Truck Inspection - Rest Area Combination Signing
This design is recommended for state wide application.
The signing of Truck Inspection Stations varies quite a bit throughout the state. In some instances, white-on-green signs are used, some stations are signed with black-on-yellow signs and others are signed with black-on-white signs. There is no consistency from one inspection station to the next, nor is there even consistency in the same NYSDOT region. I believe part of the issue is the fact that truck inspection stations are not addressed in the NYSDOT MUTCD, so engineers do not have a clear understanding of the standard.
Many truck inspection stations in New York are coupled with freeway rest areas. The combination of these stations are not addressed in the National MUTCD, which takes effect in New York (with state supplement) in September 2007.
I believe a clear, consistent method of signing truck inspection stations and rest areas is necessary in the Empire State. Budget and environmental concerns dictate the method of which the driver is notified that the truck inspection is open (flashing beacons, changeable message signs, fold up signs, etc) and naturally these variables must be considered when planning the proper signage for each facility, however, it is important to maintain an established standard for the legend and panel colors for these facilities.
Rest Area and Truck Inspection stations are currently signed as separate entities, though they often share the same facility. This results in two "sets" of signs for the same facility, both with their own upward arrow sign at the beginning of the deceleration lane and in some instances conflicting messages on the gore sign ("Rest Area") versus the overhead sign ("Truck Inspection Open When Flashing"). In addition, truck inspection panels often have no action message instructing the driver what to do. "Truck Inspection Open When Flashing Ahead". It is important to tell the driver that they must enter the inspection area when instructed to do so.
I propose the signs above, to appear in the order indicated. The sign colors match what is currently required by the National MUTCD. (Weigh Stations are signed white-on-green per section 2D.44 and rest areas and similar facilities are white-on-blue per section 2D.42 and 2E.52) Legend would need to be adjusted for the type of signals used, however, sign panel colors should remain the same. I have combined the Truck Inspection and Rest Area advance signs to one panel, in the same manner as PennDOT, so that there is no confusion for the motorist that both of these facilities are in the same area. Service Symbol signs for rest rooms, phone, etc would accompany the two mile advance sign only. All legend is in Series D with the exception of "MUST EXIT", which is in Series E Modified for emphasis.
I highly recommend that this area be readdressed by NYSDOT before the implementation of the National MUTCD with NYS Supplement in September.