Rock Slides

W19-12, Earth Slides

W19-14, Watch for Smoke on Road

W19-15, Watch for Mud on Road

W20-1, Weigh Station 1 Mile

W20-1a, Check Station 1 Mile

W20-2, Weigh Station ½ Mile

W20-2a, Check Station ½ Mile

W20-3D, Inspection Station Ahead

W20-7b, Be Prepared to Stop

C

Decelerate to Indicated Advisory Speed

All warning signs with an advisory speed plaque

W3-5, Speed Reduction (use speed shown in sign as advisory speed)

W7-6, Hill Blocks View

W13-2, Exit Speed

W13-3, Ramp Speed

W13-5, Curve Speed

W17-1, Speed Hump

D

No Speed Reduction

W1-1, Turn

W1-2, Curve

W1-3, Reverse Turn

W1-4, Reverse Curve

W1-5, Winding Road

W1-11, Hairpin Curve

W1-13, Truck Rollover

W1-15, 270° Loop

W4-3, Added Lane

W5-1, Road Narrows

W5-2, Narrow Bridge

W6-1, Divided Highway

W6-2, Divided Highway Ends

W6-3, Two Way Traffic

W7-1, Hill

W8-1, Bump

W8-2, Dip

W8-3, Pavement Ends

W8-4, Soft Shoulder

W8-5, Slow Down on Wet Road

W8-7, Loose Gravel

W8-8, Rough Road

W8-9, Low Shoulder

W8-12, No Center Stripe

W10-6, Uneven Tracks

W14-1, Dead End

W14-2, No Outlet

W14-3, No Passing Zone

 

E

Sign at Hazard

W1-6, One Direction Large Arrow

W1-7, Two Direction Large Arrow

W1-8, Chevron Alignment

W12-1. Double Arrow

 



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