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Section 2: Determining Location

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Determination of Need

Traffic engineers usually indicate signing needs on a schematic or drawing of the location.

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Field Review

After determining what signs are needed and approximately where they should be located based on the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD), traffic engineers conduct a field review to refine sign locations.

Most of the field work required for plan preparation is to:

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  • determine estimated roadside sign post lengths for large guide signs
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  • determine overhead sign support spans, tower heights and drill shaft foundations, and
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  • determine any site restrictions and document existing or proposed conditions that could affect sign visibility.
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Physical Features of Sign Placement

Many physical features may enter into the consideration of sign placement. These include:

Choosing the correct sign location requires good engineering judgment. Where possible, sign posts should not be placed in ditches or drainage channels.

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Back to Back Mounting

The shape of STOP or YIELD signs should not be obscured by mounting a larger sign behind the STOP or YIELD sign. Where possible, signs of different shapes should not be mounted back-to-back on the same post.

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Mounting Height

TxDOT roadside signs are mounted a minimum of 7 feet (maximum of 7.5 feet) above the edge of the travel lane, or above the grade at the base of the support, when the sign is installed on the backslope. The TMUTCD and the Sign Crew Field Book (SCFB) provide more detail on mounting height.

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Lateral Clearance

Minimum lateral clearances for both large and small roadside signs are shown in the Traffic Engineering Standard Sheets and the SCFB.

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Rural Intersections

Information and typical examples of appropriate signing and spacing for rural intersections can be found in the SCFB.

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