Supplemental Guide Signing Manual, 2012

 

Section
1.0 Foreword
  1.1 Policy
2.0 Criteria For Supplemental Guide Signing
  2.1 Introduction
  2.2 Responsibility
  2.3 Specific Criteria
  2.4 Sign Warrants
  2.4.1 Sign Warrant 1 – Colleges and Universities
  2.4.2 Sign Warrant 2 – Arenas, Auditoriums, Convention Halls, Stadiums, Event Centers, State & National Parks, Monuments, Major Recreational Areas (Fairgrounds, Amusement Parks, Zoos, etc.)
  2.4.3 Sign Warrant 3 – Military Bases
  2.4.4 Sign Warrant 4 – Transportation Facilities or Hubs (Air, Rail, Bus)
  2.5 Application
3.0 Specific Service Signing
  3.1 Introduction
  3.2 Limitations

1.0 Foreword

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD), published by the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is considered the authoritative national guideline for the use, design, and placement of all traffic control devices. In New Jersey, Title 39 of the Motor Vehicle State Law adopts the current edition of the MUTCD as its legal standard. As such, all traffic control devices utilized within New Jersey must be in substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
The MUTCD details the uses and benefits of supplemental guide signs to provide motorist information to various destinations. However, as a national standard, the MUTCD does not consider the local needs, customs or legal requirements of individual states. The guidelines outlined within this manual are designed to provide the standards, criteria, and limitations for the installation of supplemental guide signing for traffic generators and motorist attractions along the public highway system within New Jersey.
This manual does not supersede the requirements of the MUTCD. For example, supplemental guide signs must be fabricated with the acceptable retro-reflectivity value and must conform to locational installation guidelines. This manual cannot be construed as to categorize every possible state traffic generator. For destinations not readily defined, NJDOT must evaluate the motorist benefit of any request and, with concurrence of the FHWA, determine the justification for providing signs to such destinations.
Section 2 discusses the issues directly related to supplemental guide signing in New Jersey. Section 3 contains references to New Jersey’s specific service signing programs.

1.1 Policy

Any signing program not addressed in this manual must be in compliance with the current edition of the MUTCD. This manual supersedes any signing practices or guidelines that have been used in the past. With the adoption of this manual, previous NJDOT supplemental guide signing practices are no longer applicable.

2.0 Criteria For Supplemental Guide Signing

2.1 Introduction

The selection of pertinent information at any interchange or intersection is critical to the safe and efficient use of the State Highway System. Therefore, all information associated with an interchange or intersection cannot be presented to the road user. The combination of the necessary regulatory, warning and guide signs with supplemental guide signs can lead to signing problems such as confusion, misinformation and sign pollution. Accordingly, discretion is reserved by NJDOT in the selection and installation of all signs.
Before NJDOT determines if a traffic generator warrants supplemental guide signing, the request is first reviewed for eligibility within New Jersey’s specific service signing programs. If eligible, the specific service signing vendor will handle the request. Information may be found at http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/signs/.
The warrants set forth in this manual will assist in the clarification of which traffic generators qualify for supplemental guide signing on New Jersey’s state highway systems. The criteria will consider local needs, customs and legal requirements. Items such as the type of generator, traffic volume generated, and distance from the highway will be taken into account. NJDOT uses as a basis for this policy the current edition of the MUTCD and “Guidelines for the Selection of Supplemental Guide Signs for Traffic Generators Adjacent to Freeways” from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which provide guidance, criteria, and limitations for the installation and placement of supplemental guide signs.
The MUTCD, however, imposes several restrictions on the use of supplemental guide signs that cannot be circumvented. Several of these standards are presented as follows:

• No supplemental guide sign shall bear any advertising, commercial message, slogan, phone number, or Internet web address that is not essential to traffic control. All non-essential sign messages will not be permitted.
• Major signs at freeway interchanges and their approaches are reserved for advance guide signs and exit direction signs. It is essential that the same messages or destinations be displayed in the sequence of this signing. New destination information shall not be introduced into the major sign sequence for any interchange, nor should information be dropped. This guides NJDOT as to the placement or location of any approved sign both set forth by this manual and is non-negotiable.
• If approved, supplemental guide signs shall be limited only to two traffic generators, mounted on a single post. The two traffic generators that satisfy the criteria with the greatest percentage or those with the greatest need will be shown on the supplemental guide signs. Excessive signing can reduce the effectiveness of other important signing because of the possibility of overloading the vehicle operator’s capacity to receive and make decisions based on visual messages.
• If approved, only one supplemental guide sign per traffic generator will be permitted per interchange per approach, and it will be installed as an independent sign assembly. The supplemental guide sign will not be posted overhead.
• NJDOT reserves the right to amend, abbreviate, or abridge any sign legend where appropriate. To keep guide signing consistent, information about the traffic generator will be standardized. For example, the applicant may inquire as to the feasibility of the “XYZ Company Scenic Point Overlook”. If approved, these requests will be generalized as only “Scenic Area”, “Scenic View” or similar equivalent.

Furthermore, the portions of the MUTCD, 2009 Edition, which NJDOT considers applicable to this policy, are found in Parts 1 and 2 and, in particular, the following chapters:
• 2D. Guide Signs-Conventional Roads
• 2E. Guide Signs- Freeways and Expressways
• 2G. Preferential and Managed Lane Signs
• 2H. General Information Signs
• 2I. General Service Signs
• 2J. Specific Service Signs
• 2K. Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs
• 2L. Changeable Message Signs
• 2M. Recreational and Cultural Interest Area Signs
• 2N. Emergency Management Signing

In consideration of the above, the criteria set forth herein do not necessarily mean an automatic qualification for signing. Engineering judgment is important in the final determination as to whether or not supplemental guide signs will be installed. If a field investigation reveals that the existing signing is already at the maximum level as permitted by the MUTCD or where an “on premise” sign, clearly visible from the highway, already exists for the facility requesting a sign, the request for supplemental guide signing shall be denied.

2.2 Responsibility

Independent of the additional required criteria set forth in Section 2.3-2.4 herein, the following requirements are mandatory to gain approval for the installation of supplemental guide sign(s).

1. The applicant must submit a written request with any supporting data to NJDOT to begin an investigation into the need for supplemental guide signing.
2. Any requests for supplemental guide signs along an Interstate route will be forwarded to FHWA for their review and concurrence.
3. If needed by NJDOT, the applicant shall enter into a signed memorandum of agreement (MOA) with NJDOT. The applicant will be responsible for all costs of the initial signing. A fee of $1,750 per sign will be required to cover the fabrication, installation, and maintenance costs to NJDOT.
4. NJDOT will design and install the necessary signs and will assume maintenance of the signing throughout the applicable life of the signs.
5. The applicant accepts that NJDOT will install signs on its right-of-way jurisdiction only. The applicant will be responsible for the installation of all directional signing outside NJDOT jurisdiction.
6. Signs are to be erected in accordance with the current MUTCD and NJDOT standards and specifications. The maximum allowable size of a supplemental guide sign will be 50 square feet.
7. After installation, the applicant is responsible to update and justify the need for the signing every five (5) years from the installation date. The sign warrants must be maintained or met again on each subsequent renewal, and the signs will remain free of charge. If the warrants are not met, then the signs will be removed. There will be no charge for a resubmission of an anniversary review.
8. NJDOT recognizes that past practice has allowed for the installation of supplemental guide signs that are contrary to MUTCD and AASHTO guidelines and are now in direct violation of this manual. Removal of such signs will be necessary, not only to address sign pollution, but to also reduce maintenance and replacement costs. At a minimum, existing supplemental guide signs prohibited by this manual shall not be replaced during NJDOT’s Sign Retro-Reflectivity Maintenance Program or at the end of their useful lives (e.g. faded/damaged/knocked down), whichever occurs first.
9. NJDOT will review all signing contained within the limits of capital and maintenance projects as well as within developer agreements. Signing in conflict with this manual shall be removed as part of these projects.

2.3 Specific Criteria

Supplemental guide signing will not be considered for the following traffic generators:

Schools Historical
Child Learning Facilities Privately Owned Facilities
Day-Care Facilities Homes and Buildings
Grade Schools Communities
High Schools Civil Centers Military – (VFW/American Legion, etc.)
Vo-techs Libraries
Seminaries Religious Facilities
Private Schools Subdivisions
Businesses Fraternal Societies
Entertainment Facilities Medical
Automobile Dealers Research Facilities
Banks Infirmaries
Funeral Homes Treatment Centers
General Commercial Sales Retirement Facilities
Movie Theatres Nursing Homes
Pharmacies Humane Facilities
Residential Trailer Parks (private) Veterinary Clinics/Emergency Hospitals
Taverns/Bars Extended Care Facilities
Truck Stops/Full Service Health Clubs
TV/Radio Stations Sanitariums/Asylums
Industrial Parks and Plants Veteran Facilities
Shopping Centers Governmental
Cemeteries Research Facilities
Local/State Experimental Facilities
Public/Private Maintenance Facilities
Military Power Plants
Military County & City Facilities
Armories Courthouses
Civil Defense Facilities Driver License Facilities
Arsenals Motor Vehicle Inspection Facilities
Sites/Detachments Maintenance Facilities


2.4 Sign Warrants

The following sign warrants are created to assist an applicant in determining the necessity of a supplemental guide sign on the state highway system. The applicant should use the values presented in the following tables. Should that applicant not meet the requirements set forth in these sign warrants, it is highly recommended that the applicant not apply for supplemental guide signing. Any applicant can contact NJDOT for further information.
The following generators are hereby discussed by an applicable warrant:

• Colleges & Universities
• Arenas
• Auditoriums
• Convention Halls
• Stadiums
• Event Centers
• State & National Parks
• Monuments
• Major Recreational Areas (Fairgrounds, Amusement Parks, Zoos, etc.)
• Military Bases
• Transportation Facilities/Hubs (Air, Rail, Bus)

2.4.1 Sign Warrant 1 – Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities are subject to meeting the requirements of all sections of Sign Warrant 1.

1. In addition to satisfactory compliance of Section 2.2 entitled Responsibility, to be eligible for signing as a College or University, the requested institution must be licensed by the New Jersey Department of Higher Education. Signing will be limited to universities, four-year colleges, and community colleges.
2. The institution shall meet the distance from the respective interchange and enrollment / trips criteria set forth in the table below. The statistics provided to meet these sign warrants do not necessitate verification from a hired professional. Published statistics from a registrar office and parking department may suffice to obtain satisfactory compliance of the sign warrants. However, if these statistics cannot be independently verified by NJDOT, then an expert obtained on the behalf of the applicant will be required to furnish these statistics.
3. All signs to be installed shall be rectangular, retro-reflective with white lettering, arrows and border on a green background.

Sign Warrant 1 Table- Colleges and Universities

Generator
Criteria
Major Metro Area1
Urban Area1
Rural Area1
College or University
Total Enrollment: Full & Part Time Students or
5,000
4,000
2,500
# of Trips2 Generated Annually

900,0003a
1,200,0003b

550,0003a
750,0003b
300,0003a
450,0003b
And Distance from Interchange (miles)4
2
3
5

1-This type of area in which an institution is located will be determined by referencing the latest delimitation of urban areas map, prepared by NJDOT Division of Data Base Generation.
2-Trip: A single or one-direction vehicle movement to the generator.
3a- College or University without dorms, each student =1.5 trips
3b- College or University with dorms, each student = 2 trips
4- The distance may be increased ½ mile for each 10% over the minimum requirement listed to a maximum of two times the minimum distance listed.

2.4.2 Sign Warrant 2 - Arenas, Auditoriums, Convention Halls, Stadiums, Event Centers, State & National Parks, Monuments, Major Recreational Areas (Fairgrounds, Amusement Parks, Zoos, etc.)

Arenas, Auditoriums, Convention Halls, etc. are subject to meeting the requirements of Sign Warrant 2.

1. In addition to satisfactory compliance of Section 2.2 entitled Responsibility, the entity shall meet the number of permanently fixed seats, distance from the respective interchange, and annual attendance criteria set forth in the table below. The statistics provided to meet these sign warrants do not necessitate verification from a hired professional. Published statistics from a box office or management department may suffice to obtain satisfactory compliance of the sign warrants. However, if these statistics cannot be independently verified by NJDOT, then an expert obtained on the behalf of the applicant will be required to furnish these statistics.
2. All signs to be installed shall be rectangular, retro-reflective with white lettering, arrows, and border on a green/brown/blue background.

Sign Warrant 2 Table – Arenas, Auditoriums, Convention Halls, etc.

Generator
Criteria
Major Metro Area1
Urban Area1
Rural Area1
Arenas, Auditoriums, Convention Halls, Stadiums, Event Centers, State & National Parks, Monuments, Major Recreational Areas (Fairgrounds, Amusement Parks, Zoos, etc.)
Annual Attendance and
300,000
250,000
200,000
# of Seats (If Applicable) and
6,000
5,000
4,000
Distance from Interchange (miles)
2
3
5

1-This type of area in which an institution is located will be determined by referencing the latest delimitation of urban areas map, prepared by NJDOT Division of Data Base Generation.

2.4.3 Sign Warrant 3 - Military Bases


Military bases are subject to meeting the requirements of Sign Warrant 3.

1. In addition to satisfactory compliance of Section 2.2 entitled Responsibility, the military base shall meet the traffic volume, distance from the respective interchange, and personnel criteria set forth in the table below. The statistics provided to meet these sign warrants do not necessitate verification from a hired professional. Published statistics from a management office may suffice to obtain satisfactory compliance of the sign warrants. However, if these statistics cannot be independently verified by NJDOT, then an expert obtained on the behalf of the applicant will be required to furnish these statistics.
2. All signs to be installed shall be rectangular, retro-reflective with white lettering, arrows and border on a green background.


Sign Warrant 3 Table – Military Bases

Generator
Criteria
Major Metro Area1
Urban Area1
Rural Area1
Military Bases
# of Employees & Permanently Assigned Military Personnel or
5,000
5,000
5,000
# of Trips2 Generated Annually
1,200,0003
750,0003
450,0003
And Distance from Interchange (miles)4
7
7
7

1-This type of area in which an institution is located will be determined by referencing the latest delimitation of urban areas map, prepared by NJDOT Division of Data Base Generation.
2-Trip: A single or one-direction vehicle movement to the generator.
3- One employee or military personnel = 0.9 trips
4- The distance may be increased ½ mile for each 10% over the minimum requirement listed to a maximum of two times the minimum distance listed.

2.4.4 Sign Warrant 4 – Transportation Facilities or Hubs (Air, Rail, Bus)

Transportation facilities are subject to meeting the requirements of Sign Warrant 4.

1. In addition to satisfactory compliance of Section 2.2 entitled Responsibility, the facility shall meet the distance from the respective interchange and the number of daily scheduled departures set forth in the table below. The statistics provided to meet these sign warrants do not necessitate verification from a hired professional. Published statistics from a management office may suffice to obtain satisfactory compliance of the sign warrants. However, if these statistics cannot be independently verified by NJDOT, then an expert obtained on the behalf of the applicant will be required to furnish these statistics.
2. All signs to be installed shall be rectangular, retro-reflective with white lettering, arrows and border on a green/blue background.

Note for Airports:
1. The NJDOT Bureau of Aeronautics will be responsible for the funding of supplemental guide signs for airports.
2. Airports, which have regularly scheduled commercial flights, will utilize standard trailblazers with a supplemental plaque indicating the official name of the airport.
3. Supplemental guide signs designated for non-state roadways will be delivered to and installed by the Bureau of Aeronautics.


Sign Warrant 4 Table – Transportation Facilities or Hubs (Air, Rail, Bus)

Generator
Criteria
Major Metro Area1
Urban Area1
Rural Area1
Transportation Facilities or Hubs (Air, Rail, Bus)
# of Regularly Scheduled Departures per Day (commercial) and
35
25
15
Distance from Interchange (miles)
2
3
5

1-This type of area in which an institution is located will be determined by referencing the latest delimitation of urban areas map, prepared by NJDOT Division of Data Base Generation.
Note: Signs will be determined and placed by NJDOT along state highways at the decision points.

2.5 Application

Any applicant, requesting installation of a supplemental guide sign, recreational sign, cultural sign, or medical trailblazer on a roadway within NJDOT jurisdiction, shall submit the request in writing to NJDOT. After satisfactory fulfillment of the criteria set forth in Sections 2.3 and 2.4 herein, the applicant will be notified of the acceptance and a tentative time frame for installation. Notwithstanding the applicant’s compliance with Sections 2.3 and 2.4 or anything to the contrary in this manual, NJDOT reserves the right to amend such criteria, to require further qualifications from the applicant, and to deny acceptance of the application.
The figure below illustrates the process to assist an applicant in the process:


3.0 Specific Service Signing

3.1 Introduction

NJDOT coordinates two programs, Logo Signing (Logos) and Tourist-Oriented Directional Signing (TODS), created to operate in conjunction with the guidelines for specific service signing as detailed within the current edition of the MUTCD. It is conceivable that eligibility regarding traffic generators for Logos and TODS may overlap with those specified for supplemental guide signing. For any such overlap, it is the intention of the NJDOT to direct the applicant to the appropriate specific service signing program.
For vendor contact or general program information, applicants may call NJDOT at (609)530-3337 or go online to http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/signs/.

3.2 Limitations

As a general rule, Logos is designated for installation along Interstate routes and freeways, while TODS is provided along the state’s land service highways. However, due to various traffic engineering and safety considerations, not all New Jersey routes are allowed to participate within these programs.
By current practice, Logos may be installed along the following routes:

I-78 I-80 I-95 I-195 I-280 I-287 I-295 NJ-18 NJ-24 NJ-33 NJ-42 NJ-55

TODS is officially adopted within the New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC) 16:41d, which can be found online at http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/rules/documents/16-41DTODS.pdf.


The qualified routes for TODS are detailed within the Code’s Appendix and also below:

US-9 US-30 NJ-45 NJ-66 NJ-94 NJ-181
US-9W NJ-31 US-46 NJ-68 NJ-109 NJ-182
NJ-10 NJ-33 NJ-47 NJ-70 NJ-124 NJ-183
NJ-12 NJ-34 NJ-48 NJ-71 US-130 US-202
NJ-15 NJ-35 NJ-49 NJ-72 NJ-138 US-206
NJ-17 NJ-36 NJ-50 NJ-73 NJ-147 NJ-208
US-22 NJ-37 NJ-52 NJ-77 NJ-152 NJ-284
NJ-23 NJ-38 NJ-53 NJ-79 NJ-166 US-322
NJ-27 US-40 NJ-54 NJ-82 NJ-168  
NJ-28 NJ-41 NJ-56 NJ-83 NJ-173  
NJ-29 NJ-44 NJ-57 NJ-88 NJ-179  

Updated:
Feb 14, 2008


Last Maintenance Correction:
March 27, 2012