Canopy Signing Design Issues and Guideline Development
For conventional plaza lanes capable of multiple methods of collection (e.g., ETC, manual and automatic), deployment of a CMS can result in user confusion if the available collection modes are not consistently applied over extended time periods. Driver expectancy resulting from a consistent schedule of signing messages should preclude a reduction in safety and operational efficiency when using a CMS to change the collection mode(s) available in a toll lane.
To maintain safety and operational efficiency as well as reduce weaving, the location of permanent ETC dedicated lanes within a conventional plaza should be uniquely distinguished to approaching customers in advance of the queue zone. This can be accomplished by using flashing beacons mounted adjacent to the sides of the signs or below the sign. This is particularly relevant to non-barrier protected dedicated lanes within a conventional toll plaza. Past experience of the New York State Thruway indicates mounting the flashing beacons at the bottom of the sign is more effective in distinguishing the ETC dedicated lanes to customers positioned at a wider range of distances from the canopy. The use of these beacons as a hazard warning device, which can be construed to pertain to the non stop, higher speed ETC dedicated lanes, complies with the general intent of the MUTCD.
Canopy Signing Guidelines
|Guideline||Canopy Signing Design Guideline 1|
|Text||Plazas offering lanes with multiple payment types and services should include canopy signing centered above each lane to indicate the payment type and service supported. Lanes supporting the same payment type(s) should be grouped together and use the same background color for the fixed, static sign panel. Lane use signals should be installed above each conventional plaza lane to display the operating status (i.e., open or closed) of each toll lane that is visible from the start of the queue zone, as a minimum.|
|Commentary||Information to be provided on canopy signing may include payment types accepted (i.e., ETC, exact change/tokens, or change & receipts), and vehicle restrictions (e.g., cars only, trucks only, cars and trucks). A CMS is required to provide the flexibility of changing the payment type(s) supported by the lane and the lane status, thereby eliminating the need for a separate lane use signal.|
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