Sign Shop

Multiple Panels On Overhead Sign Installations

This design is recommended for state wide application.

Same Size

There are many overhead sign installations throughout The Empire State. Sign size is usually determined by the amount of legend on each panel. On overhead installations, using the same size and style lettering on all the panels on a sign support is important to avoid motorists interpreting a false hierarchy of message importance. While not mentioned in the National MUTCD, many states opt to keep the sign panels on an overhead installation a common height. I believe this increases legibility and lends a more commanding, cohesive message to the motorist. At the very least, overhead signs of varying heights should be installed on a baseline instead of a common midline.

In addition, "pull-through signs (like the left most panel above), should be used where the geometrics of a given interchange are such that it is not clear to the road user as the which is the through roadway, or where additional route guidance is desired." However:

"Pull-Through signs with down arrows should be used where the alignment of the through lanes is curved and the exit direction is straight ahead, where the number of through lanes is not readily evident, and at multi-lane exits where there is a reduction in the number of through lanes." Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, 2003 Edition including Revision 1 dated November 2004, section 2E.11 .

I would interpret this NOT to include instances where the main roadway continues straight ahead, without sight distance concerns and there are no lane drops at the interchange in question. There are many instances throughout the state where the use of down-arrows is unnecessary and runs contrary to this guidance in the National MUTCD, and in some cases wrongly urges the motorist to move to the left-most lane unnecessarily, causing unnecessary weaving and potentially creating safety concerns at an interchange.

This issue should be addressed on new projects in the planning stages and by redesigning signing plans on guide panel rehabilition projects statewide.