Guide Signs for Freeways & Expressways
While guide signs help travelers from other cities navigate through unfamiliar territory, they also help local residents find destinations they’ve never visited before. Not all local drivers know every park or point of interest in town and may need help with indicators that give them clear directions. Here’s a deeper look at guidance placards and why they matter.
What Are They?
Guiding signage informs drivers about streets, intersections, routes, historic sites and local scenery. They appear on freeways, expressways and various other types of roads. Standards for these indicators are set by the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
The language must be simple for both locals and out of town visitors to understand. The placement of the indicators should be where motorists can easily notice them without obstructions. Travelers have come to expect guiding placards to be placed several miles in advance of any given destination. Not all of these placards have specific destinations or mileage, as some use symbols and arrows. Airports, for example, are commonly indicated by airplane images.
There are a wide range of guidance placards using symbols and lettering found on freeways. They may include mile markers, highway route markers and symbols for gas stations. Other common guiding indicators indicate upcoming gas service stations, lodging facilities and rest areas.
Guide signage may simply give useful information to drivers, such as what radio stations to tune in to for news and weather. Some signage provides phone numbers for motorists to call if they need to know about local services. An example in Southern California is 511. Bike routes also fall under the guidance category, as these are often represented by the image of a bicycle. Additionally, freeway entrance and exit placards are classified as guiding placards.
These signs are designed with square, rectangular or other shaped panels and must be easy to read. Drivers should be able to understand the message by glancing from a distance. Colors of the panels are usually green with white letters, with the options of black or white backgrounds. The lettering for destinations and streets should be a combination of initial upper-case letters and lower-case letters.
Importance of Freeway & Expressway Guide Signs
One of the most helpful aspects of guidance indicators is they provide motorists with mileage for various cities. In case the driver does not have a map or GPS, these indications help let drivers know how far away they are from their destinations.
It’s important for travelers to know how much fuel they need to complete the journey. In that sense the indicators serve as reminders they may need to stop and refuel at some point. Travelers have come to expect food, gas and lodging placards on freeways. People who drive electric cars do not have as many options and may need to pay close attention for placards that direct them to electric charging stations.
Hotel and rest area placards are vital for long distance travelers so that they avoid fatigue, which can be dangerous to other motorists. Rest area signage is extremely important for drivers who travel overnight to avoid paying for hotels or motels. Although rest areas typically don’t allow overnight camping, they help drivers balance long trips with breaks. They typically have vending machines, restrooms and maps.
For someone driving from San Diego to Seattle, they will be moving for many hours before they see placards for their destination. Guide signage typically provides mileage for the next upcoming cities rather than places that are over 500 miles away. Anyone making this trip likely has already planned their route, but in case they haven’t they can stop at a rest area or hotel and learn more.
While many vacationers plan their trips months in advance, a significant number make last-minute decisions on weekend getaways. These motorists particularly need guidance on highways, since they may not even have a specific destination in mind. For these travelers, the indicators themselves may influence where they end up to spend their vacation.
Guide signs ultimately help motorists find landmarks and historic points of interests. Although these places are usually easy to find from a freeway, tourists can still get overwhelmed when entering a new city for the first time. That’s why a series of indicators is often needed to provide guidance tourists to their destinations until approaching the exit. Some of the most important attractions include parks, rivers, lakes and streams.
Buy Freeway & Expressway Guide Signs
Work Safe Traffic Control Industries has been in business since 1993 making a variety of road indicators for the New England region. We work closely with local officials, construction companies and tourist attractions to supply the most appropriate signage necessary to help guide traffic to intended destinations.
Not only do we offer a wide range of traditional road indicators, we utilize the I-CONE smart technology system to help modernize cities and towns. Contact us at Worksafe Traffic Control Industries today to learn more about our traffic control solutions designed to make traveling safer and easier for all drivers.