Section 9: Traffic Generators, Special Events, and Government Offices

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Signing for Traffic Generators

Signing for traffic generators (D1, E1, and E2 series) and special events presents a challenge because of the wide variety of generators and their various sizes and locations in relation to highways. The Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD) contains a chart showing various generators and eligibility criteria for signing. Districts should follow these guidelines as closely as possible to maintain statewide consistency for signing requests.

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Local Authority Requests for Traffic Generator Signs

Local authorities often request TxDOT to sign for various traffic generators. The following guidelines apply.

Outside city limits TxDOT erects signs for generators that meet the criteria established in Appendix D of the TMUTCD.

Inside city limits:

  • TxDOT erects signs for tourist information centers, historic districts, schools, etc. that meet the criteria for signing traffic generators shown in the TMUTCD when space is available.
  • Cities may erect such signs on conventional highways and frontage roads of freeways, provided they are agreed to by TxDOT and they do not conflict with or obstruct existing signing. (This is presently covered in municipal maintenance agreements.)
  • Signs placed by the city must not be attached to existing TxDOT supports.

Commercial Names

Traffic generators that meet the guidelines and have proper nouns such as “Ford Park” often hint at commercial signing. In this case the Ford Motor Company purchased the rights for the name of the facility, an entertainment center with various attractions. In these cases, TxDOT signs for the official name, regardless of its apparent commercial implication. On the other hand, a message such as “Sponsored by Ford Motor Company” would be deemed as advertising and would not be permitted under the standard set forth in the TMUTCD, Chapter 1A: “Traffic control devices or their supports shall not bear any advertising message or any other message that is not related to traffic control.”

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Seasonal and Special Events Signing

Temporary signing on various routes to seasonal or special events attracting a large number of motorists should be provided similar to that for permanent generators. All temporary special-events signing must meet the requirements of Title 43 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 22.15 and be approved by the Maintenance Division.

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In 1988 there was considerable interest in trailblazing routes to international airports serving metropolitan areas from central business districts and convention center locations. The result of this effort was the guidelines for such ground-mounted signs (I-5 series) described in the TMUTCD and overhead signs described in the Traffic Control Standard Plan Sheets. Cities were asked to add signs on their street system to enhance the state route signs.

In cases where there is more than one international airport, a name plaque may be added above the airplane symbol sign to define which airport was being signed.

All of these signs should continue to be maintained.

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Offices of Elected US and State Officials

Districts may erect modified D1 series guide signs with recommended 6-inch on conventional highways to indicate the local offices of U.S. and state representatives and senators in accordance with the criteria for state and federal government facilities outlined in the TMUTCD. The name of the elected official should be used on these signs. The representative or senatorial district number may also be included on the sign, but should not replace the name of the official. Phone numbers and physical or Web addresses are not allowed on these signs. The font size may be reduced if space limitations restrict the overall size of the sign.

The signs should be erected only when requested by the elected official. The distance restrictions in the signing criteria should be strictly followed. The signs may be erected on conventional highways only. Freeway and expressway main lane signing should be limited to the types of traffic generators listed for freeways. (Freeway frontage roads are considered conventional highways.)

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Texas Lottery Claim Centers

Districts should erect D1 guide signs for Texas Lottery claim centers on conventional highways in accordance with the criteria for state and federal government facilities outlined in the TMUTCD. When a lottery claim center is located in an existing comptroller’s office and there is an existing sign on the state system for COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, the lottery claim center sign should be mounted below it.

If the center is off-system and on a city street, districts should work with the city to have the sign erected at city or comptroller’s expense.

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