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3.0 Signing, Markings and Channelization

3.1.1 State-of-the Practice

The MUTCD recommends that advance guide signing for major/intermediate freeway interchanges be provided at distances of 2, 1 and ½ mile from the interchange. The advance sign at the 2-mile distance is optional, but recommended. For minor interchanges, the MUTCD requires advance signs at 1 and ½ mile distances from the interchange. In addition, the MUTCD recommends placing signs overhead when three or more mainline lanes exist in one direction, or at complex interchanges.

The MUTCD (Section 2C.06) also provides guidance for the placement of warning signs in advance of an obstacle or required maneuver by the driver. Table 3.1, (excerpted from the MUTCD), provides advance sign placement distances based on the posted/operating speed of the roadway, and the speed reduction (or stop condition) that the vehicle is required to attain. The guidance (minimum advance sign placement distance) provided in this section is based onthe time required for sign information processing, driver recognition, present speed and lane change maneuver. This guidance may be applied to determine the following: the minimum advance placement distance of signs for the divergence of the conventional toll plaza from the express lanes that typically follow the roadway mainline alignment; and, the minimum advance placement distance of the last advance sign before the toll plaza. The advance sign placement distances should, however, be recalculated using higher Perception-Interpretation-Emotion-Volition (PIEV) times to account for possible complex weaving and lane changing maneuvers inherent to toll plazas. In addition, the location of the last advance sign should be selected to ensure canopy signing and lane control signals are not obstructed.

Advance placement distance table
Table 3.1 MUTCD Warning Sign Advance Placement Distances


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