Traffic Manual by jennyyingdi

VIEWS: 44 PAGES: 186

M 51-02

   Washington State Department of Transportation
    Environmental and Engineering Service Center
    Traffic Office
       Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
 Persons with disabilities may request this information be prepared
  and supplied in alternate formats by calling the Washington State
 Department of Transportation ADA Accommodation Hotline collect
   (206) 389-2839. Persons with hearing impairments may access
 Washington State Telecommunications Relay Service at 7-1-1, and
               ask to be connected to (360) 705-7097.

Additional copies may be purchased from:
       Washington State Department of Transportation
       Directional Documents and Engineering Publications
       PO Box 47408
       Olympia, WA 98504-7408
       Phone: 360-705-7430
       Fax: 360-705-6861
This publication is also available on CD-ROM or via Internet on the WSDOT homepage

                 The Traffic Manual is provided as a guide for department personnel
                 in traffic operations and design. This manual does not establish
                 absolute standards but, with the application of traffic engineering
                 analyses, helps establish uniform guidelines and procedures for the
                 use of traffic control devices.
                 This manual should be used in conjunction with the Manual on
                 Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to assure uniform
                 statewide application of traffic control devices. This document
                 provides interpretive guidance but does not change the requirements
                 of the MUTCD.
                 The Traffic Manual contains references to the Design Manual,
                 Standard Plans, Plans Preparation Manual, Construction Manual,
                 and the Maintenance Manual. Copies of these documents are avail-
                 able from the Washington State Department of Transportation
                 (WSDOT) Engineering Publications Branch.

                 E. R. BURCH
                 Assistant Seretary
                 Program Development Division


Traffic Manual                                                                  Page i
July 1993

Page ii    Traffic Manual
                July 1993
                                                                  Comment Request Form

            Please use this form to submit any corrections or suggestions you believe might
            improve this manauls accuracy or usefulness.

           From:                                                               Date:

                 To: Washington State Department of Transportation
                     Traffic Engineer
                     724 Quince Street SE
                     Capital View Building 2
                     Olympia WA 98504-7344

          Subject: Traffic Manual Comment

                     Ë Addition                          Ë Correction
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            Comment (marked copies attached):

                             Preserve this original for future use • Submit copies only

Traffic Manual
Chapter 1        General Information
                 1.1   WSDOT Traffic Functions                                               1-1
                 1.2   Headquarters Traffic Administration                                   1-1
                       A.   State Traffic Engineer’s Office                                  1-1
                            i.    Traffic Design                                             1-2
                            ii.   Traffic Operations                                         1-2
                            iii.  Work Zone Traffic Control                                  1-3
                            iv.   Traffic Engineering Training                               1-4
                            v.    Outdoor Advertising Control                                1-4
                       B.   State ITS Engineer’s Office                                      1-4
                       C. State Maintenance Engineer’s Office                                1-5
                 1.3   Regional Traffic Administration                                       1-5
                       A.   Coordinate Traffic Studies, Data Collection, and Analysis        1-5
                       B.   Maintain Compliance With Rules and Regulations                   1-5
                       C. Provide Traffic Expertise                                          1-6
                       D. Manage Freeway and Arterial Operations                             1-6
                       E.   Coordinate Traffic Information                                   1-6
                       F.   Administer Program Q                                             1-6
                       G. Traffic Control Device Inventories                                 1-6
                 1.4   Urban Planning Office                                                 1-6
                 1.5   Transportation Data Office (TDO)                                      1-7
                 1.6   Local Agency Traffic Services                                         1-8
                 1.7   Abbreviations                                                         1-8
                 1.7   References                                                            1-9
Chapter 2        Signs
                 2.1   General                                                            2-1
                       A.  Sign Fabrication Manual (M55-05)                               2-1
                       B.  Sign Legend Design                                             2-1
                       C. Reflective Sign Sheeting Material Requirements                  2-3
                       D. RCW, WAC Purview                                                2-3
                       E.  Wood Post Drilling                                             2-3
                       F.  Temporary Attention Devices                                    2-3
                       G. Sign Storage                                                    2-3
                       H. Sign Maintenance Responsibility— City Streets as State Highways 2-5
                       I.  Responsibility for Stop and Stop Ahead Signs                   2-5
                       J.  Controlling Vegetation Around Signs                            2-5
                       K.  Sign Placement                                                 2-5
                 2.2   Regulatory Signs                                                   2-6
                       A.  Bicycle Prohibition Signing                                    2-6
                       B.  Signing for Auxiliary Climbing and Passing Lanes               2-6
                       C. Signing for Shoulder Driving                                    2-6
                       D. Signing for Slow Vehicle Turnouts                               2-7
                       E.  Speed Limit Signs                                              2-7
                       F.  Speed Zone Signing                                             2-7

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                                Page 1-iii
January 2005

                  G. Two-Way Left Turn Lane Signs                                   2-7
                  H. Yield Signs on Ramps                                           2-8
                  I.   Range Area Signs                                             2-8
                  J.   No Pedestrian Crossing Sign                                  2-8
                  K.   Lane Use Control Sign                                        2-8
                  L.   Unmuffled Compression Brakes Signs                           2-8
                  M. Compression Brake Prohibition Signing                          2-8
            2.3   Warning Signs                                                     2-9
                  A.   Added Lane Sign                                             2-10
                  B.   Chevron Alignment Signs                                     2-10
                  C. Deer Crossing Sign                                            2-10
                  D. Exit Advisory Speed Sign                                      2-10
                  E.   Ramp Advisory Speed Sign                                    2-10
                  F.   Fire Station Signs                                          2-10
                  G. Grated Bridge Deck Sign                                       2-10
                  H. Grooved Pavement Sign                                         2-11
                  I.   Hairpin Curve Sign                                          2-11
                  J.   Truck Tipping Signs                                         2-11
                  K.   Intersection Warning Signs                                  2-11
                  L.   Low Clearance Signing                                       2-11
                  M. Merge Sign                                                    2-12
                  N. Stop Ahead/Signal Ahead Signs                                 2-12
                  O. Turn and Curve Signs and Advisory Speed Plaques               2-12
                  P.   Pavement Ruts Sign                                          2-12
                  Q. Transit Stop Ahead Sign                                       2-13
                  R. Snowmobile Signs                                              2-13
                  S.   Bikes on Road Signs                                         2-13
                  T.   Left Turns Ahead Signs                                      2-13
                  U. Object Markers/Lateral Clearance Markers                      2-13
                  V.   Watch for Ice Signs                                         2-14
            2.4   Guide Signs                                                      2-14
                  A.   Route Marker Signs                                          2-14
                  B.   Primary Guide Signs                                         2-15
                  C. Distance Signs                                                2-16
                  D. Supplemental Gudie Sign                                       2-17
                  E.   Follow-Through Signing                                      2-22
                  F.   Other Essential Guide Signs                                 2-22
            2.5   Miscellaneous Signing                                            2-30
                  A.   School Areas                                                2-30
                  B.   Closure Plaques for State Parks                             2-31
                  C. City/Community Entrance Markers                               2-31
                  D. Limited Access Signs                                          2-34
                  E.   Carpool Information Signs                                   2-34
                  F.   DNR Fire Danger Signs                                       2-34
                  G. Adopt-A-Highway Signs                                         2-34
                  H. DUI Victim Memorial Signs                                     2-35
                  I.   Private Road Signing                                        2-35

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                                                                            January 2005

                       J.   Fire District Boundary Signs                                2-35
                       K.   Fire Hydrant Marker Signs                                   2-35
                       L.   Litter Control Signs                                        2-35
                       M.   Post Offices                                                2-35
                       N.   Signing for Highway Advisory Radio and Traveler
                               Information Station                                      2-36
                       O. Changeable Message Signs on State Highways                    2-37
                       P.   Commercial Dump Prohibition Signing                         2-41
                 2.6   Motorist Information Signs                                       2-41
                       A.   WAC 468-70-030, Location of Panels and Signs                2-41
                       B.   WAC 468-70-040, Interchange and Intersection Selection
                               for Motorist Information Sign Panels                     2-42
                       C. WAC 468-70-050, Business Eligibility                          2-43
                       D. WAC 468-70-070, Permits and Procedure                         2-45
Chapter 3        Delineation
                 3.1   General                                                           3-1
                 3.2   Pavement Markings                                                 3-1
                       A.    Intersection Channelization                                 3-1
                       B.    Interchange Off Ramps                                       3-1
                       C. Crosswalks                                                     3-1
                       D. No Passing Zone Marking                                        3-2
                 3.3   Guideposts                                                        3-2
                 3.4   Barrier Delineation                                               3-2
                 3.5   Chevron Alignment Signs                                           3-2
                 3.6   Raised Pavement Markers                                           3-2
                       A.    Right Edge Lines                                            3-2
                       B.    Recessed Markers                                            3-2
                 3.7   Impact Attenuator Marking                                         3-3
Chapter 4        Signals and Illumination
                 4.1   MUTCD                                                             4-1
                 4.2   Design Manual                                                     4-1
                 4.3   Flashing Operation                                                4-1
                 4.4   Intersection Control Beacons                                      4-1
                 4.5   Audio-Tone Signal Application                                     4-1
                 4.6   Illumination                                                      4-1
                       A.    General                                                     4-1
                       B.    References                                                  4-1
                       C. Definitions                                                    4-2
                       D. Approval Requirements                                          4-4
                       E.    Warrants                                                    4-4
                       F.    Design Report                                               4-5
                       G. Design Criteria                                                4-6
                       H. Example Applications                                           4-8

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                             Page 1-v
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Chapter 5   Work Zone Traffic Control
            5.1    General                                                                5-1
            5.2    Principles                                                             5-1
                   A.    Traffic Control Features                                         5-1
                   B.    Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety                                    5-2
                   C. Types of Work Zones                                                 5-3
            5.3    Strategy Planning                                                      5-4
            5.4    Plan Preparation                                                       5-4
                   A.    The Traffic Control Zone                                         5-4
                   B.    Plan Development                                                 5-5
            5.5    Work Zone Operations                                                   5-7
Chapter 6   Traffic Regulations
            6.1    General                                                                6-1
            6.2    Signals                                                                6-2
            6.3    Speed Limits                                                           6-3
            6.4    Stop Control                                                           6-3
            6.5    Bicycle Restrictions, Limited Access Highways                          6-4
            6.6    High Occupancy Vehicles Lanes                                          6-4
            6.7    Parking Restrictions                                                   6-4
            6.8    Turn Prohibitions                                                      6-5
            6.9    Fishing From Bridges                                                   6-5
            6.10   Pedestrian Prohibitions                                                6-6
            6.11   Documentation                                                          6-6
Chapter 7   Special Highway Use
            7.1    Bicycling, Running, Walking, Festival, and Parade Events               7-1
            7.2    Banners                                                                7-2
            7.3    “Memorial” Highways/Bridges                                            7-2
            7.4    Routes of Travel for School Buses Longer Than 36 Feet 6 Inches         7-3
            7.5    Overwide Load Restrictions                                             7-3
            7.6    Interpretive Signs/Markers                                             7-3
            7.7    Road Closures/Restrictions                                             7-5
            7.8    Special Event Direction Signing                                        7-5
            7.9    Shoulder Driving for Slow Vehicles                                     7-6
            7.10   Commercial Filming on State Highways                                   7-6
Chapter 8   Highway Adverstising Control
            8.1    General                                                                8-1
            8.2    Outdoor Advertising Signs                                              8-1
                   A.   Definitions — WAC 468-66-010                                      8-3
                   B.   General Provisions —WAC 468-66-030                                8-3
                   C. Classification of Signs —WAC 468-66-050                             8-3
                   D. Rules and Regulations for On-premise Signs — WAC 468-66-070         8-5
                   E.   Rules and Regulations for Type 4 and 5 signs (Interstate)
                          WAC 468-66-080                                                  8-6
                   F.   Priority Criteria for Issuing Permits — Type 4, 5 and 8 Signs

                          WAC 468-66-090                                                  8-6
                   G.   Rules and Regulations for Type 4 and 5 signs (Non-Interstate)
                          WAC 468-66-110                                                  8-6

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                       H.   Non-conforming (Grandfathered) Signs-Type 4 and 5
                               WAC 468-66-120                                            8-6
                       I.   Removal of existing signs WAC 468-66-130                     8-7
                       J.   OAC Permit Process WAC 468-66-140                            8-8
                       K.   Penalties — Permitted Non-conforming Signs WAC 468-66-150   8-10
                       L.   Miscellaneous                                               8-10
                 8.3   Advertising at Rest Areas and on Washington State Ferries        8-11
Chapter 9        Corridor Traffic Management
                 9.1   General                                                            9-1
                 9.2   SMS Collaboration Responsibilities Within WSDOT                    9-1
                 9.3   SMS Needs Identification Within WSDOT                              9-2
                 9.4   SMS Solution and Resource Development Within WSDOT                 9-2
                 9.5   SMS Investment Prioritization/Implementation Within WSDOT          9-3
                 9.6   SMS Investment Tracking Within WSDOT                               9-3
                 9.7   SMS Investment Evaluation Within WSDOT                             9-3
                 9.8   WSDOT Programming for Safety Preservation and Improvements         9-4
                 9.9   References                                                         9-4

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                            Page 1-vii
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                                                                                          General Information

Chapter 1                                                               General Information

1.1       WSDOT Traffic Functions                             •   Statewide Policy Development —
                                                                  To ensure statewide consistency and
Traffic functions within the Washington State                     uniformity, the Traffic Office develops
Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are                          policy and responds to issues and
administered, supported, and/or monitored by:                     questions on traffic engineering. These
     •     The Headquarters Traffic Operations                    tasks often require efforts to research,
           Office (State Traffic Engineer), Intelligent           coordinate, and summarize issues
           Transportation Systems (ITS) Office,                   for executive level decision-making.
           (State ITS Engineer), and the Highway                  Policies include traffic design and traffic
           Maintenance Office (State Maintenance                  operations standards and procedures.
           Engineer)                                          •   Statewide Resource Development
     •     The six Regional Traffic Offices                       and Deployment — The resources
           (Regional Traffic Engineers)                           required to fund the traffic operations
                                                                  for the state highway system, and new
     •     The six Regional Maintenance
                                                                  and replacement statewide traffic and
           and Operations Offices (Regional
                                                                  “spot” safety investments, are pursued
           Maintenance and Operations Engineers)
                                                                  through decision packages that require
     •     The Urban Planning Office (UPO)                        legislative approval. When approved by
                                                                  the legislature, these funds are allocated
     •     The Transportation Data Office (TDO)
                                                                  to the regions for implementation.
     •     The Office of Highways and Local                       Such traffic operations and “spot” safety
           Programs                                               functions are components of Program Q.
A WSDOT organization chart showing the                        •   Statewide Traffic Expertise — The
relationship between the six regions and the                      Headquarters Traffic Office provides
various Headquarters offices is available on                      expertise to the regions and other
the web at:                                                       agencies in areas of general traffic                                operations, traffic analysis, and traffic
ExecOrgChart.htm.                                                 design activities. The Traffic Office
                                                                  provides technical training, and
The following sections explain how each of                        coordinates statewide traffic activities
these work groups accomplishes the goals of                       including: consultation with Attorney
the department’s traffic program.                                 General’s Office on legal matters, offering
                                                                  advice or guidance upon request from
1.2 Headquarters Traffic                                          the regions and other WSDOT offices,
Administration                                                    and facilitating statewide meetings with
The Offices of the State Traffic Engineer, the                    regional traffic personnel.
State ITS Engineer, and the State Maintenance             The Headquarters Traffic Operations Office
Engineer are part of the Headquarters                     provides specific expertise in the following areas:
Maintenance and Operations Programs group.
                                                              •   Traffic Design
A.       State Traffic Engineer’s Office                      •   Traffic Operations
Under the direction of the State Traffic Engineer,            •   Work Zone Traffic Control
the Headquarters Traffic Operations Office is
responsible for traffic engineering and related               •   Traffic Engineering Training
safety functions in three fundamental areas:                  •   Outdoor Advertising Control

Traffic Manual     M 51-02                                                                           Page 1-1
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General Information

The following subsections describe the functions       i.   Develop and maintain Operations and
and services provided by work groups within                 Maintenance Time Standards used for budget
the Headquarters Traffic Operations Office.                 planning, and for planning preventative
                                                            maintenance activities of electrical systems
i.   Traffic Design                                         and delineation.
a. Provide statewide contract plan review for          j.   Support the Transportation Planning Office
   traffic signal, illumination, and delineation            and the regions by giving expert review
   projects.                                                and training in the benefit-cost analysis
b. Prepare signal system and illumination plans             methodologies used to analyze I2 Safety
   for WSDOT regions.                                       Improvement Program issues.
c. Maintain operational standards, standard            k. Review and research advanced traffic
   specifications, and standard plans for signals,        simulation and optimization software
   illumination, ITS systems, and delineation.            models. Distribute this software and pertinent
                                                          information throughout the department.
d. Provide guidance and support for the Attorney
   General’s Office on traffic related tort            ii. Traffic Operations
   claim cases.
                                                       a. Support regional safety audits that research
e. Assist the Materials Laboratory in the                 and evaluate potential operational traffic
   approval process for electrical, delineation,          improvements along existing state highways.
   and other traffic items.
                                                       b. Act as technical consultants to the regions
f.   Provide technical information to General             in the design and construction of safety and
     Administration and WSDOT purchasing                  operations improvement projects.
     personnel involved in the development of
                                                       c. Develop and implement the Corridor Safety
     procurement contracts for:
                                                          Program. This multi-jurisdictional statewide
     •   Materials and equipment for traffic signal       safety program provides a forum for several
         systems                                          traffic safety disciplines to identify low cost
     •   Materials and equipment for illumination         enhancements that increase safety on project
         systems                                          corridors.

     •   Materials and equipment for delineation       d. Assist in developing the comprehensive safety
                                                          planning components of the Washington
g. Conduct or coordinate statewide training on:           Transportation Plan.
     •   Signal and Illumination Design                e. Work with the Washington Traffic Safety
     •   Fundamental traffic engineering                  Commission (a consortium of local and state
         principles                                       organizations responsible for reducing death,
                                                          injuries, and economic loss resulting from
     •   Electrical design portions of contract plan      motor vehicle collisions) not to prevent all
         preparation                                      traffic collisions, but to make them more
     •   Signal operations, including optimization        survivable.
         of timing and coordination                    f.   Administer the WSDOT DUI Victim
h. Share information with the Materials                     Memorial Sign Program and Highway
   Laboratory and manufacturers about current               Fatality Memorial Program.
   trends in materials and equipment used to           g. Develop and initiate programs as required
   construct signals, illumination systems, and           by the legislature, for example statewide
   delineation.                                           speed limit changes and work zone safety

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                                                                                        General Information

h. Operate the statewide Traffic Sign                        •   Parking facilities, including park and ride
   Management System (TSMS), including the                       lots operated by WSDOT
   statewide sign inventory database. Maintain
                                                             Evaluate traffic regulations submitted by the
   the Sign Fabrication Manual (M 55-05).
                                                             regions to ensure that statutory requirements
i.   Serve as technical consultants to the regions           are met, and that engineering support data are
     regarding sign fabrication. Conduct periodic            complete and accurate.
     inspections of sign fabrication shops and
                                                        q. Interpret the provisions of state law and
     develop inspection criteria for sign fabrication
                                                           supporting departmental regulations for
     inspectors. Evaluate new sign fabrication
                                                           billboards and motorist information signs to
     shops for approval as WSDOT contract
                                                           resolve conflicts between sign owners and
                                                           the regions. Process billboard permits and the
j.   Review deviation requests, contract plans,            annual permit renewals.
     and other WSDOT documents, for the proper
                                                        r.   Sanction inter-regional events on state
     application of traffic control devices. Ensure
                                                             highways, such as running or bicycling
     conformance to the MUTCD and other
                                                             events, caravans, or other special events.
     state standards for permanent signing and
                                                             Provide information to event sponsors
     temporary traffic control.
                                                             about how to safely conduct events on state
k. Serve as technical consultant to the regions              highways, including all applicable traffic
   on permanent signing issues, challenges, and              regulations. Provide the regions with support
   special applications.                                     and direction regarding events on state
                                                             highways in their areas.
l.   Develop specifications for new or revised
     signing items to be included in the Standard       s. Analyze traffic operations or safety-oriented
     Specifications, General Special Provisions,           legislation and respond to legislative inquiries
     and Standard Plans.                                   on traffic matters. Provide executive
                                                           management with information necessary to
m. Communicate with manufacturers to analyze
                                                           determine appropriate departmental positions.
   current trends in materials and equipment
   used to construct signs and appurtenances.           t.   Conduct quadrennial reviews of traffic related
                                                             WACs and make related changes to brochures
n. Provide final approval for byway logo
                                                             and other items for outdoor advertising
   signing on eligible inter-regional scenic and
                                                             control, motorist information signs, and the
   recreational highways.
                                                             MUTCD. Respond to AASHTO Ballots,
o. Develop statewide policies for the                        Federal Register notices, and inquiries from
   implementation of MUTCD principles and                    the public.
   guidelines. Maintain operational policies
   in the Traffic Manual, and departmental              iii. Work Zone Traffic Control
   directives. Provide standards for all traffic        a. Provide statewide guidance and assistance for
   control devices used on public roadways.                all work zone traffic control issues, including:
p. Recommend approval or denial of traffic                   •   Design/PS&E
   regulations for:
                                                             •   Work Zone Safety
     •   Permanent speed limits
                                                             •   Construction, Maintenance, Local
     •   High occupancy vehicle (HOV)                            Agencies and Public and Private
         designations                                            Roadway Users
     •   Bicycle prohibitions                                •   Public Information
     •   Truck restrictions                                  •   Other State Agencies (L & I, WSP)
     •   Angle parking

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                                            Page 1-3
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General Information

b. Develop and conduct training in the following          •     Design Strategies and PS&E Reviews
                                                          •     Reduced Work Zone Speed Limits
   •   Design Strategies
                                                          •     Specifications Review and Comment
   •   Work Zone Reviews
                                                          •     Applications of WSDOT and Federal
   •   Traffic Control Supervisor (TCS)                         (MUTCD) Standards
   •   Maintenance Traffic Control Operations       iv.       Traffic Engineering Training
       Training (MTCOT)
                                                    The Headquarters Traffic Engineering Training
   •   Short Duration Work Zones                    team assesses the regions’ traffic engineering
   •   Traffic Control Plan Design (TCP Design)     related training needs and establishes training
                                                    sessions to meet them. This involves designing
c. Research and develop new devices,                and instructing new courses to meet specific
   equipment, and methods by working with           needs, and facilitating courses that are conducted
   industry associations and professional           by consultants.
   committees such as:
                                                    v.    Outdoor Advertising Control
   •   American Traffic Safety Services
       Association (ATSSA)                          Administer the department’s statewide Outdoor
                                                    Advertising Control Program under purview
   •   Associated General Contractors (AGC)
                                                    of the Scenic Vistas Act (RCW 47.42) and
   •   American Association of State Highway        WAC 468-66.
       & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
                                                          •     Administer permitting process
   •   New Products Committee
                                                          •     Provide guidance to regions
   •   Safety Products Team
                                                          •     Serve as liaison with Attorney General’s
   •   Work Zone Safety Task Force Technical                    office regarding legal questions and for
       Committee (WZSTF)                                        illegal sign abatement activities
d. Develop departmental policy, specifications,           •     Carry out Rule-making
   and procedures by working within
                                                          •     Coordinate with FHWA
   Headquarters and the regions, and by
   partnering with:                                 B.        State ITS Engineer’s Office
   •   Work Zone Safety Task Force                  Under the direction of the State ITS Engineer,
   •   Safety Office                                the Headquarters ITS Office supports traffic
                                                    administration by:
   •   Labor & Industries
                                                          •     Developing policy for ITS operations
   •   Washington State Patrol                                  programs, ITS communication and
   •   Traffic Safety Commission                                wireless technology, and truck freight
                                                                related programs.
   •   Washington Utilities & Transportation
       Commission                                         •     Developing and implementing statewide
                                                                procedures for incident response.
   •   FHWA
                                                          •     Maintaining state of the art traffic
   •   Highway Contracting Industry
                                                                management center applications for
e. Upon request, provide expertise to the regions               surveillance, control, and traveler
   in the following areas:                                      information.
   •   Field Reviews of Work Zones

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                                                                                      General Information

     •   Developing, implementing, and               ii. Conduct accident analyses and provide
         monitoring highly specialized advanced          information to other department work groups,
         technology projects.                            including Planning and Programming,
                                                         Design, Maintenance, and Project Engineers.
     •   Incorporating ITS communication
         strategies into ITS operations.             B. Maintain Compliance With Rules and
C. State Maintenance Engineer’s
Office                                               Ensure that all traffic control devices are installed
                                                     in accordance with appropriate portions of the
Under the direction of the State Maintenance         MUTCD, WAC Rules, and WSDOT policies.
Engineer, the Headquarters Highway Maintenance       In addition, ensure that outdoor advertising is
Office is responsible for maintaining traffic        in compliance with applicable regulations.
control devices, and issuing road approach
permits.                                             The regional traffic offices develop and process
                                                     appropriate traffic regulations that ensure safe and
The resources required to fund the maintenance       efficient operation of the transportation system
of traffic control devices, such as lane markings,   within the region.
signs, safety hardware, electronic traveler
information systems, traffic signals, and            i.   Through departmental directives and policies,
illumination equipment are pursued through                the Regional Administrators have been
decision packages. When funded by the                     delegated the authority to approve:
legislature, these resources are allocated to             •   Permits for installation of traffic signals
the regions for implementation. Such traffic                  on state highways
maintenance functions are components of
                                                          •   Stop control on state highways
Program M.
                                                          •   Turn prohibitions
1.3 Regional Traffic
                                                          •   Pedestrian prohibitions on partial access
Administration                                                controlled highways
Approval authority for various traffic
                                                          •   Roadside parking restrictions (except
considerations has been delegated to the Regional
                                                              angle parking and park and ride
Administrators through Departmental Directives
and other documents. This approval authority
may be further delegated to senior regional               •   Prohibitions on fishing from bridges
managers. All regions appoint a Regional Traffic          •   Temporary reduced regulatory speeds in
Engineer who is responsible for traffic related               construction or maintenance areas
services. Depending on regional organization,
the Traffic Engineer reports to one of the                •   Regulatory speeds in rest areas
region’s senior managers, typically the Regional          •   Transit vehicle stop zone locations
Maintenance and Operations Engineer.
                                                          •   Vehicle weight restrictions
The responsibilities for regionally administered
traffic engineering and safety services can be       ii. In addition, the Regional Administrator is
summarized into six components:                          charged with the following duties that can
                                                         impact traffic operations:
A. Coordinate Traffic Studies, Data
                                                          •   Conduct the Outdoor Advertising Control
Collection, and Analysis
                                                              and Motorist Information Signing
i.   Provide traffic data for upcoming projects or            programs
     planning functions.
                                                          •   Review access permits required under
                                                              State Access Management legislation

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                                          Page 1-5
January 2005
General Information

     •     Review development proposals for             F. Administer Program Q
           potential impacts to safety, capacity, and   Each Region administers its allocation of Program
           maintenance of the state highway system      Q funds. This includes identifying safety and
                                                        efficiency investment priorities and programming
C.       Provide Traffic Expertise
                                                        low-cost enhancement funds.
i.   Ensure that traffic signals and signal systems
     operate efficiently to meet traffic operation      G.       Traffic Control Device Inventories
     goals.                                             Maintain inventories of traffic control devices
ii. Provide expertise on traffic related items          within the region.
    included in project design (signals,
    illumination, signing, delineation).
                                                        1.4       Urban Planning Office
                                                        The Urban Planning Office (UPO) coordinates
iii. Review traffic design elements for                 WSDOT activities within the geographic
     construction projects.                             area covered by the Puget Sound Regional
iv. Approve or deny requests to conduct                 Council (PSRC). PSRC is the Metropolitan
    special events or filming operations on state       Planning Organization (MPO) for King, Kitsap,
    highways within the region.                         Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. The UPO
                                                        recognizes the need to integrate transportation
v. Conduct design and operational reviews for           modes and coordinate long-range regional
   work zone traffic control plans.                     growth management plans to create a balanced
vi. Perform periodic operational and safety             transportation system, and works with the
    reviews to verify that posted advisory              Olympic and Northwest Regions, Washington
    speeds, intersection sight distances, and           State Ferries, and local officials to accomplish
    other roadside features comply with accepted        that integration.
    standards.                                          A few of the office’s activities are:
D. Manage Freeway and Arterial                               •     Transit Planning/HOV — Represent the
Operations                                                         department in establishing a Regional
                                                                   Transit Plan and promote transportation
Manage freeway and arterial operations through:                    alternatives through transportation
i.   Surveillance, Control, and Traveler                           demand management methods. Provide
     Information (SC&TI) systems, including                        lead responsibility for planning and
     data stations, ramp meters, cameras, signal                   prioritizing HOV facilities.
     systems, changeable message signs (CMS),                •     Regional Coordination — Work with
     other Intelligent Transportation Systems                      the PSRC, sub-regional groups, and local
     (ITS), and highway advisory radio (HAR).                      jurisdictions in the regions to develop
ii. The HOV system.                                                regional transportation plans that maintain
                                                                   accessibility, manage congestion, and
iii. Incident response methods.                                    are modally balanced and coordinated
iv. Coordinating with local agencies regarding                     with land use objectives. Represent the
    traffic flow management, serving as technical                  department’s interests in regional forums,
    advisor when appropriate.                                      including programming and prioritization
v. Signing and channelization.
                                                             •     Technical Analysis of Corridor
E.       Coordinate Traffic Information                            Challenges — Provide assistance and
Respond to local agency and citizen concerns,                      expertise during the evaluation of
and the news media, about traffic related issues.                  alternative proposals for transportation
Represent WSDOT at city, county, and other                         facilities. Activities include travel
public forums regarding traffic issues.                            forecasting, providing modeling

Page 1-6                                                                             Traffic Manual M 51-02
                                                                                                January 2005
                                                                                General Information

        expertise to support EIS documentation,              studies. For state highways, the TDO
        and providing guidance on system                     currently maintains 174 permanent
        management and demand management                     traffic-reporting (PTR) sites and
        project alternatives.                                conducts approximately 600 short
                                                             duration traffic counts each year.
    •   Advocate a Balanced, Multi-modal
                                                             Depending on the equipment and
        Transportation System — Support
                                                             sensors used, traffic data may include
        Washington’s Transportation Plan by
                                                             volume, classification, speeds and/
        evaluating and identifying feasible
                                                             or weight of vehicles. The Annual
        strategies for transportation modes that
                                                             Traffic Report (ATR) is produced by
        are state owned, and in which the state is
                                                             the TDO and lists Annual Average
        a stakeholder.
                                                             Daily Traffic (AADT), location of
1.5 Transportation Data Office                               PTR sites, Average Weekday Traffic
                                                             (AWDT), Annual Vehicle Miles
                                                             Traveled (AVMT), flow map, and a
The Transportation Data Office (TDO) is                      complete set of couplet diagrams for
part of Headquarters Strategic Planning and                  state highways.
Programming. The TDO collects, analyzes,
stores, and reports much of the data used by the         -   Traffic forecasting expertise for
department to identify and address deficiencies on           planning and design projects
our highways. This includes information about                statewide.
the type of roadway surface, width of the travel     •   Technical Support for Planning
lanes and shoulders, number of vehicles using the        Functions — Providing statewide
highway each day and the location and severity of        review of all traffic data and analysis
traffic collisions. The TDO is responsible for:          in Environmental Impact Statements,
    •   Statewide Database Development and               developer submittals, design projects,
        Support                                          and prioritization projects. Provides
                                                         capacity analysis to determine if proposed
        -   Traffic, roadway, and collision              roadway configurations can adequately
            data reported to various state and           accommodate existing and estimated
            federal systems, e.g., HPMS, NHS,            future year traffic volumes. Provides
            PAS, WSPMS, CPMS, SWIBS.                     annual tonnage on state routes for the
        -   Washington’s statewide collision             Freight and Goods Transportation System
            records system. This includes the            (FGTS). Calculates future travel delay.
            capture, storage, safeguarding,              Maintains a traffic model to provide the
            retrieve and release of collision data       official distance and travel time between
            as well as copies of the collision           cities using state routes.
            reports submitted by citizens and law    •   Technical Support for Work Zone
            enforcement officers. The TDO also           Functions — Providing technical support
            produces the High Accident Location          and review expertise for work zone
            (HAL), High Accident Corridor                working hours, penalties (liquidated
            (HAC), and Pedestrian Accident               damages), and incentives costing analysis.
            Location (PAL) lists.
                                                     •   Video and Digital Imaging of State
        -   Traffic counting, summarization,             Highways — Providing video and digital
            and reporting in support of statewide        imagery of the state highway system.
            system, projects, and planning               This includes products such as video logs,
            studies. Special traffic counts are          SRView 2.0, and 360 degree panoramic
            conducted on request for turning             views. Highways are filmed in the North
            movements and signalization                  Central, Olympic, and Southwest Regions

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                                    Page 1-7
January 2005
General Information

        on even years, and in the Northwest,           CADD      Computer Aided Drafting and
        South Central, and Eastern Regions on                    Design
        odd years.
                                                       CMS       Changeable Message Sign
    •   Establish and Maintain a Distance
                                                       CVISN     Commercial Vehicle Information
        Measuring Instrument/Linear Referencing
                                                                 Systems Network
        System (DMI/LRS) Milepost System
        for all State Highways — Establishing          DMI/LRS   Distance Measuring Instrument/
        milepost locations for all existing and                  Linear Referencing System
        proposed state highways using a DMI.           FHWA      Federal Highway Administration
        This includes collecting, maintaining,
        and storing roadway geometric data             GPS/LRS   Global Positioning System/Linear
        within the Transportation, Information,                  Referencing System
        Planning, and Support (TRIPS) system,          HAR       Highway Advisory Radio
        and publishing and distributing the annual
        State Highway Log.                             HAC       High Accident Corridor

    •   Develop and Maintain Global                    HAL       High Accident Location
        Positioning System/Linear Referencing          HOV       High Occupancy Vehicle
        System (GPS/LRS) — Partnering
        with the Geographic Services Office to         HPMS      Highway Performance Monitoring
        develop a GPS/LRS system (scheduled                      System
        for completion in 2007) that will provide      HSIS      Highway Safety Information System
        GPS locations for all highways including
        ramps. As routes are completed, data           ITE       Institute of Traffic Engineers
        is made available for customer use in          ITS       Intelligent Transportation Systems
        Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
                                                       MPO       Metropolitan Planning Organization
        software applications. The completed
        GPS/LRS routes can be accessed on the          MUTCD     Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
        web at:                                                  Devices for Streets and Highways              NHS       National Highway System
                                                       PAL       Pedestrian Accident Location
1.6     Local Agency Traffic Services                  PSRC      Puget Sound Regional Council
Local agency traffic services are a function of the    PTR       Permanent Traffic Recorder
Highways and Local Programs Division. The
department’s Traffic Services Engineer provides        RCW       Revised Code of Washington
on-call traffic engineering and computer services      SC&TI     Surveillance, Control, and Traveler
to local agencies throughout the state, particularly             Information
those smaller agencies lacking in professional
engineering staff.                                     SMS       Safety Management System
                                                       SP & P    Strategic Planning and
1.7 Abbreviations                                                Programming
AADT          Annual Average Daily Traffic             SRMP      State Route Milepost
AASHTO        American Association of State            TEA-21    Transportation Equity Act for the
              Highway and Transportation                         21st Century
                                                       TDO       Transportation Data Office
ARM           Accumulated Route Mileage

Page 1-8                                                                      Traffic Manual M 51-02
                                                                                         January 2005
                                                                                    General Information

TRAC          Transportation Research Center              to the extent possible, avoids duplication
              (University of Washington)                  of Design Manual materials, but provides
                                                          cross-references where appropriate.
WAC           Washington Administrative Code
                                                      •   WSDOT Sign Fabrication Manual
WSDOT         Washington State Department
                                                          (M 55-05) — The Sign Fabrication
              of Transportation
                                                          Manual provides sign fabricators and
WSP           Washington State Patrol                     designers with the detailed layout
WTSC          Washington Traffic Safety                   information for official traffic signs used
              Commission                                  in Washington State.
                                                      •   WSDOT Standard Plans for Road,
1.7     References                                        Bridge, and Municipal Construction
The following reference materials may be                  (M 21-01) — The Standard Plans
useful to regional personnel involved in traffic          for Road and Bridge and Municipal
operations and traffic design duties.                     Construction provides standard plans for
                                                          the following traffic items:
    •   Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
        Devices for Streets and Highways              •   Sign Bridges
        (MUTCD) and Washington State
                                                      •   Signing
        Modifications to the MUTCD
        (M 24-01) — RCW 47.36.030 directs             •   Cantilever Sign Structures
        WSDOT to adopt a uniform standard             •   Striping (typical layouts)
        for the application and location of traffic
        control devices installed along public        •   Guide Posts
        roadways in the state of Washington.          •   Lane Markers
        The MUTCD, published by FHWA, has
        been adopted into Chapter 468-95 of the       •   Illumination
        Washington Administrative Code (WAC).         •   Signals
To comply with state laws, certain modifications      •   Concrete Barrier
to the MUTCD have also been adopted into
the WAC. A booklet of these modifications,            •   Guardrail
Washington State Modifications to the MUTCD           •   Earthberms
(M 24-01), is available from WSDOT
Engineering Publications.                             •   WSDOT Standard Specifications
                                                          for Road, Bridge, and Municipal
Amendments to the MUTCD are developed by                  Construction (M 41-10) — The
the FHWA through the Federal Register process.            Standard Specifications provides
These FHWA amendments become effective                    detailed requirements and techniques
when the department receives notification of              for construction and installation of the
the approved changes from the FHWA and adopts             following traffic related items:
them into WAC 468-95.
                                                      •   Guide Posts
    •   WSDOT Design Manual (M 22-01)
        — The Design Manual provides guidance         •   Plastic Traffic Buttons
        for the development of traffic features       •   Lane Markers
        included in design reports and contract
                                                      •   Signing (materials and fabrication)
        plans. Numerous sections contain
        information on traffic design features.       •   Illumination
        Many of these features may also apply to
                                                      •   Signals (electrical)
        traffic operations. The Traffic Manual,

Traffic Manual   M 51-02                                                                      Page 1-9
January 2005
General Information

    •   Pavement Markings (temporary and             TRB (Transportation Research Board)
                                                         •   Highway Capacity Manual
    •   Work zone traffic control items (flagging,
        signs, delineation devices, etc.)            ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers)
                                                         •   Transportation and Traffic Engineering
Other Documents                                              Handbook
The following reference documents may also               •   Manual of Traffic Engineering Studies
be helpful in conducting traffic related designs
and analyses:                                            •   Traffic Detector Handbook
WSDOT Manuals                                        Other Reference Sources
    •   Plans Preparation Manual (M 22-31)           The following reference sources may also
    •   Construction Manual (M 41-01)                be helpful in conducting traffic engineering
                                                     investigations and analyses:
    •   Maintenance Manual (M 51-01)
                                                         •   SR View
    •   Traffic Control Guidelines for Survey
        Operations (M 55-02)                             •   Washington State Highway Video log

    •   Motorist Information Signs (M 55-94)             •   TRIPS — WSDOT corporate mainframe
                                                             database for transportation data
    •   Scenic Vistas Act of 1971 (M 55-95)
                                                         •   Internet information — The WSDOT
    •   Traffic Forecasting Guide                            homepage url is:
    •   Training Manual, “Traffic Operations in    
        WSDOT” (class available through Traffic
        Operations Office)
Many WSDOT publications are available on the
internet. Contact the department’s Engineering
Publications website at:

FHWA (Federal Highway Administration)
    •   T21 Regulations
    •   Traffic Control Devices Handbook
    •   Traffic Control Systems Handbook
    •   Traffic Monitoring Guide

AASHTO (American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials)
    •   A Policy on Geometric Design of
        Highways and Streets
    •   Guide for Selecting, Locating, and
        Designing Traffic Barriers
    •   Guidelines for Traffic Data Programs

Page 1-10                                                                      Traffic Manual M 51-02
                                                                                          January 2005
Appendix 1-1     Traffic Office Org Chart

Traffic Manual                   Appendix 1-1
November 1996                         Page 1
Appendix 1-1    Traffic Manual
Page 2         November 1996
Chapter 2                                                                                      Signs
2.1 General                                            on the Engineering Publications CD, or in the
Effective signing provides clear information and       Online Library at:
instruction to motor vehicle operators, pedestrians,
and bicyclists. Properly installed signing             The sign number codes indicated in the Sign
facilitates legal, safe, and orderly progress on       Fabrication Manual and other departmental
public roadways.                                       publications are exclusive to WSDOT and may
State law requires the department to adopt             not, in all cases correspond to MUTCD number
uniform standards for traffic control devices,         codes for similar signs.
including signs that are placed along state            B. Sign Legend Design
highways. WAC Chapter 468-95 recognizes the
standards of the Manual on Uniform Traffic             For layout and fabrication of signs that are not
Control Devices (MUTCD). Among the types of            covered in the Sign Fabrication Manual, use the
signs described in the MUTCD are: (1)                  following information:
Regulatory, (2) Warning, (3) Guide, and (4)            Letter Sizing — The letter height used to display
Motorist Information. The MUTCD provides               messages must be large enough to provide the
guidance on the intended use and placement of          motorist with an adequate opportunity to read and
signs, as well as specific information on the size     comprehend the information, and decide whether
of standard regulatory and warning signs.              or not a driving task is required.
Information in this chapter supplements material
                                                       Studies indicate the average driver comprehends
covered in the MUTCD with specific
                                                       three words per second after a perception time
interpretations and unique applications for signs
                                                       of up to two seconds. Unique messages require
on the state highway system.
                                                       more recognition time than messages that are
Foreign language signs are not allowed on the          commonly displayed. The following formula
state highway system.                                  combines this comprehension rate with a given
Guidelines for the various classifications of          operational speed to determine the desirable
official traffic control signs are discussed in the    letter height for a particular sign:
following MUTCD sections:                              LETTER HEIGHT = (N⁄3 + 2) f

   Sign Type                    MUTCD Section          where: N = Number of words

   Regulatory Signs             Section 2-B                    f   = Legibility Factor. Found by
                                                                     dividing vehicle speed in feet
   Warning Signs                Section 2-C                          per second by 40 (the legibility
   Guide Signs                  Sections 2-D, 2-E,                   distance per inch of letter height)
                                and 2-F
                                                       The following example applies the formula and
   Work Zone Signs              Sections 6-B, 6-F*     calculates desirable letter height:
   School Area Signs            Section 7-B            Example 1. “SNOQUALMIE PASS RADIO
*Refers to MUTCD Part VI, a stand-alone publication.              TRAFFIC INFO 1 MILE”
                       Table 2-1                          Speed    =   65 mph
                                                              N    =   7
A. Sign Fabrication Manual (M 55-05)
                                                               f   =   2.4
Geometric layout details for most signs used by           Height   =   (7⁄3 + 2) 2.4 = 10.4″
the department are available in the WSDOT Sign                         use 10 inch letters
Fabrication Manual. The manual can be viewed

Traffic Manual                                                                                   Page 2-1
March 2002

                                                      Comm       Community
                  'f' Values by Speed                 Cr         Creek
       *MPH               (fps)                  f    Co         County
                                                      Ct         Court
        25                 37                   0.9   DNR        Department of Natural
        30                 44                   1.1              Resources (Campground, etc)
                                                      Dr         Drive
        35                 51                   1.3   E          East
                                                      Elev       Elevation
        40                 59                   1.5   Ft         Fort
        45                 66                   1.7   Fwy        Freeway
                                                      Fy         Ferry
        50                 73                   1.8   Hist       Historic, as in “Nat’l Historic
        55                 81                   2.0              Districts”
                                                      HOV        High Occupancy Vehicles
        60                 88                   2.2   Hts        Heights
                                                      Hwy        Highway
        65                 95                   2.4   Info       Information
        70                 103                  2.6   Int’l      International
                                                      Jct        Junction
             *Speed (Legal or 85 Percentile).
                                                      km         Kilometers
                       Table 2-2                      Lab        Laboratory
Message Layout and Spacing — Sign message             Ln         Lane
layout and spacing requirements are specified in      Lp         Loop
Appendix A of the Sign Fabrication Manual.            Lt         Left
                                                      M          Meters
Abbreviations — Abbreviations used should             Max        Maximum
be immediately recognizable by the motorist.          Mi         Mile(s)
Abbreviate only to avoid excessively long sign        Min        Minimum
messages. Do not use abbreviations if the             MPH        Miles Per Hour
controlling message line is long enough to allow      Mt         Mount (Rainier)
using the complete word.                              N          North
Periods are not necessary in sign abbreviations       NE         North East
except for British Columbia (B.C.) and United         NW         North West
States (U.S. Customs).                                NAS        Naval Air Station
                                                      Nat’l      National
Do not abbreviate names of places.
                                                      Ore        Oregon
The OSC Traffic Office must approve                   ORV        Off Road Vehicle
abbreviations other than those listed below.          Ped        Pedestrian
Submit a request for consideration as a written       Pkwy       Parkway
or electronic document.                               Pl         Place
                                                      Pop        Population
AFB               Air Force Base
                                                      Pt         Port or point
Alt               Alternate
                                                      Rd         Road
Ave               Avenue
                                                      Rec Area   Recreational Area
B.C.              British Columbia
                                                      RR         Railroad
Bch               Beach
                                                      Rt         Right
Blvd              Boulevard
                                                      RV         Recreational Vehicle
Ctr               Center
                                                      S          South
Coll              College
                                                      SE         South East

Page 2-2                                                                            Traffic Manual
                                                                                      March 2002

SW               South West                           D. RCW, WAC Purview
Sea-Tac          Seattle Tacoma Airport               Criteria for appropriate signing applications on
 Airport                                              state highways are also described in state rules
St               Street                               and regulations. Many Rules of the Road (RCW
Temp             Temporary                            46.61) are not enforceable unless appropriate
Thru             Through                              signs are posted.
Univ             University
USA              United States of America             WAC 468-95 contains rules pertaining to signing
USFS             U.S. Forest Service                  which are amendments to the MUTCD. These
U.S.             U.S. (Customs, etc.)                 rules are published in WSDOT Washington State
W                West                                 Modifications to the MUTCD (M 24-01). See
WSDOT            Washington State Department          Table 2-4.
                 of Transportation
                                                      E. Wood Post Drilling
State Patrol     Washington State Patrol
Xing             Crossing                             To provide necessary breakaway characteristics,
                                                      drill and notch timber sign posts in accordance
C. Reflective Sign Sheeting Material                  with details shown in WSDOT Standard Plan
Requirements                                          G4-a.
Several types of reflective sheeting material are
                                                      F. Temporary Attention Devices
used to fabricate traffic control signs. The
sheeting types have different reflective properties   Attention devices such as flags are used only to
and different practical applications. The             draw the motorist’s attention to newly installed
following sheeting types are designated in ASTM       warning or regulatory signs. Display these
Specification D 4956:                                 supplemental devices for a minimum of two
                                                      weeks, and a maximum of one month.
•   Type I — Medium-intensity retroreflective
    sheeting, referred to as “Engineer Grade.”        G. Sign Storage
    Service life of seven years                       To prevent damage to sign face, store signs
•   Type II — Medium-high-intensity                   properly. Do not expose sign faces to dirt and
    retroreflective sheeting, referred to as “Super   water during storage.
    Engineer Grade.” Service life of ten years        Never store signs laying flat. Water accumulation
•   Type III — High-intensity retroreflective         between signs will cause sheeting failure. Store
    sheeting, referred to as “High Intensity.”        packaged signs indoors on edge. If packaged
    Service life of ten years                         signs become wet, unpack immediately and
                                                      separate the signs to allow drying. Provide ample
•   Type IV — High-intensity retroreflective          space between signs to allow free air circulation
    sheeting, referred to as “High Performance.”      and moisture evaporation from the face of each
    Service life of ten years                         sign. Clothespins work well to provide a
•   Type VII — Super-high-intensity                   separation between the sign faces.
    retroreflective sheeting, referred to as          If outdoor storage is required for short periods,
    “Diamond Grade.” Service life of ten years        remove all packing materials so nothing is against
Use appropriate sheeting on sign types shown for      the sign face. Store signs upright on edge in a
the general areas, see table 2-3.                     clean area above the ground.

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 2-3
March 2002

   Sign Type                                                General Area       Sheeting Type
   All red background signs (Stop, Wrong Way, etc.)              All             III or IV
   Freeway/Highway Entrance Sign                                 All             III or IV
   Regulatory Signs                                             Rural                II
                                                                Urban            III or IV
   Warning Signs                                                Rural                II
                                                                Urban            III or IV
   School Signs - FYG* (S1-1, S2-1, S4-3, and the
   “School” portion of S5-1, and S5-101)                         All                VII
   Route Markers (M Series Signs)                                All                II
   General Information (I Series)                                All                II
   Milepost Markers                                              All                II
   Guide Signs (Backgrounds)
    • Ground Mounted                                             All                 II
    • Overhead (Lighted)                                         All                  I
    • Overhead (Not Lighted)                                     All             III or IV
    • Letters, Border, Symbols                                   All             III or IV
   Blue and Brown Background Signs                               All                II
   Orange (Construction Signs)                                   All              I or II
   Fluorescent Orange (Construction Signs)                       All             IV or VII
*Fluorescent Yellow Green.
                                              Table 2-3

   Sign Message                                             Sign Number        RCW Number
   BICYCLES MUST EXIT                                          R5-601            46.61.160
   HITCHIKING PERMITTED                                        I7-901            46.61.255
   HOV FACILITIES                                         R3-10, 11, 12, 13      46.61.165
   LIMITED ACCESS                                         I2-601 and I2- 701     47.52.110
   MINIMUM SPEED LIMIT                                          R2-4             46.61.425
   NO STOPPING RESTRICTIONS                                 R8- SERIES           46.61.570
   PARKING RESTRICTIONS                                     R7- SERIES           46.61.575
   RANGE AREA                                             I2-401 and I2-501      16.24.060
   DISABLED PERSONS                                            R7-801            46.61.581
   SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT                                           S5-1             46.61.440
   SLOW VEHICLES MAY USE SHOULDER                              I8-501            46.61.428
   SPEED LIMIT                                                  R2-1             46.61.405
   SPEED LIMIT, TRUCKS_________                                 R2-2             46.61.410
   STOP & YIELD                                            R1-1 and R1-2        47. 36.110
   WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS, ETC                                 R12 SERIES           46.61.450
                                              Table 2-4

Page 2-4                                                                           Traffic Manual
                                                                                     March 2002

H. Sign Maintenance Responsibility                             In accordance with RCW 47.24.020(13), the state
— City Streets as State Highways                               shall install and maintain all stop signs at the
Responsibility for installing and maintaining                  intersections of city streets with state highways
signs on city streets that are part of the state               within the corporate limits of cities having
highway system can be assigned to the                          populations less than 22,500.
department or to a local agency. This                          Stop Ahead Signs
responsibility is based on the population of the
                                                               Where appropriate, local agencies install and
city or town, as determined by the Office of
                                                               maintain any required STOP AHEAD (W3-1,
Financial Management. On Fully Controlled
                                                               W3-1a) signs on the local road legs that intersect
Limited Access highways, the department is
                                                               with state highways (RCW 47.24.020(12&13).
responsible for all traffic control devices,
including signs, unless superseded by                          J. Controlling Vegetation Around
an agreement with a local jurisdiction. (See                   Signs
RCW 47.42, WAC 468-18-050, and City Streets
As Part of State Highways, an agreement                        Provide effective sign visibility by clearing away
between the department and the Association                     vegetation that grows in front of signs, obscuring
of Washington Cities for further direction.)                   full view. The department’s maintenance crews
                                                               do this work. Clear to the following dimensions:
    Sign Maintenance Responsibility —                           Area Description       Distance         Width
      Non-Limited Access Highways                                  Low Speed Urban       200 feet        Varies
                          Population        Population             Rural                 500 feet        Varies
 Sign Type                Over 22,500      Under 22,500
                                                                   Freeways and          800 feet        Varies
 Regulatory                   City              State              All Guide Signs
 Parking                      City              City                                 Table 2-6
 Warning                      City              State          •     Distance is measured along the edge of
 Route Markers                State             State                traveled way, back, from the location
                                                                     of the sign
 Guide Directional            State             State
 (Prime)                                                       •     Width varies. Clear from the edge of
                                                                     pavement to the edge of the sign that is
 Street Name                  City              City                 farthest from the roadway, plus 5 feet;
 School                       City              State                or to right of way
 MIS Logo                     City*            City*
                                                               K. Sign Placement
 Informational                City              City           MUTCD Section 2A provides basic information
 DWI Victim                   City              City           about sign location. Refer to Design Manual
 Memorial                                                      Chapter 820 guidelines for information on the
                                                               selection of post dimensions, longitudinal
*The department may install these signs, based on a specific
 agreement with a city or town.
                                                               placement, mounting height, and lateral
                                                               placement of signs on state highways. Design
                        Table 2-5
                                                               guidelines also provide details for overhead sign
I. Responsibility for Stop and Stop                            installations, including vertical clearance,
Ahead Signs                                                    horizontal location, and service walkways.
                                                               Installation layout details are contained in
Stop Signs
                                                               WSDOT Standard Plans.
In accordance with RCW 47.36.100, the state
shall install and maintain all stop signs at the
intersections of county roads with state highways.

Traffic Manual                                                                                             Page 2-5
March 2002

2.2 Regulatory Signs                                   •   Install a PASSING LANE XXX MILES
Regulatory signs alert motorists to applicable             (R4-601) sign 1/4 to 1/2 mile in advance of the
traffic laws or regulations, and provide                   passing lane. This sign shows the
information and instructions required for                  approximate distance to the passing lane,
compliance. Place these signs where areas of               measured to the nearest 1/4 mile
mandate or prohibition begin and end.                  •   Install a KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS
                                                           (R4-301) sign at the beginning of the passing
A. Bicycle Prohibition Signing                             lane
Bicycle traffic is generally permitted on state
                                                       •   Where spacing allows, install a RIGHT
highways except where restricted by regulation
                                                           LANE ENDS (W9-1R) sign in advance of
(see RCW 46.61.160). On highways that
                                                           the passing lane terminus
transition from permissive to restrictive, identify
restricted sections in advance by installing           •   Install a PAVEMENT WIDTH TRANSITION
signs that inform bicyclists of the upcoming               (W4-2L) sign in advance of the passing lane
prohibition, and give exit directions:                     terminus
•   On the mainline, install a BICYCLES MUST           •   An optional NEXT PASSING LANE XXX
    EXIT 1/4 MILE (R5-601) sign in advance of              MILES (R4-602) sign may be installed up to
    the prohibited area                                    500 feet beyond the passing lane terminus.
                                                           This sign displays the approximate distance
                                                           to the next passing lane
    (R5-601with arrow) sign at the off-ramp
                                                       •   (See Appendix 2-2)
    BICYCLES PROHIBITED (R5-1002) sign at              Guidelines for the design of auxiliary climbing
    on-ramp entrances to prohibited areas              lanes and passing lanes are contained in Design
                                                       Manual Chapter 1010.
Design Manual Chapter 1020 discusses signing
for bikeway facilities.                                C. Signing for Shoulder Driving
B. Signing for Auxiliary Climbing                      Shoulder driving is permitted on selected portions
and Passing Lanes                                      of two lane highways in accordance with RCW
                                                       46.61.428. Section 7.9 of this manual defines the
For sections of state highway that feature auxiliary
                                                       highway characteristics required to designate a
climbing lanes:
                                                       shoulder driving area. For sections of state
•   Install a TRUCK LANE XXX FEET (R4-6)               highways where shoulder driving is permitted:
    sign in advance of the climbing lane
                                                       •   Install a SLOW VEHICLES MAY USE
•   Install a SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT                    SHOULDER (I8-501) sign at the beginning
    (R4-3) sign near the beginning of the                  of the shoulder driving zone
    climbing lane
                                                       •   Supplement with a NEXT XXX MILES
•   Where spacing allows, install a RIGHT LANE             (I7-702) advisory distance plaque
    ENDS (W9-1R) in advance of the climbing
                                                       •   Supplement with a DAYLIGHT HOURS
    lane terminus
                                                           ONLY (I8-701) sign
                                                       •   Repeat this signing at a maximum interval
    (W4-2L) sign in advance of the climbing lane
                                                           of 8 km (5 miles)
                                                       •   Install an END SHOULDER DRIVING
•   (See Appendix 2-1)
                                                           (I8-601) sign at the end of the designated
For sections of state highway that feature auxiliary       shoulder driving zone
passing lanes:
                                                       •   (See Appendix 2-3)

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                                                                                              March 2002

D. Signing for Slow Vehicle Turnouts                   beyond acceleration lanes, in accordance with
For sections of state highways that feature slow       MUTCD Section 2E-32. Install signs on both
vehicle turnouts as passing opportunities:             sides of the traveled way on multi-lane divided
                                                       highways. In areas where interchange ramps are
•   Install a SLOW VEHICLES USE TURNOUTS               closely spaced, conduct a traffic engineering
    NEXT XXX MILES (I8-101) sign in advance            analysis to determine the most effective intervals
    of the initial turnout                             for posting speed limit signs.
•   Install the DELAY OF 5 VEHICLES                    Do not place speed limit signs between curve/turn
    ILLEGAL (I8-201) sign in advance of each           warning signs and the curve or turn.
                                                       F. Speed Zone Signing
    XXX FT/MILE (I8-401) sign in advance               Install SPEED ZONE AHEAD (R2-5C) or
    of each turnout                                    REDUCED SPEED AHEAD (R2-5A) signs with
                                                       supplemental speed plaques (R2-501) in advance
•   Install a SLOW VEHICLE TURNOUT                     of speed zone boundaries. This advance sign
    “arrow” (I8-301) sign at the beginning of          provides the motorist with an effective
    each turnout                                       opportunity to decelerate to the lower speed with
•   NO PARKING (R8-3) or NO PARKING                    minimal braking. Conduct a traffic engineering
    SYMBOL (R8-3a) signs may be installed              analysis to determine the advance placement
    within the turnout area when required              distance. Consider factors such as roadway
                                                       geometrics, gravity deceleration, and the mph
•   (See Appendix 2-4)                                 value of the speed reduction when making this
Guidelines for the design of slow vehicle turnouts     determination.
are contained in Design Manual Chapter 1010.           Install a SPEED LIMIT (R2-1) sign at the speed
E. Speed Limit Signs                                   zone boundary.
Install SPEED LIMIT (R2-1) signs to display the        For all highways, locate signs for both directions
maximum allowable speed as established by law          of travel opposite one another at speed zone
or regulation. Where the speed limit is greater        boundaries. Install signs on both sides of the
than 60 mph, or where a special speed limit is         traveled way on multi-lane divided highways.
mandated for vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross         If existing highway features prohibit opposite
weight, or vehicles in combination, install            installations, the signs may be installed a
TRUCKS XX (R2-2) sign. Mount this sign below           maximum distance of 300 feet apart, or offset up
the standard speed limit sign. Speed limits signs      to 150 feet in either direction from the speed zone
shall be in multiples of 5 mph. On two-lane            boundary. If these distance parameters cannot be
highways, locate speed limit signs:                    met, the speed zone boundary may be changed by
                                                       authorization of the State Traffic Engineer to
•   At urban area entry/exit points                    allow for sign installation.
•   At intersections of state highways                 Where the speed limit is raised, install SPEED
•   At major interchanges or intersections             LIMIT (R2-1) sign and when appropriate,
                                                       TRUCKS XX (R2-2) sign at the speed zone
•   At locations having a change in speed limit
                                                       boundary. See Appendix 2-5.
•   At entrances to Washington State
                                                       G. Two-Way Left Turn Lane Signs
In rural areas, locate speed limit signs at 10 to 20
                                                       TWO-WAY LEFT TURN ONLY signs may be
mile intervals.
                                                       installed where a lane in the center of a highway
In addition to these criteria, where possible on       is reserved for the use of left-turning vehicles in
multi-lane highways, locate speed limit signs on       either direction and is not to be used for passing
the far side of major intersections and 1,500 feet

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 2-7
March 2002

or overtaking. The post-mounted (R3-9b) or the        commissioners. Install the LEAVING RANGE
overhead mounted (R3-9) sign may be used to           AREA sign where a state highway leaves an
supplement pavement markings for the two-way          open range area.
left turn lanes. A plaque indicating BEGIN or
END may be mounted above either sign to               J. No Pedestrian Crossing Sign
identify the limits of the two-way left turn area.    Install a NO PEDESTRAIN CROSSING sign
                                                      (R9-3a) at a signalized intersection where
Additional WSDOT criteria apply to the use of
                                                      pedestrian crossing is prohibited. Locate the sign
two-way left turn lane signs:
                                                      so that it is visible to all pedestrians who may
•   Install the initial sign near the beginning of    consider crossing, normally on the opposite side
    the two-way left turn lane and repeat             of the roadway in line with the travel path of the
    installation as necessary, based on an analysis   pedestrian. If supplemental signing is called for,
    of operating conditions                           install USE CROSSWALK, R or L sign (R9-3B)
•   BEGIN or END plaques should not be                below this sign.
    installed where a two-way left turn lane is       K. Lane Use Control Sign
    temporarily interrupted by left turn
    channelization on either one or both              Install appropriate LANE-USE CONTROL
    approaches to an intersection                     sign (R3-8, R3-801, R3-802, R3-5A) between
                                                      the applicable traffic signal heads to indicate
H. Yield Signs on Ramps                               allowable through/turning movements.
YIELD (R1-2) signs may be installed along             L. Unmuffled Compression Brakes
on-ramps to freeways or expressways where
adequate acceleration lanes are not provided.
                                                      Under purview of RCW 46.37.390, it is against
Tables in Design Manual Chapter 940 are used to       the law to use unmuffled compression brakes.
determine the appropriate length for the              The department posts signs (R4-605)
acceleration lane portion of an on ramp               accordingly, just inside state boundaries at border
connection. This minimum length is based on           crossings used by trucks, and along the ramps
the design speeds of the mainline and the ramp.       to or from weigh stations as sign spacing allows.
Where the acceleration lane meets or exceeds the      Do not post these signs at other locations.
Design Manual minimum length requirements, a
yield sign is normally not required.                  M. Compression Brake Prohibition
Conduct a traffic engineering analysis to determine   Signing
the appropriate application of yield signs for        The department does not regulate compression
on-ramp connections:                                  brake use. Compression brake regulations are
                                                      enacted by local agencies. Local agency
•   If the acceleration lane does not meet the        compression brake prohibitions are typically
    Design Manual minimum length                      noise regulations rather than traffic regulations,
•   If ramp conditions, such as sight distance,       intended for environmental purposes rather than
    gradient, etc., inhibit the effective             traffic safety purposes. Thus, signs prohibiting
    acceleration speed of merging vehicles            compression brake use are a local agency issue in
                                                      which the department becomes a partner through
Install the yield sign so that it is not visible to
                                                      a local regulation that includes state highways.
mainline traffic.
                                                      There is no clear mandate in state law or
I. Range Area Signs                                   Department of Ecology (DOE) regulations that
Install the RANGE AREA sign in accordance             assist the regions in responding to local agency
with RCW 16.24.060, wherever a state highway          requests for compression brake prohibition signs.
enters an open range area. Repeat signing at          Further, the DOE noise program was terminated
points designated by the governing county             in 1982. Consequently, it is necessary to interpret

Page 2-8                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

the limited guidance in a manner that assures          •    Along non-access controlled routes outside
highway safety is not compromised, that signs are           corporate limits, install such signs upon
installed with a reasonable degree of uniformity            leaving corporate limits, and beyond the
statewide, and that the desires of local agencies           junction of major intersections accessed by
are respectfully considered.                                trucks, not to exceed one sign every 5 miles
RCW 70.107.060(3) provides that a local                In addition, the local agency shall agree to partner
government may, upon finding that special              with the department in the following manner:
conditions necessitate such requirements, control
                                                       •    For each situation, the local agency must
noise sources, or impose noise limits that are
                                                            have a valid noise ordinance (submitted to
different from those adopted or controlled by
                                                            DOE at least 90 days prior to contacting the
DOE. Such locally imposed noise limits are
                                                            department), and must agree to pay the
invalid unless first approved by DOE. If DOE
                                                            fabrication and installation costs for the
does not approve or disapprove noise limit
                                                            original installation and subsequent
standards submitted by local jurisdictions within
                                                            maintenance installations
90 days, such standards are deemed to be
approved. Accordingly, since DOE has no noise          •    Along non-access controlled state routes
program, any local agency noise regulation                  within corporate limits (city streets that are
submitted to DOE is approved by default 90 days             also state highways, RCW 47.24), cities or
past the date of submittal.                                 towns may install the signs at their discretion
Key to the subject is the interpretation of “special   2.3 Warning Signs
conditions,” as required by RCW 70.107.060(3).
                                                       Warning signs alert motorists to unexpected
The department considers highways, residential
                                                       conditions on or adjacent to state highways that
areas, and commercial areas to be common
                                                       require extraordinary attention. Install these signs
conditions rather than special conditions.
                                                       in advance of conditions that require special
Therefore, the “special conditions” cited in a
                                                       attention of the motorist. The table for advanced
local agency noise ordinance are evaluated by the
                                                       placement of warning signs, located in MUTCD
regions, in consultation with the Headquarters
                                                       Section 2C, offers guidance by providing
Traffic Office, prior to the installation of com-
                                                       minimum advance placement distances, based on
pression brake prohibition signs.
                                                       vehicle speeds and location specific conditions.
Where special conditions are deemed to exist,          Determine appropriate installation of these signs
and where sign spacing is available, the               on the basis of MUTCD Section 2C guidelines,
department will install signs (R4-604) to reflect      traffic engineering analysis, and reasonable
the nature of the prohibition cited in the local       judgment.
ordinance as follows:
                                                       Minimum Warning sign sizes:
•   Along access controlled routes approaching
    restricted areas, install such signs beyond the                                         Minimum
    junction of major interchanges accessed by                                              Warning
    trucks. Locate these post-interchange signs                 Highway Type                Sign Size
    between the route marker assembly and the              Freeways and Expressways             48″
    speed limit signs. For locations approaching
                                                               Multilane Streets                36″
    corporate limits, where these installations
    would create sign crowding, the signs may be            Conventional Roadways               30″
    installed below the city entrance maker, on                           Table 2-7
    each approach to the corporate limits

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 2-9
March 2002

A. Added Lane Sign                                    motorists of the recommended speed, based on
An ADDED LANE (W4-3) sign may be used in              traffic engineering analysis, for negotiating the
advance of a point where two roadways converge        alignment. Locate the sign along the right
and merging movements are not required. The           shoulder of the deceleration lane prior to the exit
sign should be used at all added lane conditions      gore or ramp entrance, at a point which allows
to eliminate unnecessary mainline lane changes.       the motorist time to make a safe slowing and
If the mainline sign is not visible from both         exiting maneuver.
roadways, a sign may be installed on the              If an advisory speed condition is located on the
converging side of each roadway.                      ramp, well beyond the exit gore, install a standard
                                                      warning sign with an advisory speed plaque, in
B. Chevron Alignment Signs                            accordance with Section 2C-3 of the MUTCD.
CHEVRON ALIGNMENT (W1-8) signs may be
installed on non-illuminated circular interchange     E. Ramp Advisory Speed Sign
ramps, or on other sharply curving alignments         Install the RAMP ADVISORY SPEED (W13-3)
where run off the road crashes have demonstrated      sign to inform motorists of the recommended
an operational deficiency. Install signs in series    speed, based on traffic engineering analysis, for
and configure arrays to include a minimum of          negotiating a ramp alignment with curvature or
three signs, with at least two signs visible to the   other unexpected conditions. Use this sign on
motorist throughout the curve.                        freeway/expressway entrance ramps, and
                                                      freeway/expressway to freeway/expressway
C. Deer Crossing Sign                                 connection ramps. Locate this advance sign at
Install DEER CROSSING (W11-3) signs to alert          a point which allows the motorist time to make
motorists when approaching an area where deer         a safe slowing maneuver before entering a turn
or elk may unexpectedly enter the roadway at          or curve.
random or numerous locations.
                                                      If an advisory speed condition is located well
Install this sign only in areas where motorist        beyond the gore or ramp entrance from surface
warning is required. Consider information             streets, install a standard turn or curve sign with
from the following sources when determining           an advisory speed plaque (W13-1) in accordance
appropriate installation:                             with Section 2C-3 of the MUTCD.
•   The Headquarters Environmental Affairs
                                                      F. Fire Station Signs
    Office records and compiles deer kill data
    reported by WSDOT personnel                       FIRE STATION (W11-8) signs may be installed
                                                      at locations where there is limited sight distance
•   Records of accidents with wildlife which          to the fire station road approach or where the
    are maintained by the Transportation Data         approach is in an area where a motorist would
    Office, Accident Data Section of the Planning     not normally expect to see a fire truck enter the
    and Programming Service Center                    roadway.
•   The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s             Conduct a traffic engineering analysis at each
    regional biologists who have additional           location to determine appropriate applications for
    information on concentrations and migratory       this sign.
    routes of deer
                                                      Fire station warning signs are not generally used
Existing DEER CROSSING sign locations                 at intersections.
should be reviewed every five years to determine
if the location still warrants a sign.                G. Grated Bridge Deck Sign
                                                      Install the GRATED BRIDGE DECK sign
D. Exit Advisory Speed Sign
                                                      (W8-2101) in advance of bridges with grated
Install the EXIT ADVISORY SPEED (W13-2)               decks. Deck grates may affect the handling
sign at freeway/expressway exit ramps to inform

Page 2-10                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

characteristics of some vehicles, particularly        entering from the side approach is not
motorcycles and bicycles.                             continuously visible to traffic on the through
                                                      highway for the minimum advance distance
H. Grooved Pavement Sign                              suggested in the table for advanced placement of
Install the GROOVED PAVEMENT sign                     warning signs located in MUTCD Section 2C.
(W8-2001) in advance of highway sections where        These signs may be modified to show offset
the finish of the roadway surface features closely    geometrics of intersection or approach curves
spaced longitudinal grooves. The grooves may          when necessary. Width of lines used to show
affect the handling characteristics of some           roadways may vary to demonstrate the
vehicles, particularly motorcycles and bicycles.      predominate highway. Intersection warning
Do not use this sign in areas of rutted pavement.     signs are not normally used at signalized or
                                                      channelized/illuminated intersections.
I. Hairpin Curve Sign
                                                      •   Supplement the INTERSECTION WARNING
WSDOT criteria recommend installing the
                                                          sign with the black on yellow ROAD NAME
hairpin curve sign (W1-901L,R) at locations
                                                          (D3-201) sign
where a horizontal curve alignment contains a
central angle of 135 degrees or greater, and:         •   Install white on green ROAD NAME
                                                          (D3-302) signs 200 feet or more in advance
•   A traffic engineering analysis of roadway,
                                                          of intersections where the INTERSECTION
    geometric, and operating conditions shows
                                                          WARNING sign is not used (see Section
    the recommended curve speed to be 30 mph
                                                          2.4.F.1 of this manual)
    or less; or
                                                      Refer to the MUTCD installation criteria for
•   The recommended curve speed is equal to
                                                      railroad/intersection signs W10-2, W10-3,
    or less than the speed limit established by law
                                                      and W10-4.
    or regulation for that section of highway
To provide additional guidance, the hairpin curve     L. Low Clearance Signing
sign may be supplemented with:                        The maximum legal vehicle height permitted on
                                                      state highways is 14′ (RCW 46.44.020). At the
•   Advisory speed plaque (W13-1)
                                                      direction of the MUTCD, and through operational
•   Large arrow sign (W1-6)                           experience, a 15″ buffer (including 3″ for frost
•   Chevron alignment signs (W1-8)                    heave) has been added to the 14′, creating a
                                                      minimum threshold of 15′3″ for low clearance
J. Truck Tipping Signs                                warning signs.
The special TRUCK TIPPING sign may be                 •   For locations where the clearance is 14′ or
installed where there is a history of truck tipping       greater, but less than 15′3″, install the LOW
accidents. Install this sign in addition to, not in       CLEARANCE (W12-301), or LOW
lieu of, standard curve or turn, large arrow, and         CLEARANCE W/ARROW (W12-302) sign
chevron warning signs. Conduct a traffic                  on overhead structure, or install the advance
engineering analysis to determine the                     LOW CLEARANCE (W12-2) sign on the
recommended speed at which trucks can                     right shoulder. Refer to the table for
negotiate an alignment. Display this                      advanced placement of warning signs,
recommended speed on an advisory speed plaque             located in MUTCD Section 2C for advanced
(W 13-1) below the TRUCK TIPPING sign.                    placement distance
K. Intersection Warning Signs                         •   Where the clearance is less than 14′, install
                                                          the LOW CLEARANCE (W12-301) or LOW
                                                          CLEARANCE W/ARROW (W12-302) sign
Series) sign on through highways to indicate the
                                                          on the structure. In addition, install LOW
presence of an obscured intersection. Consider
                                                          CLEARANCE (W12-2) sign in advance of
installing this sign at locations where traffic

Traffic Manual                                                                                Page 2-11
March 2002

    the closest intersecting road that provides a     advance of the minimum distances provided
    detour around the low clearance impediment.       in the table for advanced placement of warning
    Supplement this sign with an ADVISORY             signs located in MUTCD Section 2C. Refer
    DISTANCE (W13-501) sign, showing the              to Section 2.1.F of this manual to determine
    distance to the impediment. Install an            responsibility for installation and maintenance
    additional advance LOW CLEARANCE                  of these signs.
    (W12-2) sign in accordance with the table
    for advanced placement of warning signs,          O. Turn and Curve Signs and
    located in MUTCD Section 2C                       Advisory Speed Plaques
•   In situations where clearance may vary greatly,   Install the TURN (W1-1) sign where traffic
    such as arched structures or tunnels, make a      engineering analysis of roadway, geometric, and
    specific determination regarding the number       operating conditions indicates an advisory speed
    of signs required on the structure to provide     for a horizontal turn to be 30 mph or less, and:
    effective clearance information. If any           •    This advisory speed is 5 mph or more below
    portion of the roadway, for example at the             the legal speed limit
    edge stripe, does not provide minimum legal
                                                      •    Install supplemental advisory speed plaque
    clearance, the advance signing should include
                                                           (W13-1) if this advisory speed is 10 mph or
    this information
                                                           more below the legal speed limit, or where
Display the low clearance to the nearest inch not          traffic engineering analysis indicates the need
exceeding the actual clearance. If surface overlays        to advise drivers of the recommended speed
decrease the overhead clearance, measure the
                                                      Install the CURVE (W1-2) sign where traffic
clearance and if necessary, revise sign message
                                                      engineering analysis of roadway, geometric, and
                                                      operating conditions indicates an advisory speed
Vertical clearance for all overhead signs shall       for a horizontal curve that ranges from 35 mph to
be in accordance with the Design Manual               65 mph, and:
Section 820.
                                                      •    The advisory speed is 5 mph or more below
M. Merge Sign                                              the legal speed limit
Install the MERGE (W4-1) sign to warn motorists       •    Install supplemental advisory speed plaque
of upcoming merging movements, in advance of               (W13-1) if the recommended speed is 10 mph
a point where two roads converge and no turning            or more below the legal speed limit, or where
conflicts occur. Consider installing this sign if          traffic engineering analysis indicates the need
the minimum visibility distance for an alignment           to advise drivers of a recommended speed
convergence is less than the Condition A value,
                                                      Advisory speeds on curves are indicated by
suggested for the given operating speed in the
                                                      ball-banking instrument readings as follows:
table for advanced placement of warning signs
located in MUTCD Section 2C. Place the sign               Advisory Speed               Maximum Ball
on the major alignment, in advance of the point           (mph)                        Bank Reading
where two roads converge. An additional sign
                                                          20 mph or less                    14
may be placed on the entering roadway as
a reminder. Do not use this sign where roads              25 and 30 mph                     12
converge with added lanes.                                35 mph and greater                10
                                                                           Table 2-8
N. Stop Ahead/Signal Ahead Signs
(W3-3) signs are generally required only if the       P. Pavement Ruts Sign
stop sign or the traffic signal is not visible in     Install PAVEMENT RUTS signs (W8-2201) in
                                                      advance of highway sections where longitudinal
                                                      wheel track ruts may cause unexpected move-

Page 2-12                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

ments when vehicles change lanes or exit the               regional transportation organization, such as
roadway. The Regional Traffic Office should                an RTPO, or MPO
determine appropriate placement of these signs,        •   There is a documented history of complaints
based on traffic engineering analysis. On                  and conflicts between bicyclists and motorists
multi-lane divided roadways, post signs on both
sides of the roadway.                                  Use these signs in conjunction with the
                                                       BICYCLISTS signs (W11-1). Do not install these
Q. Transit Stop Ahead Sign                             signs on state highways that have designated
Install the TRANSIT STOP AHEAD (W14-1101)              bicycle lanes.
symbol sign on state highways in advance of            T. Left Turns Ahead Signs
transit vehicle stop zones. In accordance with
WAC 468-46, this sign shall be installed when:         The MUTCD does not provide guidance for the
                                                       use of the LEFT TURNS AHEAD (W2-601)
•   The transit stop has been approved by the          sign. This sign may be used to mitigate conflicts
    Regional Traffic Office                            at intersections where traffic engineering analysis
•   The transit stop is located in an area that is     indicates that a left turn movement is contributing
    not incorporated                                   to operational deficiencies. Install this sign at
                                                       locations where:
•   The transit vehicle stops upon the roadway
    to receive and discharge passengers                •   The intersection is not channelized

•   There is limited sight distance condition          •   Left-turning vehicles may queue in the
                                                           traveled lane
Install the sign at locations where the transit
vehicle, when stopped upon the roadway, is not         •   Approach to intersection does not provide
visible from a minimum advance distance of                 adequate stopping sight distance
500 feet. To locate the sign, use advance distances
                                                       U. Object Markers/Lateral Clearance
from the table for advanced placement of warning
signs located in MUTCD Section 2C.
                                                       Install object markers to identify hazardous
R. Snowmobile Signs                                    objects and conditions located within or adjacent
Install SNOWMOBILE Warning signs where                 to the roadway. Objects located close enough to
motorists may encounter snowmobiles in                 the edge of the traveled way to present a hazard
accordance with RCW 46.10.110.                         require a lateral clearance marker (W12-401 L/R).
                                                       These hazards may include, but are not limited
S. Bikes on Road Signs                                 to underpass bridge piers and abutments, barriers,
Install BIKES ON ROAD (W11-101) signs in               handrails, and culvert headwalls. Object markers
areas where motorists may encounter bicyclists         may be installed at some locations where the
on the roadway. These signs help mitigate road         hazard is not presented by a physical object, but
use conflicts on state routes with narrow paved        where conditions such as narrow shoulder
shoulders. Consider using these signs on sections      drop-offs, small traffic islands and abrupt
of state highway where the paved shoulder width        changes make it undesirable for the motorist to
is less than 4 feet and one or more of the following   leave the roadway. The MUTCD states, “the
conditions are met:                                    inside edge of marker (W12-401 R/L) shall be in
                                                       line with the inner edge of the obstruction.” The
•   Average Daily Traffic volume is greater than       mounting height to the bottom of the lateral
    1,700 vehicles, based on the most current          clearance marker is 4 feet above the lane edge.
    WSDOT Annual Traffic Report
                                                       Impact Attenuator Markers (W12-501 and
•   The state highway is part of a recreational or     W12-502) are used to identify the nose section
    commuter bicycle route that is officially          of an impact attenuator. Install a W12-501 when
    recognized by the department, or a county or       traffic approaching an attenuator passes only one

Traffic Manual                                                                                   Page 2-13
March 2002

side of the attenuator; install a W12-502 when        Pursuant to MUTCD Sections 1A-1 and 1A-3.1,
approaching traffic passes on both sides of the       sign messages that provide advertising or
attenuator.                                           commercial information are not allowed.

V. Watch for Ice Signs                                Types of Guide Signs — The guide sign group
                                                      consists of several types of signs. Route Markers
The use of WATCH FOR ICE signs to alert
                                                      clearly display the official highway number and
motorists to roadway surface conditions caused
                                                      direction of travel. Primary Guide Signs (advance
by weather shall be discontinued, except where
                                                      guide signs, exit directional signs and destination
there are “intelligent” signs linked to pavement
                                                      signs) direct motorists along state highways to
                                                      exit points for principal destinations served by
“Intelligent” WATCH FOR ICE SIGNS may                 intersections or interchanges; and to control
also be posted where some natural or manmade          cities that are located on intersecting state routes.
feature causes the highway to be consistently wet     Distance Signs display distances to destinations
without reference to immediate weather                and junctions along state routes. Supplemental
conditions and there is substantial likelihood that   Guide Signs provide direction to major traffic
cold temperatures will often occur and cause ice      generators or other points of interest.
on the highway in that specific and limited           Follow-Through signs provide continued
location. Examples of this limited kind of            direction, beginning at the point of exit from the
condition may include, but are not limited to:        state highway, following through to the
                                                      destination displayed on the guide sign. General
•   A waterfall or some industrial plant proximate
                                                      Motorist Information Signs provide information
    to a highway that consistently causes spray
                                                      for the unfamiliar motorist about services
•   Moisture from vapor on the highway                available at upcoming intersections and
•   Wetness from drainage problems for which          interchanges.
    there has been no feasible short or long-term     Guide Signs on Conventional Roads — Install
    design or maintenance solution                    guide signs on conventional roadways in
Any decision to post an Ice sign for these reasons    accordance with guidelines in MUTCD Section
must be reviewed and approved by the State            2D. Advance destination and destination signs
Traffic Engineer, based on traffic engineering        should be used on through routes at junctions of
analysis, and in consultation with the appropriate    state highways and at junctions of county roads
Regional Traffic Engineer.                            or city streets that lead to significant destinations.
                                                      Include numbered state route markers (D1-501)
2.4 Guide Signs                                       on the destination signs where appropriate.
Overview — These signs serve as primary               Guide Signs on Expressways and Freeways —
navigational tools for the unfamiliar motorist on     Install guide signs on expressways and freeways
state highways. Guide signs provide information       in accordance with guidelines in MUTCD
about route designations, distances and directions    Sections 2E and 2F. Generally, this consists of
to destinations, motorist services, and other         one or two advance guide signs, an exit
geographical, recreational, or cultural points        directional sign, one supplemental guide sign,
of interest.                                          and other signs as shown. The minimum spacing
                                                      is 800 feet between guide signs. Install only one
Limit the number and spacing of these signs;
                                                      supplemental guide sign, approximately halfway
this allows the driver adequate time to read and
                                                      between the advance destination sign and the
respond to the messages. When new signs are
                                                      destination sign.
being added to highways that serve urban and
suburban built up areas, use reasonable judgment      A. Route Marker Signs
to avoid sign proliferation. This may require the
                                                      General — The MUTCD requires the use of
removal or relocation of existing signs.
                                                      route markers to identify and mark all numbered

Page 2-14                                                                                    Traffic Manual
                                                                                               March 2002

highway systems. Each highway system type              destination selection criteria for guide signs on
(e.g., interstate, state route, US) has a uniquely     conventional roads, freeways, and expressways.
designed route marker. Use the specific route
                                                       Control City/Terminal Destination Signing —
marker only on the appropriate route and
                                                       As provided in the MUTCD guidelines, use a
approaches to the route. The following criteria
                                                       control city or terminal destination on guide signs
are applied when using route markers:
                                                       at junctions with other highways. Choose the
•   Install route marker signs at:                     primary destination (control city or terminal
                                                       destination) for selected state routes from those
    •   Entrances to Washington State
                                                       given below:
    •   Beyond interchanges or on the far side of
        intersections with other numbered routes,      SR 2
        or major local roads                           EB from Everett ................................... Wenatchee
                                                       EB from Wenatchee ................................ Spokane
    •   Beyond city limits                             EB from Spokane .................................... Newport
•   Install the cardinal direction sign (M3 series)    WB from Idaho State Line ...................... Spokane
    above route marker sign                            WB from Spokane ................................ Davenport
                                                       WB from Davenport ............................ Wenatchee
•   Install junction signs where appropriate           WB from Wenatchee ................................. Everett
In urban and residential areas, install route
markers at intervals that will keep an unfamiliar      SR 5
motorist informed of the route.                        NB from Vancouver, WA .......................... Seattle
                                                       NB from Seattle .......................... Vancouver, B.C.
B. Primary Guide Signs                                 SB from Vancouver, B.C. .......................... Seattle
General — Advance guide, exit directional, and         SB from Seattle ....................................... Portland
destination signs provide guidance to destinations     SR 12
served by upcoming exits or intersections.             EB from Aberdeen................................... Olympia
Provide the unfamiliar motorist with the most          EB from Elma ......................................... Centralia
effective message, and ensure consistency by           EB from Interstate 5 ................................. Yakima
displaying the same message on all signs installed     EB from Yakima .................................... Richland
in series.                                             EB from Pasco ................................... Walla Walla
MUTCD guidelines define the required and               EB from Walla Walla ............................. Lewiston
allowable numbers of advance guide signs for           WB from Idaho State Line ................ Walla Walla
various roadway types and interchange                  WB from Walla Walla ................................. Pasco
classifications. One exit directional or destination   WB from Richland ................................... Yakima
sign is located immediately prior to the exit or       WB from Yakima ................................ Interstate 5
intersection. The MUTCD guidelines also                WB from Interstate 5 ............................. Aberdeen
provide installation location, and letter/legend
                                                       SR 14
criteria for these signs.
                                                       EB from Vancouver..................... I-82/Kennewick
Display a maximum of two destinations on a             WB from I-82 ...................................... Vancouver
single primary guide sign. A sign support having
two or more signs may display a maximum of             SR 20
three destinations.                                    EB from Keystone ................................. Anacortes
                                                       EB from Anacortes .............................. Burlington
Destination Selection — Display the primary            EB from Burlington .............................. Okanogan
destination(s) served by the upcoming exit or          EB from Okanogan ................................... Colville
intersection. This could include the name of a         EB from Colville ..................................... Newport
city, street, junction with another numbered           WB from Idaho State Line ....................... Colville
highway or control city along the intersecting         WB from Colville ................................. Okanogan
route, or other traffic generator. Use the same        WB from Okanogan ............................ Burlington

Traffic Manual                                                                                            Page 2-15
March 2002

WB from Burlington ............................. Anacortes           SR 395
WB from Anacortes............................. Coupeville            NB from Oregon State Line ................ Kennewick
                                                                     NB from Pasco ........................................ Spokane
SR 82                                                                NB from Spokane ..................................... Colville
EB from Ellensburg .................................. Yakima         NB from Colville ..................... Grand Forks, B.C.
EB from Yakima .................................... Richland         SB from Canadian Border ....................... Spokane
EB from Richland .................................. Pendleton        SB from Ritzville ........................................ Pasco
WB from Oregon State Line ............... Kennewick
WB from Kennewick................................ Yakima             SR 405
WB from Yakima ................................ Ellensburg           NB from Jct. I-5 (Southcenter) .................. Renton
                                                                     NB from Renton ......................................Bellevue
SR 90                                                                NB from Bellevue ..................................... Everett
EB from Seattle ................................... Ellensburg       SB from Jct I-5 (Lynwood) ..................... Bellevue
EB from Ellensburg ................................. Spokane         SB from Bellevue ...................................... Renton
EB from Spokane .......................... Coeur d’Alene
WB from Idaho State Line ...................... Spokane              If a terminal destination is not required or if space
WB from Spokane ............................... Ellensburg           is available for a second destination, display the
WB from Ellensburg .................................. Seattle        destination that will benefit the greatest number
                                                                     of motorists. Consider the following destinations
SR 97                                                                when making this determination:
NB from Oregon State Line ..................... Yakima
                                                                     •    A city or town situated at or near a major
NB from Ellensburg ............................ Wenatchee
                                                                          highway junction; or the major highway
NB from Wenatchee ............................. Okanogan
                                                                          junction route marker if junction is located
NB from Okanogan ...................... Penticton, B.C.
                                                                          prior to a city or town
SB from Canadian Border ................... Wenatchee
SB from Wenatchee............................. Ellensburg            •    The name of the cross-road or street
SB from Yakima ................................. Goldendale
                                                                     •    A second major city or town on the route
SR 101                                                               •    Other major destinations such as: Mountain
NB from Oregon State Line .................. Aberdeen                     passes on primary highways, National parks,
NB from Aberdeen ........................... Port Angeles                 and the Seattle-Tacoma or Spokane
NB from Olympia ............................. Port Angeles                International Airports
SB from Port Angeles (East Leg) ............ Olympia
SB from Port Angeles (West Leg) ........ Aberdeen                    C. Distance Signs
SB from Aberdeen ..................................... Astoria       General — MUTCD guidelines permit distance
                                                                     signs to display up to three destinations. In addition,
SR 182
                                                                     the following criteria should be observed:
EB from SR 82 ....................................... Richland
EB from Richland ........................................ Pasco      •    Locate signs in rural areas at 10 to 15-mile
WB from Pasco ...................................... Richland             intervals
WB from Richland ....... SR 82/Yakima/Pendleton
                                                                     •    Locate signs beyond city limits or urban
SR 195                                                                    boundaries
NB from Idaho State Line ....................... Spokane             •    Locate signs beyond intersections and
SB from Spokane.................................... Lewiston              interchanges of numbered routes
SR 205                                                               •    Locate signs at entrances to Washington State
NB from Oregon State Line ....................... Seattle
                                                                     Where two or more of these location conditions
SB from Jct. I-5 ........................................... Salem
                                                                     occur within 10 miles, sign the most effective

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                                                                                                                     March 2002

Destination Selection — Use the top line to           highways. State law also requires signing from
identify the next city with services available, or    state highways to regional shopping centers that
the next intersected route number. The second         meet specific criteria (RCW 47.36.270).
line can be used to identify communities of
                                                      The largest category of destinations to consider
general interest and may be varied on successive
                                                      for supplemental guide signing is traffic
signs to provide maximum information for the
                                                      generators. Although the department receives
motorist. Display the next control city or terminal
                                                      numerous requests for these signs, it is not
destination on the third line. Use the same
                                                      possible to sign for all traffic generators that
destination selection criteria for guide signs on
                                                      warrant signing. The following information offers
conventional roads, freeways, and expressways.
                                                      prioritized selection criteria to aid in determining
Determining Mileage Display on Distance               the most appropriate destinations for
Signs — For Freeways and Expressways, display         supplemental guide signs.
the distance in miles from the sign to the first
interchange/intersection that provides motorist       Selection Criteria Factors for Supplemental
services within the destination city corporate        Destinations — Priority Order
limits, or the distance in miles from the sign to     1. Primary Guide Sign Over-Flow Messages
the interchange/intersection that provides            In some cases, appropriate messages cannot
destination signing to the City Center. For           be included on primary guide signs due to space
conventional highways, display the distance in        limitations. Place these messages on
miles from the sign to the boundary of the            supplemental guide signs with priority over
destination city corporate limits. For destinations   other supplemental sign messages.
such as Mt. Rainier National Park, display the
distance to the park boundary.                        2. Statutory Selection — Signing to State
                                                      Parks from interstate highways and signing to
D. Supplemental Guide Sign                            regional shopping centers from state highways
General — Supplemental guide signs direct the         has priority over other traffic generators.
unfamiliar motorist to destinations that are          3. Traffic Generator Volume — This signing
significant traffic generators, or other points of    should serve an essential traffic control function;
interest that cannot be displayed on primary guide    traffic generators with the greatest traffic volume
signs. A supplemental guide sign may display a        should be given priority.
maximum of two destinations. It may be
                                                      4. Local Consensus — Local agency
necessary to replace existing destinations with
                                                      partnership is an important consideration.
more important ones as development occurs.
                                                      Routing traffic onto local roadways may impact
MUTCD guidelines define appropriate
                                                      local traffic patterns. Determine if signing to a
application and installation location for these
                                                      traffic generator will impact local roadway traffic
signs on expressways and freeways. No more
                                                      operations. Seek local agency concurrence with
than one supplemental guide sign should installed
                                                      proposed signing location.
on each interchange approach.
                                                      5. Nearest Interchange/Intersection —
Destination Selection — In some cases, essential
                                                      Determine if the sign will be located at the
messages cannot be included on primary guide
                                                      interchange or intersecting road that provides
signs due to space limitations. Place these
                                                      the most direct route to the traffic generator.
messages on supplemental guide signs with
                                                      In general, avoid signing to destinations that
priority over other supplemental sign messages.
                                                      require complex navigation on multiple high-
State law requires the department to install and      ways, unless the activity is of national
maintain signing to State Parks located within        significance. Determine if the local agency
15 miles of interstate highways (RCW 47.36.290).      concurs with proposed signing.
These destinations have first priority on
supplemental guide signs located on interstate

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 2-17
March 2002

6. Distance From Route to Destination —               Industrial/Commercial
Determine if the traffic generator lies within               Business Routes
the prescribed distance criteria for the type of             Ports/Port Districts
destination being signed (see categories below).             Industrial Parks
7. Follow-Through Signing — Determine if              Section 2.4D.11 lists traffic generators that
follow-through signing is required to direct the      normally do not warrant signing. Evaluate the
unfamiliar motorist to the traffic generator. The     given interchange and select the destinations that
local agency must concur with proposed signing        provide the most benefit to the motorist.
and be willing to assume responsibility for
installation and maintenance of follow-through        Destination Selection Criteria and Installation
signs. Refer to Section 2.4.E for further             Details for Specific Types of Traffic Generators
information regarding follow-through signing.         To warrant sign messages on supplemental guide
8. AASHTO Guidelines for Selecting Traffic            signs, traffic generators must meet these criteria.
Generators Adjacent to Freeways —                     Appendix 2-6 contains these criteria in a table
Determine if the traffic generator meets or           format. Supplemental guide signing for these
exceeds criteria contained in this AASHTO             traffic generators shall be installed according to
publication.                                          the following details.

9. National/Regional/Local — Establish                1.   State Parks
priority based on scope of recognition. Prioritize    Overview — The department provides signing
traffic generators that are nationally recognized     along state highways for routes leading to state
over traffic generators that have state or regional   parks under purview of RCW 47.36.290. The
recognition, and regional destinations over local     State Parks and Recreation Commission is
points of interest.                                   responsible for any State Park signing route not
Supplemental Guide Sign Destination Types             located on a state highway. Parks within 15 miles
(Non-Priority)                                        of an interstate highway will be signed from the
                                                      interstate, including follow through signing on
This non-priority list of traffic generator types     any state route that connects the interstate to the
may aid in determining the most appropriate           park. Do not install mainline signing until all
destinations for supplemental guide signs. These      follow through signing is in place.
are general categories, a traffic generator may
cross over into several groups.                       All signs shall have white letters, symbols, and
                                                      border on a brown background. The Headquarters
Multi-Modal                                           Traffic Office maintains an inventory of the
       Airports                                       recreational symbols to be used at each state park.
       Amtrak/Other Railroad
       Ferries                                        Freeways
       Park and Ride Lots                             Mainline — Install supplemental guide signs
Heritage                                              displaying the name of the state park and a
       Indian Reservations                            directional message, such as NEXT RIGHT,
       Military Installations                         in advance of the interchange off-ramp. If a
       Natural/Cultural/Historic Attractions          park has restricted hours or days of operation,
       Scenic Byways                                  add signs displaying the operating schedule to
                                                      the supplemental sign assembly.
       Fairgrounds                                    Ramp — Install directional signs with the
       National Parks                                 message “STATE PARK” and a maximum of
       Recreational Areas                             four symbol plaques for each sign assembly.
       Stadiums (Sports Facilities)                   Display the mileage to the park from the ramp
       Colleges/Universities                          terminal, using 1/4 mile increments if the distance
       USFS (HQ’s Facilities/Campground)

Page 2-18                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

is less than one mile. If the park does not have      3.   Airports
camping facilities, display the message “NO
                                                      Airports are eligible for signing if they are
CAMPING” in place of one of the symbol
                                                      included in the National Plan of Integrated
                                                      Airport Systems and classified as air carrier,
Conventional Roadways                                 commuter or reliever, or general aviation
                                                      airport and meet the following criteria:
To provide guidance to state parks from
conventional roadways, install signs displaying       •    The airport is associated with an area
the name of the park, the NEXT RIGHT/LEFT                  population of 10,000 or more
directional message and a maximum of four             •    The airport is located within 5 miles of
recreational symbol plaques. If the park does not          interchange or intersection
have camping facilities, display the message “NO
CAMPING” in place of one of the symbol                •    The airport runway shall be paved, lighted,
plaques. If a park has restricted hours or days of         and 2,500 feet, or more, in length
operation, add signs displaying the operating         •    The airport is municipally owned, or privately
schedule to the directional assembly.                      owned, and substantially used for commercial
At the intersection of a state route, and a roadway        enterprise with the following minimum
leading to a state park, install a white on brown          number of regularly scheduled commercial
D1-101 with the message “STATE PARK” and                   flights per day:
a directional arrow. Display the mileage to the            •   35 flights per day in major metropolitan
park from the intersection, using 1/4 mile                     area (greater than 50,000)
increments if the park is less than one mile
from the intersection.                                     •   20 flights per day in an urban area
2.   Regional Shopping Centers
                                                           •   15 flights per day in urban areas
WAC 468-95-025 requires signing to regional
shopping centers when all of the following            •    Airports at remote locations serving a smaller
criteria are met:                                          population may be signed when their location
                                                           is not obvious
•    Shopping center has greater than 500,000
     square feet of retail space for lease            Contact WSDOT’s Aeronautics Division to
                                                      determine if a specific airport meets these
•    Shopping center contains at least three major    criteria. Airports that have scheduled flights
     department stores that are owned by a na-        can be signed with the airport name. All other
     tional or regional chain organization            municipal airports will be signed with the airport
•    Shopping center is located within 1 mile of a    symbol or with the word message “Airport.”
     state highway                                    Existing signs not meeting these criteria may
•    Shopping center must generate a minimum of       remain in place.
     9,000 daily one-way trips                        4.   Rail Passenger Stations
•    Sign space is available for installation as      Install signing to Amtrak and other rail passenger
     specified in the MUTCD                           stations as described below. In some cases, Public
•    Supplemental follow-through directional          Transit Authorities may choose to enter into a
     signing is required if the shopping center is    partnership with the department regarding signing
     not clearly visible at the point of exit from    issues. This may include the use of logo signs
     the main traveled way                            that have been approved by the Public Transit
                                                      Authority and the department, as the standard
All follow-through signing must be in place prior     guide sign. Use these guidelines to install signing
to installing supplemental guide signs. All costs     that directs traffic from state highways to Amtrak
associated with installing and maintaining signs      and other passenger rail stations:
shall be the responsibility of the shopping center.

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 2-19
March 2002

•    Conventional Roadways — Use Amtrak                 Interstate Highways
     symbols or approved logo signs in the
                                                        •   Install signing if the main campuses of state
     trailblazer format with the appropriate
                                                            colleges and universities are located within
     directional arrows
                                                            5 miles of an interstate highway. Where two
•    Multilane Highways:                                    interstate highways are within the 5 miles
                                                            limit, sign from the nearest one
     •   If there is enough space to install an
         individual feature sign, the Amtrak            •   Signing to state college and university
         symbol plaque or approved logo sign                satellite campuses, other public or private
         may be placed alone on a green                     colleges and universities, and technical
         background sign panel with either of               schools is the same as above. Where two or
         these messages: “NEXT RIGHT” or                    more colleges or universities share a common
         “EXIT XXX” (see Appendix 2-7a)                     campus, enrollments may be combined to
                                                            meet enrollment criteria. If this and all other
     •   When there is not enough space to install
                                                            criteria are met, multiple facilities may be
         an individual feature sign, the Amtrak
                                                            displayed on guide signs. In addition, the
         symbol plaque or approved logo sign may
         be installed below the advance exit or the
         exit directional sign on the post closest to       •   Must be a regional institution
         the traveled way (see Appendix 2-7b)
                                                            •   Must have total enrollment (including
     •    If the sign cannot be installed in                    part time and full time) of:
         accordance with the details above, the
                                                                •   4,500 students in a major
         Amtrak symbol plaque or approved logo
                                                                    metropolitan area (50,000 or greater)
         sign may be installed below the
         supplemental guide sign, on the post                   •   2,500 students in an urban area
         closest to the traveled way (see                           (5,000-49,999)
         Appendix 2-7c)                                         •   1,000 students in a rural area
     •    Install Amtrak trailblazer signs or               •   Must have accreditation — To determine
         approved logo signs along freeway ramps                if a Washington state institution of higher
         or at ramp terminals. All trailblazer signs            education is duly accredited, contact the
         must be in place before any mainline                   Council on Colleges of the Northwest
         signs are installed                                    Association of Schools and Colleges.
     •   The Amtrak symbol plaque or approved                   A list of Washington’s accredited schools
         logo sign may be installed as part of a                is available on line at the agency website:
         multi-modal transportation logo board,        This agency also has
         along with approved symbols for other                  accurate enrollment data. The agency can
         modes of transportation                                be contacted by phone at (425) 827-2005
                                                                for information about a school accredited
If none of the above is possible, the sign shall
                                                                outside the northwest region which
not be installed.
                                                                operates a satellite campus in
5.   Colleges and Universities                                  Washington.
Provide signing along interstate and state              Other State Highways
highways to colleges, universities, and public
technical schools in accordance with                    •   Install signing if the main campuses of
the following criteria:                                     state colleges and universities are located
                                                            within 5 miles of a state highway. Where two
                                                            state highways are within the 5 miles limit,
                                                            sign from the nearest one

Page 2-20                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                              March 2002

All other criteria are the same as those for           10.   United States Forest Service Facilities
interstate highways.
                                                       Signing to facilities of the USFS, including
6.   Event Venues — Arenas, Auditoriums,               campgrounds and Headquarters buildings may be
     Convention Halls, Fairgrounds, Stadiums           installed if the facility is located within 1 mile of
                                                       an interchange in major metropolitan or urban
Event venues may be signed with white on green
                                                       areas, and within 10 miles in a rural area.
supplemental guide signs if the following
requirements are met and sign space is available.      11.   Unwarranted Traffic Generators
•    Major Metropolitan Area (population 50,000        Signing to ventures operated by private entities
     or greater) — The venue must be within 2          for profit, and other areas or ventures not of
     miles of the state highway, and the annual        general interest to the traveling public are not
     attendance at the facility must be at least       permitted on state highways. Traffic generators
     300,000                                           that do not normally warrant guide signing
•    Urban Area (population 5,000-49,999) —
     The venue must be within 2 miles of the state     Businesses
     highway, and the annual attendance at the         TV/Radio Stations
     facility must be at least 250,000                 Theaters
•    Rural Area — The venue must be within
                                                       Local or State
     5 miles of the state highway, and the annual
     attendance at the facility must be at least
                                                       Military (A National Cemetery, as designated by
                                                       the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, that is located
7.   Industrial Parks                                  within 5 miles of the nearest intersection or
Signing to industrial parks may be installed if:       interchange may be signed)
•    The area has at least 500,000 square feet of      Convention Centers
     space available for lease (may include a mix      Civil Centers
     of manufacturing, service, warehouse              Libraries
     facilities)                                       Churches
•    The area is within 5 miles of the state highway   Subdivisions
8.   Ports/Port Districts                              Governmental
Signing to activities located on properties owned      County Facilities
and operated by Ports or Port Districts may be         Courthouses
installed if the facility is served by two or more     Vehicle Emissions Testing Facilities
modes of transportation (Water, Highway, Rail,         Driver’s and Vehicle License Centers
of Air).                                               Highway Buildings
9.   Major Recreation Areas                            Jails/Prisons
                                                       Civil Defense Facilities
Signing to major recreation areas may be installed     Maintenance Facilities
if the facility is open to the public and has annual   Power Plants
attendance of at least:
•    Major Metropolitan Area — 300,000                 Grade/High
•    Urban Area — 250,000                              Seminaries
•    Rural Area — 100,000                              Mental Facilities
                                                       Research Facilities

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 2-21
March 2002

Infirmaries or Treatment Centers                        Lane Type         Single        Single/              Single/
County, Fraternal, or Nursing Homes                                                    Multi-lane           Multi-Lane
Retirement Facilities                                    Speed     25-30 mph           35-45 mph             50 + mph
Humane Facilities                                      Limit (mph)
Military Sites or Detachments
Armories                                                   Sign
Arsenals                                                Street Sign         4”               6”                   6”
Recreational/Conservation                               Letter Size
Tree Nurseries/Arboretums
Points of Interest                                       Advance
                                                           Sign             NA               6”                   8”
Camps: Scout, Church, 4-H, Youth, and
                                                        Letter Size

E. Follow-Through Signing                              Fabrication       D3-101*        D3-101*               D3-101
                                                        Number           D3-102*        D3-102*               D3-102
Follow-through signing provides guidance along                                          D3-301*               D3-301
local roadways to locations off the state highway                                       D3-302*               D3-302
                                                                                        (Advance Only)        (Advance Only) **
system. They are installed and maintained by the
agency responsible for the local roadway.              * The 8”, and 6” D letter size combination is for signs
Regional traffic personnel coordinate the signing      mounted on traffic signal mast arms or advance sign
plan with the appropriate local agency and ensure      installations.
that all the follow-through signing is in place        ** Modify to use 8” D letters and increase sign heaight to
                                                          18” for one line, or to 30” for two lines.
before any directional signs are installed on state
highways. Periodic reviews will determine the                                  Table 2-9
effectiveness and ongoing need for follow-             For street name signs installed above a stop sign;
through signing.                                       in cases where using 6″ letters would create a sign
Use 6-inch D series letters on follow-through          message that exceeds 60″, 5″ letters may be used.
signs in high traffic volume areas. Use 5-inch         White on green advance street name signs may be
C series letters as a minimum on other                 installed for critical and significant cross streets
follow-through signs. Directional information or       where the intersection is not obscured. A critical
arrows should be part of the legend.                   or significant cross street is classified as a
Install these signs in advance of decision points      minocollector or higher, or one which may serve a
where route changes are required. Do not install       unique traffic generator or possess other
these signs in combination with regulatory or          comparable physical or traffic characteristics
warning signs. Additional signs may be placed at       deemed to be critical or significant.
mandatory stop locations. Placing these signs on       On city streets that are part of state highways, the
the far-side of the intersection allows the motorist   local agency shall install and maintain street signs
time to read the sign message while stopped, then      within their corporate limits.
continue driving in the proper direction.
                                                       Where county roads intersect state highways,
F. Other Essential Guide Signs                         the counties shall install street signs above state
                                                       installed stop signs. By agreement, the department
1. Street Name Signs
                                                       maintains these signs.
Install street name signs and advance name street
signs according MUTCD guidelines. The use of           2. Canadian Customs
a chevron on the street sign, as in sign D3-302 is     For Canadian Customs stations with limited hours
acceptable.                                            of operation, display the hours of operation on an
Use this table to determine appropriate letter size:   advance sign. Install these signs in advance of the
                                                       last exit before the border, where overnight
                                                       boarding is available.

Page 2-22                                                                                                Traffic Manual
                                                                                                           March 2002

Canadian Customs at 24-hour crossings need no         6. General Motorist Services
signing in advance of the last exit before the           (Generic Signs)
                                                      Install motorist service signs where the services
3. Highway and Freeway Entrance                       are not visible, or readily apparent to the motorist.
   Signs                                              Periodic reviews by regional personnel ensure
Install the HIGHWAY ENTRANCE sign (E12-1)             that these signs are provided only for services and
on undivided two-lane two-way highways where          facilities that meet eligibility criteria, and that
interchanges are provided at intersecting             signs are removed or covered when the service or
crossroads. Install signs on both sides of the        facility is no longer in operation, or is closed for
on-ramp, facing approaching traffic to clearly        the season.
identify the entrance to the on-ramp.
                                                      Do not combine motorist service (general
Install the FREEWAY ENTRANCE sign (E12-2)             service) signing and motorist information (logo)
on both sides of the freeway or expressway            signing on one installation at an interchange or
on-ramp, facing approaching traffic to clearly        intersection. Services should be signed under the
identify the entrance to the ramp.                    logo sign program wherever possible.

4. Milepost Signs                                     The following motorist service signs may be
                                                      installed on interstate and non-interstate
Install MILEPOST signs on all state highways.
The D10-1/2/3 are single faced signs used on
multilane highways. They are placed on the right
side of the traveled way. The D10-101/102/103                                        Sign Fabrication
signs are double-faced signs that are placed on          Sign Symbol                     Number
the right side of the roadway in the direction of        Gas                               D9-11
increasing milepost. Refer to Directive D32-20
                                                         Food                                D9-8
for detailed and complete rules regarding
milepost sign installation.                              Lodging                             D9-9
                                                         Phone                               D9-1
5. Indian Reservations
Upon request, a Regional Administrator may               Hospital                            D9-2
provide signs identifying Indian Reservations            Emergency Medical
under the following policy:                              Care Facility                      D9-13
If sign space is available, ENTERING                     Camping                             D9-3
______________ INDIAN RESERVATION                        Recreational Vehicle
signs may be installed where a state highway             Park (text)                       D9-301
crosses a reservation boundary. The boundary                                Table 2-10
shall be the original treaty boundary. These signs
shall have white letters on a green background.       In the vicinity of an interchange or intersection,
Where there is an official tribal or community        install only one sign array per approach, with up
center, a directional sign may be installed to        to four signs per array. Use symbol signs in lieu
provide guidance from the nearest state highway       of word messages where applicable.
intersection if the center is within 5 miles. These   Signs for motorist services are reflectorized and
signs have white letters on a brown background.       have white symbols or letters on a blue back-
                                                      ground. Do not intermix word messages,
                                                      symbols, or logo signs on the same sign panel.
                                                      The sign legend for the recreational vehicle park
                                                      panel consists of the words; RV PARK, and for a
                                                      visitor information sign; VISITOR INFO.

Traffic Manual                                                                                      Page 2-23
March 2002

These motorist service signs may be installed in     •   The facility must be within 1 mile of an
conjunction with other guide signs. On ground            interstate highway interchange or within
mount signs, install the panel below the guide           5 miles, and not readily visible from a
sign on either post (Appendix 2-7 b, c). If more         non-interstate highway
than two signs are required, they may be placed      Food
on a bracket below the guide sign, provided it
does not interfere with the breakaway                •   The facility must be licensed or approved by
characteristics of the sign structure. On overhead       the appropriate county health agency
signs, a service sign may be installed above the     •   The facility must operate for at least 12
guide sign.                                              uninterrupted hours per day, 6 days per week,
Where appropriate, install signs D9-101, D9-102,         and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner
or D9-103. These signs combine the motorist          •   Shall feature free public rest room facilities
service message with a directional message such          with appropriate locks for the security of the
as NEXT RIGHT, SECOND RIGHT, or the exit                 occupants. In addition, these facilities shall
number. The NEXT SERVICES ____ MILES                     contain sink with running water for hand
(D9-1601) sign may be placed below the motorist          washing, a flush toilet, toilet tissue, and
services sign if the services are 20 miles or more       sanitary towels or other hand-drying devices
                                                     •   Telephone service shall be available to the
When services are not readily visible from an            public
interchange, install directional follow-through
signs at ramp terminals. Install the same type of    •   Seating capacity for a minimum of 20 patrons
legend or symbol on the follow through and main          or parking and drive-in service facilities for a
line signs. If the services are located more than        minimum of ten vehicles must be provided
1 mile from the interchange, display the distance    •   The facility must be within 1 mile of an
to the services on the follow through signs.             interstate highway interchange or within 5
The following criteria must be met prior to              miles, and not readily visible from a
installing each type of sign. The State Traffic          non-interstate highway
Engineer can approve minor deviations to these
criteria on a case-by-case basis.
                                                     •   The facility must be licensed or approved by
Gas, Diesel, and/or L-P Gas                              the Washington State Department of Social
•   Vehicle services must including fuel, oil,           and Health Services (Bed and Breakfast
    and water                                            facilities exempt from DSHS licensing
                                                         requirements must have a letter of approval
•   Shall feature free public rest room facilities       from the appropriate county health authority)
    with appropriate locks for the security of the
    occupants. In addition, these facilities shall   •   Facilities signed from an interstate highway
    contain sink with running water for hand             must have 12 units or more
    washing, a flush toilet, toilet tissue, and      •   Facilities signed from non-interstate
    sanitary towels or other hand-drying devices         highways must have 6 units or more
•   Shall provide free potable water drinking        •   Telephone service must be available at the
    fountain and free cups as necessary for public       facility
                                                     •   The facility must be within 1 mile of an
•   The facility must operate for at least 16            interstate highway interchange or within
    uninterrupted hours per day, 7 days per week         5 miles, and not readily visible from a
•   Telephone service must be available and              non-interstate highway
    visible from the facility

Page 2-24                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                                            March 2002

Phone                                                  •   Emergency transportation capabilities must
                                                           be available
•   Phone service must be available 24 hours per
    day, 7 days per week                               •   The emergency care facility must be located
                                                           within a reasonable distance of the highway,
•   The phone must be located within 1 mile of
                                                           but, when operating at legal speeds, not more
    an interstate highway interchange
                                                           than 20 minutes driving time away
•   Phone signing is not required if another
                                                       •   For an area with two or more qualifying
    service in the vicinity of the interchange has
                                                           hospitals, provide signs to the closest facility
    met the phone criteria as part of qualification
                                                           (by approach direction), located within a
Hospital                                                   reasonable travel time
•   Continuous emergency care service must be          •   Do not use this sign if a hospital sign is
    provided with a doctor on duty, or on                  installed
    immediate call 24 hours per day, seven days
                                                       Police (Local or State)
    per week
                                                       •   The law enforcement agency must have an
•   Availability of emergency care service must
                                                           officer on the premises at all times, or a
    be certified to WSDOT by the Washington
                                                           dispatcher on duty with an officer within
    State Department of Health
                                                           radio or local telephone contact
•   The hospital must be located within a
                                                       •   The law enforcement agency must be located
    reasonable distance of the highway, but,
                                                           within a reasonable distance from the state
    when operating at legal speeds, not more than
    20 minutes driving time away
•   For an area with two or more qualifying            Visitor Information Centers
    hospitals, provide signs to the closest facility   •   Must be a service facility whose sole function
    (by approach direction) located within a               is to provide tourist information, and must
    reasonable travel time                                 operate a minimum of 8 hours per day, 7 days
                                                           per week from Memorial Day through Labor
Emergency Medical Services Facility
                                                           Day, or during the months that visitors
•   The facility must operate continuously                 customarily visit the area. If the Visitor
    24 hours per day, 7 days per week                      Center operators can document to the
•   Availability of emergency care services must           Regional Traffic Engineer that a variance to
    be certified to WSDOT by the Washington                these hours is both reasonable and justified,
    State Department of Health                             the Regional Traffic Engineer may approve
                                                           different operating hours
•   The facility must at all times have:
                                                       •   The facility must be operated by a nonprofit
    •   a Physician on duty, or                            organization; however, the center may be
    •   a Registered Nurse on duty, or                     sponsored by a commercial enterprise. For
                                                           example, the Visitor Information Center
    •   a Paramedic on duty, or                            could be located within a commercial
    •   an Emergency Medical Technician on                 establishment such as a mall or shopping
        duty, plus:                                        center provided the visitor center is visibly
                                                           separate from the commercial activity
        •   a Physician on call, or
                                                       •   Literature and information on visitor attractions
        •   a Registered Nurse on call, or                 must be free of charge to the public
        •   a Paramedic on call                        •   A full-time attendant, whose primary duty
                                                           is to disseminate visitor information must be

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 2-25
March 2002

    on duty during the hours of operation unless         occupants. In addition, these facilities shall
    there is electronic means available to answer        contain sink with running water for hand
    visitor questions                                    washing, a flush toilet, toilet tissue, and
                                                         sanitary towels or other hand-drying devices
•   There must be adequate floor space to
    accommodate the anticipated number of            •   Shall provide free potable water drinking
    visitors and provide necessary display space         fountain and free cups as necessary for public
    for material of local and statewide interest         use
•   The operators must demonstrate to the            •   A full-time attendant must be on duty during
    Regional Traffic Engineer that the number of         operating hours
    parking accommodations, for both cars and
                                                     •   Camp area facilities must be available
    travel trailer units, will accommodate the
                                                         24 hours per day
    expected number of visitors
                                                     •   Campground facilities must be within 5 miles
•   The availability of a telephone for public use
                                                         of an interstate highway interchange or
    is encouraged. If no public phone is on site,
                                                         within 8 miles of, and not readily visible
    the nearest public phone must be within a
                                                         from a non-interstate highway
    reasonable distance
                                                     •   For seasonal operations, signs must be
•   The facility must be within 1 mile of an
                                                         removed or covered with a “CLOSED”
    interstate highway interchange or within 5
                                                         plaque during the off season
    miles, and not readily visible from a non-
    interstate highway. Follow-through signing is    Recreational Vehicle Park
    required if the visitor center is not directly
    adjacent to the roadway                          •   Recreational vehicle parks must be licensed
                                                         or approved by the appropriate county health
•   During hours of operation, shall feature free        office
    public rest room facilities with appropriate
    locks for the security of the occupants. In      •   Adequate parking must be provided for not
    addition, these facilities shall contain sink        less than 10 recreational vehicles (camper
    with running water for hand washing, a flush         truck, motor home, or recreational trailer)
    toilet, toilet tissue, and sanitary towels or    •   Shall feature free public rest room facilities
    other hand-drying devices                            with appropriate locks for the security of the
•   The facility must also be approved by the            occupants. In addition, these facilities shall
    Department of Community, Trade and                   contain sink with running water for hand
    Economic Development’s (CTED) Tourism                washing, a flush toilet, toilet tissue, and
    Division                                             sanitary towels or other hand-drying devices

•   If the Visitor Information Center is operated    •   Shall provide free potable water drinking
    seasonally, the signs must be removed or             fountain and free cups as necessary for public
    covered with a “CLOSED” plaque during the            use
    off season                                       •   All park facilities and use areas, including
                                                         telephone, must be available 24 hours per day
                                                     •   The park must be within 5 miles of either an
•   Facilities must accommodate tent camping on          interstate highway interchange or a non-
    half the available sites                             interstate highway
•   Facilities that are accessed from intestate      •   For seasonal operations, signs must be
    routes must have at least 20 camping sites           removed or covered with a “CLOSED”
•   Shall feature free public rest room facilities       plaque during the off season
    with appropriate locks for the security of the

Page 2-26                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                                            March 2002

7. Natural, Historic, and Cultural                        •   The signs must be removed or covered with a
Attractions                                                   “CLOSED” plaque during the off season
Install signing to natural, historic, and cultural        •   Attractions must be served by at least a
attractions if it does not interfere with normal              two-lane, all-weather road
interchange or intersection signing. The attraction
                                                          •   The attraction may be operated by a private
must have a regional or national significance and
                                                              or public organization. If the activity is
be of interest to a majority of the traveling public.
                                                              privately operated, the private business/
Do not sign attractions that are primarily of local
                                                              organization must pay the fabrication,
interest. Attractions of this type that charge an
                                                              installation, and replacement costs for the
admission or entrance fee are included as part of
                                                              signs. Execute a co-signed agreement to pay
the Motorist Information Sign (TOD) program.
                                                              letter with private business, showing regional
Conduct periodic reviews to ensure that signing               account charge number and estimated cost of
is displayed only for facilities that meet eligibility        sign prior to ordering signs. If the activity is
criteria. These reviews may identify new                      operated by a governmental agency, the
attractions that meet eligibility criteria, or identify       department will install the signs at no cost to
signing that leads to attractions that are no                 that agency
longer in operation, or no longer meet criteria.
                                                          •   The attraction must be maintained in good
Apply the following criteria to signing of natural,           repair and presented in a professional manner
historic, and cultural attractions:
                                                          The following additional criteria also apply:
•   Do not provide signing if the attraction is
    readily visible and has direct access to the          Watchable Wildlife
    state highway                                         Consider signing to Watchable Wildlife sites if
•   Signing may be provided along access-                 they are accessible to the motoring public and
    controlled highways in urban areas, or within         located within 10 miles of the interchange or
    city limits. On highways without access               intersection being signed. Use the WILDLIFE
    control and within incorporated cities or             VIEWING sign on the interstate highway exit
    towns having populations over 22,500, such            nearest the viewing area. Post the WILDLIFE
    signing is under the jurisdiction of the local        VIEWING AREA sign at the state highway
    agency                                                intersection nearest the viewing site. Use the
                                                          Binoculars logo sign for a trailblazer and for site
•   The attraction must be located within                 identification if no other signing is posted. (The
    10 miles of the interchange or intersection           FHWA has adopted the binoculars logo as the
    being signed. Any required follow-through             international wildlife viewing symbol, and it will
    signing shall be in place prior to installing         be added to the MUTCD.)
    signs on state highway
                                                          All lettering, arrows, borders, and figures shall be
•   For attractions located more than 1 mile from         in white; and all sign backgrounds in brown.
    the interchange or intersection, display
    mileage information on the ramp terminal or           Interpretive signing at the site may explain the
    direction signs. The hours of operation may           features and management practices at the site.
    also be shown on the ramp terminal or                 It can be simple or elaborate, and is generally
    direction signs                                       provided by the landowner or manager of the site.

•   Provide signing only on the state highway             Natural Attractions
    nearest to the attraction. The signs shall be
                                                          Consider signing to natural attractions if they
    white letters on a brown background
                                                          are unique or few locations are accessible to the
•   The attraction must be open without                   motoring public. Examples of natural attractions
    appointment to all segments of the motoring           are the Palisades Rock Formation, Ice Caves west

Traffic Manual                                                                                      Page 2-27
March 2002

of Trout Lake, Hurricane Ridge, and the Snake         Cultural Attractions
River Canyon.
                                                      Consider signing to cultural attractions if they are
Historic Attractions                                  similar to, or are defined by one of the following
Requests from the public for signing to historic
attractions should be routed through the Regional     •   Museums — Approved by the Heritage
Traffic Office (see form, Appendix 2-8). Consider         Resource Center of the Washington State
signing to historic attractions if:                       Historical Society. For applications, see
                                                          Appendix 2-8
•   They are included in the Washington Heritage
    Register, as designated and maintained by the     •   Religious — Sites, shrines, etc., that are of
    State Historic Preservation Officer; and              a unique religious nature and provide visitor
                                                          facilities or tours
•   They have been approved by the Heritage
    Resource Center of the Washington State           •   Educational — Centers (other than public or
    Historical Society; and                               private schools, vocational schools, or
                                                          colleges and universities) that are of out-
•   The attraction also includes one or more of           standing educational value and provide
    the following features at the site:                   visitor facilities or tours
    •   An interpretive center and/or a guided tour   •   Scientific — Places used for research or
    •   Visible historic buildings, features, or          scientific advancement that provide visitor
        ruins with an interpretive marker                 facilities or tours
Examples of historic attractions are the Whitman      Examples of cultural attractions are the Maryhill
Mission, Steptoe Battlefield, Jackson House, Fort     Museum, and St. Mary’s Mission.
Simcoe, and the Monticello Convention Site.
                                                      Heritage Marker Signs
To determine if the attraction is included on the
                                                      Install HERITAGE MARKER (I5-103/104) signs
Washington Heritage Register, contact the State
                                                      to guide motorists to historical or heritage
Historic Preservation Officer at:
                                                      interpretive features located along state
    Washington State Office of Archaeology            highways. These signs replace existing historic
      and Historic Preservation (CTED)                markers and roadside attraction signs. Do not use
    State Historic Preservation Officer               this sign to direct motorists to historical sites on a
    420 Golf Club Road SE, Suite 201                  National or state registers. Examples of these
    Mail Stop 48343                                   interpretive sites include Willy Keil’s Grave or
    Lacey, WA 98504-8343                              the Bridge of the Gods.
    (360) 407-0826
                                                      8. Recreational Activities
To check for approval by the Heritage Resource
Center of the Washington State Historical             Guide motorists to recreational activities by
Society, contact the director of the Heritage         installing a RECREATION AREA NEXT
Resource Center at:                                   RIGHT (D7-7701) sign. The components of the
                                                      sign message: RECREATION AREA, and NEXT
    Director, Heritage Resource Center                RIGHT or NEXT LEFT are displayed on two
    211 West 21st Avenue                              separate lines. For conventional highways, below
    Mail Stop 40950                                   the RECREATION AREA and direction
    Olympia, WA, 98501                                message, the sign may display a maximum of
    (360) 586-0219                                    four recreational activity symbol plaques, such

Page 2-28                                                                                    Traffic Manual
                                                                                               March 2002

                                                         •   Recreational activity signing is not permitted
    Activity                   Sign Fab Number
                                                             along interstate highways or along access
    Picnic Area                     D7-2201                  controlled highways in urban areas or within
    Fishing                         D7-1301                  city limits. On highways without access
                                                             control and within incorporated cities or
    Trailer Camping                  D9-3a                   towns having populations over 22,500, such
    Boat Launch                     D7-1101                  signing is under the local agency’s
    Swimming                        D7-1401                  jurisdiction

    Hiking*                          D7-501              •   The activity must be located within 10 miles
                                                             of the interchange or intersection being
    Skiing                          D7-2001                  signed. Before signing is installed on a state
    Snowmobile Area                 D7-2101                  highway, necessary follow-through signs
    Public Golf Course               D7-701                  on local roads and streets must be in place

    Public Beach Area               D7-1402              •   For activities located more than 1 mile from
                      Table 2-11                             the interchange or intersection, distance
                                                             information may be shown on the ramp
The signs shall be a white on brown trail symbol             terminal or direction signs
with the trail name (white on brown) below.
                                                         •   Provide signing only on the state highway
Provide additional arrows and/or distance
                                                             nearest to the activity
information as necessary.
                                                         •   The activity must be open to all segments
For public recreation areas, the sign may identify
                                                             of the motoring public, without appointment,
the name of the area in lieu of the RECREATION
                                                             at least eight hours a day, five days a week
AREA message.
                                                             including a Saturday and/or a Sunday
Identify multiple agency recreation areas by
                                                         •   Signs must be removed or covered for
naming the area and displaying each agency’s
                                                             seasonal closures
logo. Do not include recreational activity symbols
on these multi-agency signs. Requesting agencies         •   Activities must be served by at least a
shall coordinate installation of follow-through              two-lane all-weather road
signing with local road jurisdictions. Do not            •   The destination facility must be maintained in
install mainline signs until all follow-through              good repair and presented in a professional
signing is in place.                                         manner
The following specific criteria also applies to
signing of recreational activities:                      9. Signing to Other Agencies
                                                         Provide signing to facilities of other federal, state
•    Provide signing if the activity is not readily
                                                         and local agencies in accordance with guidelines
     visible from the highway, and has no direct
                                                         contained in the MUTCD, this manual, and any
     access to the highway
                                                         Memorandums of Understanding or agreements
•    The activity may be operated by a public or         between the department and the agency. Install
     private organization. If the facility is operated   this signing in accordance with criteria for
     by another governmental agency, the                 supplemental guide signing.
     department will install the signs at no cost to
                                                         When space is available, install signing to:
     that agency
                                                         •   State parks (per Section 2.6.D.1, this manual)
•    Privately owned recreational activities should
     be signed under the Motorist Information            •   National parks
     Signing Program, described in section 2-6 of        •   U.S. Forest Service facilities
     this manual.
                                                         •   Department of Natural Resources campgrounds

Traffic Manual                                                                                      Page 2-29
March 2002

•     State Patrol                                      •     The local agency having jurisdiction over the
                                                              business route must agree, in writing, to
•     State public fishing areas
                                                              install and maintain BUSINESS LOOP (M1-
•     State and national fish hatcheries                      2 or 3) trailblazers along the route
•     Department of Corrections facilities              Business route signing is not permitted where
                                                        motorist service signing is installed.
10.     City and County Entrance Signs
CITY and COUNTY ENTRANCE signs                          13.     Signing to City Center
(I2-201/301) may be placed at city/county limits        Historically, the department has provided “City
in accordance with RCW 47.36.120. The depart-           Center” signs for the purpose of directing motor-
ment is responsible for installing all entrance         ists to local government buildings (i.e., City Hall,
signs on state highways. If the city or county          Courthouse, etc.). Currently, Regional offices are
elects to provide a sign with a political jurisdic-     receiving requests from local business communi-
tion logo per the MUTCD, the standard sign will         ties for “City Center” signs that direct motorists
not be installed. The local agency is responsible       to business areas within a city.
for purchasing and supplying this sign.
                                                        When such requests are received, recommend
11.     Unincorporated Places                           that the appropriate city take the lead and submit
                                                        a letter of request to the department. This letter of
The department may install a “Community
                                                        request should include the following information:
Entrance” sign (I2-301) on each state highway
approach if an unincorporated place features:           •     Description of where the city center exits
                                                              within the corporate limits
•     An office of the United States Postal Service
                                                        •     Proposed sign location – interchange or
•     At least two motorist services. May be gas,
                                                              intersection name
      food, or lodging (e.g., two gas stations, a gas
      station and a motel, etc.)                        •     Verification that representatives of local
                                                              government and area chamber of commerce
12.     Business Routes                                       mutually agree on the location of the city
Business route signing, using business route                  center
shields, can direct motorists to alternate routes
                                                        Upon verification of information contained in this
passing through the business portion of a city
                                                        letter of request, the department may give formal
or through districts of continuous business
                                                        consideration to sign installation.
development. Approval by the Executive
Committee of the American Association of State          2.5 Miscellaneous Signing
Highway Officials is required prior to adding or
deleting a business route as part of the Interstate     A. School Areas
or US highway system. Proposals to add or delete        Reduced School Zone Speed Limit Signs —
such routes should be sent to OSC Planning and          In accordance with RCW 46.61.440, install
Program Service Center.                                 SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT signs (S4-1, S4-2,
                                                        S4-3, S4-4) where a reduced school zone speed
Provide business route signing in accordance            limit has been established at a crosswalk, on a
with the following criteria:                            state highway. Locate these signs 300 feet in
•     Install only after evaluating and approving a     advance of the school crosswalk. This sign
      request submitted by a local agency               consists of three sections. The top portion is a
                                                        black on fluorescent yellow green SCHOOL
•     Install only if the business route passes
                                                        legend. The middle portion is a black on white
      adequately and logically through a business
                                                        posted SPEED LIMIT. The bottom portion
                                                        contains one of several black on white legends
                                                        that define a window of enforcement. The school
                                                        district determines which legend is used:

Page 2-30                                                                                     Traffic Manual
                                                                                                March 2002

•   S5-1 SCHOOL + SPEED LIMIT + WHEN                   extraordinary traffic control device are the
    FLASHING — This sign is used in                    responsibility of the school district. However,
    conjunction with a speed limit sign beacon,        on a case-by-case basis, the department may
    as described in MUTCD Section 7D-24                choose to partner with the school district
                                                       regarding installation costs. On state highways
                                                       that are part of city streets, consider installing this
    CHILDREN ARE PRESENT — This sign is
                                                       sign only if the School District and Local Agency
    used in conjunction with definitions provided
                                                       agree to assume responsibility for maintenance.
    in WAC 392-151-035 and WAC 468-95-060
•   S5-102 SCHOOL + SPEED LIMIT + WHEN                 B. Closure Plaques for State Parks
    FLAGGED — This sign is used in                     During winter closures, install CLOSED plaques
    conjunction with warning flags or plaques          on guide signs that lead to state parks, in lieu of
    that are installed on the sign during the          removing or turning existing signs. Mount the
    window of enforcement                              plaque diagonally on the face of the existing sign,
•   S5-103 SCHOOL + SPEED LIMIT +                      selecting a panel size that is large enough to
    8:30 A.M. TO 5:30 P.M — This sign displays         effectively cover the sign legend, from lower
    the specific hours of the window of                leftcorner to upper right corner. Provide letter
    enforcement                                        size that is greater than or equal to the upper case
                                                       letters in the sign message. See Appendix 2-10.
Mark the end of the reduced school zone speed
limit with a standard SPEED LIMIT sign (R2-1)          C. City/Community Entrance Markers
displaying the posted speed limit for the section      WSDOT allows cities or communities, either by
of highway that follows, or an END SCHOOL              permit or agreement, to construct and maintain
ZONE sign (S5-2). Provide signing as shown in          city/community entrance beautification areas that
Appendix 2-9.                                          are of mutual benefit and are in the public
School Crossing Signs — School zone cross              interest. A marker may be installed on state
walks may be established at locations that are not     highway right of way under the following
controlled by a stop sign or traffic signal. Install   conditions:
the SCHOOL CROSSING sign (S2-1) and a
                                                                            Incorporated     Unincorporated
SCHOOL ADVANCE sign (S1-1) where
                                                                            Cities/Towns      Communities
Overhead School Crosswalk Sign — The                   Limited Access-
                                                                                Yes                No
OVERHEAD SCHOOL CROSSWALK SIGN                         Interstate
is an extraordinary traffic control device, not
                                                       Limited Access-
mentioned in the MUTCD. Consider installing                                     Yes                No
this sign on state highways where school
authorities request supplemental traffic control       Non-Limited
for marked school crosswalks, and traffic                                       Yes               Yes
engineering analysis has determined that
conventional traffic control measures are not                                Table 2-12
adequate. Do not use this sign in lieu of standard     One entrance marker may be installed for each
school crosswalk signs.                                direction of travel on a major state highway as it
The signs should include flashing lights that are      passes through a city or community. For example,
activated when school children are present. The        if Interstate 5 passes through a city, one marker
school district should ensure that these lights are    may be installed for the northbound approach,
activated only during times when the crosswalk         and one marker may be installed for the
is occupied by school children. Generally, costs       southbound approach. Any landscaping
associated with installing and maintaining this        associated with the marker shall be in compliance
                                                       with the WSDOT Roadside Classification Plan.

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 2-31
March 2002

An entrance marker for a neighborhood                 •   It must be sponsored by the city in which the
community that lies within the corporate limits of        marker is located
a city or town may be allowed if that city or town
                                                      •   The State Traffic Engineer must review the
having jurisdiction over the neighborhood
                                                          design and placement of the marker before
approves and recognizes the neighborhood’s
                                                          recommending the marker to FHWA
marker. This marker will count against the total
number of entrance markers (two per city)             •   The local authority is responsible for
allowed on a state route.                                 relocating and/or removing any markers
                                                          displaced as a result of highway improvement
Entrance Markers on Limited Access Highways               projects, such as roadway widening. Markers
All Markers installed on Interstate highway rights        not relocated by the local authority shall be
of way require FHWA approval.                             removed by WSDOT, with removal costs
                                                          billed to the local authority
Non-Profit Service Club Plaques (i.e., Kiwanis,
Lions, Rotary, etc.) are not to be installed on       •   The city or community group is responsible
City Entrance Markers along limited access                for maintenance of the marker and any
highways. These plaques are considered to be              associated landscaping. Inadequate
Type (1)(b) signs under purview of the Scenic             maintenance of marker and/or landscaping,
Vistas Act, RCW 47.42, and WAC 468-66.                    as determined by WSDOT, will be grounds
                                                          for marker removal
Interstate — On behalf of the local agency, the
State Traffic Engineer must submit all Interstate     Non-Interstate (Limited Access) — The
City Marker requests to the FHWA for approval.        Regional Traffic Engineer shall approve the
The marker must meet the following guidelines:        design and placement of the marker. If there are
                                                      any deviations from these guidelines, the design
•   Be simple, dignified, and devoid of any           must be submitted to the State Traffic Engineer
    advertising                                       for approval.
•   Be placed in the terminal area of the             Non-Profit Service Club Plaques (i.e., Kiwanis,
    interchange ramp with the connecting city         Lions, Rotary, etc.) are not to be installed on City
    street, between the ramp and the right of way     Entrance Markers along limited access highways.
    line                                              These plaques are considered to be Type (1)(b)
•   Be positioned so that the marker is not a         signs under purview of the Scenic Vistas Act,
    roadside safety hazard, not likely to be struck   RCW 47.42, and WAC 468-66.
    by an errant vehicle, and is not a sight          The marker must meet the following guidelines:
                                                      •   Be simple, dignified, and devoid of any
•   Be oriented so the marker can be read by the          advertising
    motorist leaving the ramp and entering the
    city street system and not by the motorist on     •   For divided highways with interchanges, the
    the limited access highway mainline                   marker is to be placed in the terminal area of
                                                          the interchange ramp with the connecting city
•   Shall not interfere with, nor distract from any       street or county road, between the ramp and
    existing or future traffic control or safety          the right of way line. For undivided high-
    device. Any lighting associated with the              ways, the marker may be placed just inside
    marker shall be in compliance with RCW                corporate limits, or at the far side of an
    47.36.180                                             intersection located inside corporate limits
•   The total marker area shall not exceed 100        •   Be positioned so that the marker is not a
    square feet, and the message area shall not           roadside safety hazard, not likely to be struck
    exceed approximately 60 square feet                   by an errant vehicle, and is not a sight

Page 2-32                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

•   Be oriented so the marker can be read by the      •   Be simple, dignified and devoid of any
    motorist leaving the ramp and entering the            advertising
    city street system and not by the motorist on
                                                      •   Be placed inside corporate city limits,
    the limited access highway mainline. This
                                                          beyond curb line or outside edge of highway
    only applies for divided highways with
                                                      •   Be positioned so that the marker is not a
•   Shall not interfere with, nor distract from any
                                                          roadside safety hazard, not likely to be struck
    existing or future traffic control or safety
                                                          by an errant vehicle, and is not a sight
    device. Any lighting associated with the
    marker shall be in compliance with RCW
    47.36.180                                         •   Shall not interfere with, nor distract from any
                                                          existing or future traffic control or safety
•   The total marker area shall not exceed 100
                                                          device. Any lighting associated with the
    square feet, and the message area shall not
                                                          marker shall be in compliance with RCW
    exceed approximately 60 square feet
•   It must be sponsored by the city in which the
                                                      •   The total marker size shall not exceed 150
    marker is located
                                                          square feet, including the border and trim,
•   The local authority is responsible for                and service club plaques. The service club
    relocating and/or removing any markers                plaque area of the sign shall not be
    displaced as a result of highway improvement          disproportional to the marker message.
    projects, such as roadway widening. Markers           The maximum size for each service club
    not relocated by the local authority shall be         plaque is 24″ x 24″
    removed by WSDOT, with removal costs
                                                      •   It must be sponsored and approved by the
    billed to the local authority
                                                          city in which the marker is located
•   The city or community group is responsible
                                                      •   The local authority is responsible for
    for maintenance of the marker and any
                                                          relocating and/or removing any markers
    associated landscaping. Inadequate
                                                          displaced as a result of highway improvement
    maintenance of marker and/or landscaping, as
                                                          projects, such as roadway widening. Markers
    determined by WSDOT, will be grounds for
                                                          not relocated by the local authority shall be
    marker removal
                                                          removed by WSDOT, with removal costs
Entrance Markers on Non-Limited Access                    billed to the local authority
Highways                                              •   The community group is responsible for
The Regional Traffic Engineer shall approve the           maintenance of the marker and any
design and placement of the marker. If there are          associated landscaping. Inadequate
any deviations from the guidelines, the design            maintenance of marker and/or landscaping,
and placement must be submitted to the State              as determined by WSDOT, will be grounds
Traffic Engineer for approval.                            for marker removal

Non-Profit Service Club Plaques (i.e., Kiwanis,       Entrance Markers for Unincorporated
Lions, Rotary, etc.) may be installed on a City       Communities (Non-Limited Access Highways
Entrance Marker along a state highway if the          Only)
marker is located within corporate limits and is
                                                      The department may receive requests from
not within a limited access area. These plaques
                                                      unincorporated communities to install community
are considered to be Type (1)(b) signs under
                                                      entrance markers on state highway right of way.
purview of the Scenic Vistas Act, RCW 47.42,
                                                      The Regional Traffic Engineer shall approve the
and WAC 468-66. The marker must meet the
                                                      design and placement of the marker. If there are
following guidelines:
                                                      any deviations from these guidelines, the design
                                                      and placement must be submitted to the State

Traffic Manual                                                                                 Page 2-33
March 2002

Traffic Engineer for approval. The marker must        E. Carpool Information Signs
meet the following guidelines:                        CARPOOL INFORMATION signs (D12-201/202)
•   Be simple, dignified, and devoid of any           may be installed along conventional roads and
    advertising                                       on-ramps to multilane highways where
                                                      appropriate. These signs should not be placed on
•   Be positioned so that the marker is not a         the mainline of multilane facilities. Transit logos
    roadside safety hazard, not likely to be struck   may be included in the sign design in accordance
    by an errant vehicle, and is not a sight          with MUTCD Section 2D-41.
•   Shall not interfere with, nor distract from any   F. DNR Fire Danger Signs
    existing or future traffic control or safety      DNR fire danger signs may be placed on
    device. Any lighting associated with the          non-Interstate right of way, outside the clear
    marker shall be in compliance with RCW            zone. When space does not allow, signs with
    47.36.180                                         appropriate breakaway features may be placed
                                                      within the clear zone.
•   The total marker size shall not exceed 150
    square feet, including the border and trim,       DNR shall be responsible for the installation,
    and service club plaques. The service club        daily message changes, and maintenance of
    plaques shall not be disproportional to the       the signs.
    marker message. The maximum size for each
    service club plaque is 24″ x 24″                  G. Adopt-A-Highway Signs
                                                      Adopt-A-Highway (AHA) participant recognition
•   It must be sponsored and approved by the
                                                      signs are installed for volunteer groups and
    county in which the marker is located
                                                      privately sponsored contractors that perform litter
•   The community group is responsible for            pick up and/or other roadside enhancement
    relocating and/or removing any markers            activities. Adoptions are assigned for a minimum
    displaced as a result of highway improvement      two center line miles, but may extend up to a
    projects, such as roadway widening. Markers       maximum of ten center line miles, and may occur
    not relocated by the community group shall        on outside shoulders and medians. Typically, the
    be removed by WSDOT, with removal costs           signs are placed at or near the beginning of each
    billed to the community group                     adopted section for each effected direction of
                                                      travel. If an adoption includes both shoulders of
•   The community group is responsible for
                                                      a two-lane highway or a median on a divided
    maintenance of the marker and any
                                                      highway, signs should be placed for both
    associated landscaping. Inadequate
                                                      directions of travel. No more than two signs shall
    maintenance of marker and/or landscaping,
                                                      be installed per adoption, with one sign for each
    as determined by WSDOT, will be grounds
                                                      direction of travel. Signs on the same shoulder
    for marker removal
                                                      or median shall be no closer than 2 miles apart
D. Limited Access Signs                               in a given direction of travel. Where conditions
                                                      dictate, the lateral placement of the AAH signs
For state highways that operate with intermittent
                                                      may be as much as 50 feet from the edge of
access control, in accordance with RCW 47.52.110,
                                                      traveled lane, if right-of-way is available and
                                                      the signs are still visible from the traveled lanes.
AREA (I2-701) signs where appropriate. Facilities     These signs are secondary to existing highway
operating with fully controlled limited access        signing and shall not be installed within 300 feet
need not be signed unless deemed necessary by         of any existing highway signs, excluding
the Regional Administrator.                           milepost markers. The signs should be installed
                                                      as close as practicable to the beginning of the
                                                      adoption section. If the AAH signs cannot be

Page 2-34                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

installed within a reasonable distance of the           J. Fire District Boundary Signs
beginning of the assigned section without               The ENTERING FIRE DISTRICT sign (I8-804)
conflicting with existing signing, the section          may be installed along state highways at Fire
limits should be adjusted to accommodate the            District boundaries. Apply these general guidelines
sign locations. AAH signs should normally be            for this sign:
installed in the median on divided highways.
                                                        •   Under regional sanction, signs shall be
There are two sizes of AAH recognition signs                installed and maintained by the jurisdiction
(see the Sign Fabrication Manual). Use the larger           requesting the sign
sign along divided highways, the smaller sign
along conventional roadways (see Appendix               •   Signs may be placed on state right of way as
2-11). In some cases, recognition signs may also            far away from the roadway as possible and
be installed for special enhancement projects               shall not constitute a hazard by their physical
such as landscaping at interchanges, or other               location or by obstructing drivers vision
special areas. In these cases, the smaller sign         •   Mounting posts shall be no larger than
shall be used and the Regional Traffic Engineer             4″ x 4″. Mounting height shall be 7 feet
shall determine sign placement on a case-by-case
basis. It may not be possible to accommodate            •   The sign color shall be white letters on blue
recognition signs for all such adoptions.                   background
                                                        •   The word LEAVING may be substituted for
H. DUI Victim Memorial Signs                                ENTERING
(I20-201) sign accompanied by the IN MEMORY             K. Fire Hydrant Marker Signs
OF (I20-203 or SPONSORED BY (I20-204)                   FIRE HYDRANT MARKER /SYMBOL (I7-401)
plaque at locations approved by Headquarters            signs may be installed on limited access highways
Traffic Office. Install signs in accordance with        to help local fire department personnel locate
MUTCD Section 2A. Place signs for both                  fire hydrants that are outside of the right of way.
directions of travel along state highways, or           The sign shall be placed parallel to, and facing
on interstate freeway on-ramps.                         the roadway. The sign shall be visible from the
                                                        shoulder, mounted either on the right of way
I. Private Road Signing                                 fence or on a post, and shall state the distance
WSDOT does not furnish, install, or maintain            from the edge of traveled way to the fire hydrant.
stop signs or street name signs for private             An additional (24 inch) wide plaque may be
roadways that intersect with state highways.            added below the sign to indicate the nearest street
Pending approval of the department’s area               or intersection if requested by the fire department.
maintenance superintendent, citizens may install
their own signs at such intersections, in               The Regional Traffic Engineer shall contact local
accordance with the MUTCD.                              fire departments to determine signing needs for
                                                        fire hydrants located near limited access highways.
Unless otherwise directed by a local jurisdiction,      State forces will maintain the signs.
private road name signs (D3-104) shall be
fabricated in accordance with the Sign                  L. Litter Control Signs
Fabrication Manual. Maintenance for private             Install litter control signs in areas where littering
road signs is the responsibility of the citizens        is a common problem.
installing the signs. If a stop sign is necessary for
a private approach, the citizen requesting the sign     M. Post Offices
must secure an access permit from the                   Post offices may be signed from state highways
appropriate regional office. The permit holder          in unincorporated areas if the post office is not
must coordinate details of work alongside the           visible from the state highway and there is a
state highway with the area maintenance                 demonstrated need for the sign. The sign shall
superintendent prior to beginning any operations.

Traffic Manual                                                                                      Page 2-35
March 2002

be a D1-101. Cities or towns may sign for post           type of TIS sign shall be noncommercial in
offices inside incorporated areas.                       nature and consistent with FCC Regulation,
                                                         CFR 47, Section 90.242(a)(7) which specifies
N. Signing for Highway Advisory                          the content of HAR messages per the
Radio and Traveler Information Station                   following paragraph.
Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) allows traffic              “Travelers Information Stations shall
operations organizations to communicate traffic          transmit only noncommercial voice
and travel related information to the motoring           information pertaining to traffic and road
public via AM radio. HAR installations shall             conditions, traffic hazards and travel
comply with the Federal Communications                   advisories, directions, availability of lodging,
Commission’s (FCC) requirements and must                 rest stops and service stations, descriptions of
be approved by and coordinated through the               local points of interest. It is not permissible to
WSDOT State Radio Engineer.                              identify the commercial name of any business
The department uses HAR to broadcast messages            establishment whose service may be available
in several general categories; construction              within or outside the coverage area of a
information, which may include work zone                 Travelers Information Station. However, to
locations, lane closures, route diversions, and          facilitate announcements concerning
lane or road restrictions, and traffic control or        departures/arrivals and parking areas at air,
roadway condition information, which may                 train, and bus terminals, the trade name
include airport or special event parking control,        identification of carriers is permitted.”
and mountain pass inclement weather advisories.      •   The requesting agency is responsible for
Color combinations for HAR signs on state                funding all TIS sign fabrication, installation,
highways are as follows: Traffic Alert/Traffic           and future maintenance costs. Signs will be
Advisory or Mountain Pass Information/Road               fabricated to WSDOT standards and will be
Conditions shall be black non-reflective legend          installed by WSDOT workforce only. The
on yellow reflective background; Traffic                 TIS signs for tourist information purposes
Information/Motorist Service Information shall           shall be white reflective legend on blue
be white reflective legend on blue reflective            reflective background. TIS signs for
background.                                              recreational purposes (National Parks,
                                                         National Forests, and National Historic
For tourist information and recreational purposes,
                                                         Reserves ONLY) may be white reflective
Travelers Information Station (TIS) signing may
                                                         legend on brown reflective background.
be installed on state highway right of way under
                                                         These federal agencies may also incorporate
the following criteria:
                                                         their official agency logo on the TIS sign.
•   The requesting agency (non-commercial)
                                                     •   All TIS transmitters shall be accessible to
    will submit a written request for TIS signing
                                                         federal, state, or local incident response
    to the Regional Traffic Office. The request
                                                         agencies to broadcast public safety or traffic
    should include broadcast signal boundaries
                                                         management messages in the event of natural
    along the highway(s) to help establish sign
                                                         or civil emergencies. The Regional Traffic
    locations. The Regional Traffic Engineer’s
                                                         Engineer, or his/her representative will
    approval is required before signs are
                                                         monitor broadcasts occasionally to determine
    fabricated. Permits will be issued on a “first
                                                         compliance with FCC regulations. If the
    come - first served” basis. There will be no
                                                         broadcasts are not in compliance with
    radio signal overlap allowed.
                                                         paragraph 2 of this policy, the party
•   The FCC recognizes Highway Advisory                  responsible for TIS sign will be notified by
    Radio transmitters as “Travelers Information         certified letter and given 30 days to comply.
    Stations.” The broadcast messages for this           If the broadcast is not in compliance after 30
                                                         days the signs will be removed and the agency

Page 2-36                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

    reported to the FCC by the Regional Traffic        •   FHWA Technical Report (FHWA/RD-80/167),
    Engineer. Additionally, signs will be                  “Highway Advisory Radio Systems Design
    removed if the agency’s FCC permit is                  Guidelines,” May 1981
                                                       •   M 24-01, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
•   When a preemptive message “EMERGENCY                   Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD)
    INFO WHEN FLASHING” is included with
                                                       •   WAC 468-66, “Highway Advertising Control
    the TIS sign, this portion of sign shall be
    black non-reflective legend on yellow
    reflective background. This will provide the       O. Changeable Message Signs on
    department and other public agencies with          State Highways
    the ability to transmit emergency traffic
                                                       Introduction — The Changable Message Sign
    information to motorists. TIS signs will
                                                       (CMS) system is part of WSDOT’s Traffic
    be erected only when there is adequate space
                                                       Management System and is operated by staff at
    available along the highway, per MUTCD
                                                       the region’s office or area traffic service
    and WSDOT sign spacing requirements.
                                                       management center. Depending on the specific
    HAR and TIS signing are secondary to
                                                       location, a CMS system may provide information
    official traffic control signs (i.e., regulatory
                                                       about: lane use control, regulatory information
    and warning signs, primary guide signs,
                                                       such as variable speed limits, or information
    supplement guide signs, etc.).
                                                       about unusual traffic conditions. The system may
•   In the future, WSDOT will be developing            also be used for other traffic-related purposes on
    an Intelligence Traffic System (ITS), and as       a limited basis.
    part of the ITS, will include HAR signing
                                                       Operation of CMS System and Coordinating
    elements. WSDOT may require exclusive
                                                       Organizations — The WSDOT Regional Traffic
    rights to certain radio frequencies now
                                                       Offices are responsible for operation of the CMS
    available for tourist information format
                                                       system, however, this operational responsibility
    broadcasts, thereby eliminating their access
                                                       may vary from area to area. Each region should
    to those frequencies. The requesting agency
                                                       designate a CMS specialist(s) to schedule CMS
    will be notified that their signs are being
                                                       messages and answer questions from the public
    removed, if this situation does occur.
                                                       and private sector about CMS operations. The
•   The requesting agency must discontinue TIS         CMS specialist may coordinate CMS operations
    broadcasting if there is interference with         with WSDOT entities, and other Coordinating
    Highway Advisory Radio transmitters                Organizations. Coordinating Organizations may
    installed by the department for construction       include, but are not limited to: WSP, WSDOT
    and maintenance purposes. The department           Incident Response, WSDOT maintenance or
    will consider providing a portable TIS at an       construction, cities and counties, Oregon
    alternate site if requested, in exchange for use   Department of Transportation, or Oregon
    of the requesting agency’s HAR during              State Patrol.
    construction and maintenance operations.
                                                       Requests for Messages — Consider message
    The department will relocate signing in
                                                       requests in one of the categories below; direct
    these circumstances.
                                                       message request to appropriate personnel:
References for HAR include:
                                                       •   Requests from outside the Regional Traffic
•   Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47,                 Office for messages in Emergency situations
    Chapter 1                                              should be routed through the Regional Radio
•   FHWA Technical Report (FHWA/RD-82/059),                Operations office. In addition, route any
    “Highway Advisory Radio Message Develop-               requests made after normal business hours to
    ment Guide,” October 1982                              Radio Operations

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 2-37
March 2002

•   Requests for messages relating to                  1. Safety-related — Messages that are directly
    Maintenance or Construction activities             related to safety are given first priority for
    should be routed through the Regional Traffic      display. Examples of this type of message may
    Office (work zone specialist, or construction      include traction requirements, mountain pass
    traffic coordination officer) in advance of the    information, or flammable restrictions for tunnels.
    requested service
                                                       2. Roadway Closures — The CMS system
•   Requests for Public Service                        should display road or ramp closures, regardless
    Announcements should be routed through             of the reason for the closures (accident,
    the Regional Traffic Office, to the attention      construction, weather etc.). This can be important
    of the CMS specialist                              navigational information, even for the familiar
Traffic office staff shall develop the message and
display sequencing. No more than two displays          3. Minor Traffic Impacts — The CMS system
should be used within any message cycle. Each          should display information about minor traffic
display should convey a single thought. The            impacts. Minor traffic impacts include
entire message cycle should be readable at least       construction lane closures, blocking incidents,
twice by drivers traveling at the posted speed, the    and delay information.
off peak 85th percentile speed, or the (anticipated)
                                                       4. Public Service Announcements — The last
operating speed. Message request information
                                                       priority for the CMS system is Public Service
should include:
                                                       Announcements (PSAs). These messages do not
•   Justification for using the CMS                    directly impact drivers, and therefore are not
                                                       critical to the safe and efficient operation of the
•   Location/Geographical coverage required
                                                       transportation system.
•   Description of the Activity
                                                       5. Test Messages — Test messages may be used
•   Intended times and dates of the Activity           to perform sign operation/maintenance checks,
Documentation of CMS Usage — Documenting               and to ensure proper operation of new signs.
CMS operations provides important backup               Traffic Conditions for CMS Usage — Demands
information that supports regulatory enforcement,      on CMS system messages may change,
possible tort defense, and safety operations.          depending on traffic conditions. Required traffic
Maintain a log of CMS message operations for           control, and various traffic conditions are
traffic restrictions, incidents, construction and      described below, along with specific information
maintenance activities, and Public Service             on the appropriate use of the CMS system.
                                                       1. Regulatory and Lane Control — Some
CMS System Priorities — The first priority is          CMS systems are dedicated to long term traffic
safety. The department’s primary goal in               control, such as lane designation near the entrance
deploying CMS messages is to ensure and                to an express lane. Because these changeable
enhance safety in traffic operations.                  signs are not reinforced with fixed signing, CMS
Dedicated Traffic Control CMS Systems —                message use is limited to display of dedicated
CMS systems dedicated to specific traffic control      purpose messages. Other CMS systems have been
functions must first display messages intended         installed to display variable speed limits (VSL)
for the primary purpose, such as lane use              in areas that have approved traffic regulations.
designation or regulatory speed limit. In addition     Because roadside speed limit signs are not
to the dedicated message, some signs can               installed in these areas, these changeable signs
simultaneously display alternate messages. Use         serve as the only source of regulatory speed
the following priority list to determine the most      information for the motorist. Additional space on
appropriate alternate message.                         these changeable signs can be used for messages
                                                       in accordance with the CMS system priorities.

Page 2-38                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                               March 2002

2. Traffic Restrictions — For purposes of this           •   Messages shall describe the general nature
section, traffic restrictions refer to the prohibition       of the situation (e.g., Accident At Mercer)
of vehicles from using any or all portions of a              and traffic impacts (e.g., Congestion from
roadway. These restrictions may be planned or                Northgate to Ship Canal Bridge)
unplanned, short or long duration, and specific or
                                                         •   Specific alternate routes included only if
general. Requests for traffic restriction messages
                                                             alternate is a state route, or if approved by the
generally come from WSDOT or local agency
                                                             appropriate jurisdiction
maintenance offices.
                                                         •   Messages describing severe incident-related
•   Road Closures — CMS can provide advance
                                                             traffic conditions may be continued at the
    warning of road closures for either
                                                             discretion of the operator (e.g., Congestion
    emergencies or for scheduled maintenance
                                                             from Northgate to Ship Canal Bridge Due to
    operations. Message request initiated by a
                                                             Earlier Accident), however, CMS should not
    maintenance or construction office
                                                             be used to describe recurrent congestion (e.g.,
•   Bridge Draw Span Openings — Usually                      normal day to day backups)
    SR 520 Evergreen Pt., SR 104 Hood Canal,
                                                         Road and Driving Conditions — CMS should
    or I-5 Interstate Bridge openings for boat
                                                         not be used to display weather conditions or
    traffic or weather conditions
                                                         driving conditions (e.g., icy roadway under
•   Flammable Restrictions — Message                     near-freezing temperatures).
    displayed when SR 5 Convention Center, SR
                                                         The Travel Aid Project, across Snoqualmie Pass,
    90 Mt. Baker Tunnel, or SR 90 Mercer Island
                                                         is allowed an exemption to this guideline due to
    Lid fire control systems are inoperable
                                                         the experimental nature of the operation.
•   Weight, Height, Width Restrictions —
                                                         Special Events — CMS may be used to manage
    CMS use is only appropriate in emergency
                                                         freeway traffic destined for high impact special
    situations (e.g., earthquake damaged bridge),
                                                         events (e.g., Seahawks game at Husky stadium)
    or short term use (e.g., construction-related
                                                         when traffic conditions warrant.
    height restriction)
                                                         Special event related CMS messages for freeway
Incidents — The use of the CMS system for
                                                         management should be coordinated prior to the
incident information requires close monitoring
                                                         event with the Regional CMA specialist. Message
by personnel operating the signs. Displaying
                                                         information is limited to description of
inci-dent response information is the most
                                                         event-related traffic impacts and their duration.
dynamic uses of the CMS system. Accurate and
timely CMS messages will increase both the               Construction and Maintenance Information —
credibility of the signs, and the public’s               The CMS system can be an effective supplement
confidence in using the signs as navigational            to construction traffic control, but should not be
tools.                                                   used in lieu of adequate traffic control planning.
                                                         Anticipated CMS use for construction and
Disabled Vehicles and Accidents — CMS is
                                                         maintenance should be included in traffic control
used only when incident is visually confirmed or
                                                         plans and scheduled in advance with the Regional
when requested by Coordinating Organizations,
                                                         CMS specialist. The CMS system should be used
in this case usually WSDOT Incident Response
                                                         when construction activities require drivers to
Team (IRT) or Washington State Patrol (WSP).
                                                         perform complex or unusual maneuvers, or in
•   Communication with Coordinating                      cases where traditional signing methods are
    Organizations should take place by way of            impractical.
    Radio Operations office
•   Messages are to be removed once the incident
    is no longer blocking

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 2-39
March 2002

WSDOT                                                     private company names, trade-mark
                                                          indications, etc.
•   CMS system may be used to display
    information on lane, ramp, or road closures;      •   Display PSA’s on a rotating schedule, with
    detours; and advanced notice for high impact          no beacons, in accordance with the CMS
    closures                                              system priorities
•   Construction-related CMS use should be            Approved Rideshare Promotions
    coordinated with Regional CMS specialist
                                                      •   The Oil Smart Wednesdays and Rideshare
•   Message information should be limited to the          Week promotions are approved for statewide
    nature of the construction impact and the             CMS usage. These messages, which
    effect on drivers (e.g., Left Lane Closed             encourage regional participation in rideshare/
    Ahead; Exit 116 Closed; Use Caution; Use              transit usage, may be displayed on
    Alternate Route; Follow Detour (only if detour        consecutive Wednesdays in March
    signing is in place); Expect Delays)
                                                      •   Messages of this type may be unique for the
Non-WSDOT                                                 particular event, but should focus on
                                                          long-term traveler behavior (e.g., Upgrade
•   CMS use should be coordinated with the
                                                          Your Commute The Oil Smart Way - Call
    Regional CMS specialist
                                                          METRO Ridematch 625-4500). While this
•   Establish a method of maintaining                     message does not specify the name or date of
    communication with Coordinating Agency                the event, it displays the contact phone
•   Messages shall follow same guidelines as              number for the alternate commute resource.
    above                                                 These messages are intended to benefit the
                                                          transportation system by encouraging drivers
Public Service Announcements — Normally,                  to use alternate modes of transportation
the CMS system will only be used for Public
Service Announcements (PSAs) that are directly        •   Encourages travelers to utilize alternative
related to transportation (e.g., carpool or transit       modes of transportation; strong tie to usage
information). These messages should be used               of the freeway HOV system
sparingly so that the warning impact of the sign      •   Messages displayed on selected signs, with
will not be degraded. Operational limitations of          no beacons, and in accordance with the CMS
some CMS signs, such as overheating and                   system priorities
degrada- tion, may be considered when
                                                      Messages other than those related to traffic
scheduling PSAs.
                                                      operations should be avoided.
Commuter Info Line                                    Test Messages — It may be necessary to run
•   CMS may be used to display the phone              test messages on a CMS sign in order to ensure
    number(s) of the WSDOT Commuter Info              correct operations or to “burn-in” a new sign.
    Line. This message informs commuters of           These messages shall not confuse or misdirect
    alternate resources that are available            traffic. Use non-message, or appropriate public
                                                      service announcements as test messages.
•   CMS may be used to display phone number           Acceptable non-message test messages may
    for carpool matching or public transit            contain the legend: “TEST MESSAGE”, display
    information or phone numbers. CMS may             a portion of the alphabet or a sequence of
    also be used to display the phone number(s)       numbers, or non-message test patterns such as
    of privately sponsored commuter information       moving columns or rows, etc. The Regional
    lines, provided the firm has a written            Traffic Office should approve other test
    agreement or contract with WSDOT. The             messages.
    PSA shall be generic and not include any

Page 2-40                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                                            March 2002

P. Commercial Dump Prohibition                          •   468-70-040, Interchange and intersection
Signing                                                     selection for motorist information sign panels
Some rest areas along state highways provide            •   468-70-050, Business eligibility
RV dump stations for use by noncommercial
                                                        •   468-70-060, Signing details
vehicles. Install the COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
USE PROHIBITED (I8-704) sign at these RV                •   468-70-070, Permits and procedure
dump sites. This is the only valid application
                                                        •   468-70-080, Fee schedule
for this sign on state highways.
                                                        •   468-70-085, Maintenance replacement of
Design Manual Chapter 1030 discusses RV
                                                            pictorial business signs manufactured by the
Dump Stations.
                                                            department prior to January 1, 1987
2.6 Motorist Information Signs                          From the traffic engineering perspective, and
Motorist information signs guide travelers,             for procedural efficiency, it is obvious that the
people of all ages, to activities essential to their    regions need to apply the provisions of WAC
journey. The resultant advertising medium for           468-70 uniformly. It is only fair that travelers
business is a program by-product. Motorist              unfamiliar with any given area receive
information sign assemblies consist of motorist         information about services, in the same manner,
information sign panels, on which individual            regardless of where they travel within the state.
business signs may be displayed (see Appendix           Likewise, applying the regulations uniformly
2-13).                                                  results in equitable treatment for the business
RCW 47.36.310 authorizes the department to
install motorist information sign panels, where         The discussions in the following portion of the
space is available on Interstate highway rights of      Traffic Manual clarify specific parts of the
way, to display individual business signs for gas,      WAC to assure that the motorist information sign
food, lodging, camping, and tourist-oriented            program is administered statewide as uniformly
activities. RCW 47.36.320 authorizes the                as possible.
department to install motorist information sign
panels where space is available on primary and          A. WAC 468-70-030, Location of
scenic rights of way, to display individual             Panels and Signs
business signs for gas, food, lodging, and              1. Interchanges — WAC 468-70-030(1)(a)
recreation (includes camping), and tourist-             provides that, “For freeways and expressways the
oriented activities. These statutes also require that   motorist information sign panels shall be erected
the department charge reasonable fees for               between the previous interchange and at least
installing and maintaining the individual business      800 feet in advance of the exit direction sign at
signs; and, authorize the department to charge          the interchange from which the services are
reasonable fees for erecting and maintaining the        available.” The WAC is silent in providing
motorist information sign panels.                       regulation about where motorist information
To support and enhance state law, official              sign panels are placed “beyond the previous
regulations for motorist information signs are          interchange,” or if placement between the
provided in Chapter 468-70 of the Washington            crossing structure and the on-ramp merge point
Administrative Code (WAC). WAC 468-70 is                is permissible.
divided into nine sections, which are:                  The Headquarters Traffic interprets the WAC to
•   468-70-010, General                                 mean that motorist information sign panels are
                                                        intended to be erected beyond the on-ramp merge
•   468-70-020, Definitions                             point. Locate the panels far enough downstream
•   468-70-030, Location of panels and signs            so that mainline and on-ramp traffic, both
                                                        approaching the merge area and within the merge

Traffic Manual                                                                                   Page 2-41
March 2002

area, can focus on the driving task without            B. WAC 468-70-040, Interchange and
distraction.                                           Intersection Selection for Motorist
It is possible that locations exist where panels can   Information Sign Panels
be placed, for an upcoming interchange, between        1. City Streets That are Part of State
the crossing structure of the previous interchange     Highways — WAC 468-70-040(2) provides
and its on-ramp merge point. Installations at these    general regulations about locating motorist
locations are extraordinary. Conduct an on-site        information sign panels within the corporate
review to assure that a motorist information sign      limits of cities towns, with regard to limited
panel will not block the on-ramp traffic’s view of     access highways.
upstream traffic approaching the merge area, and
to assure that a panel installation will not           WAC 468-70 provides limited regulations about
overload the immediate area with signs. Before         erecting and maintaining panels within corporate
installation, the regions are requested to consult     limits along city streets that are also state
with the State Traffic Engineer’s Office about         highways (non-access controlled routes). WAC
candidate locations.                                   468-70-050(4) provides that “Within cities and
                                                       towns having a population greater than 22,500,
2. Intersections — WAC 468-70-030(1)(b)                the department shall obtain concurrence from the
provides in part that “For conventional roads          municipality of locations for installing panels,
the panels shall be erected between the previous       and may request that the municipality install the
intersection and at least 300 feet in advance of       panels.” This regulation cannot be interpreted to
the intersection from which the services are           mean that the department has blanket authority
available.” Neither the WAC nor the MUTCD              for motorist information signs in cities and town
recommends spacing guidelines to apply between         having a population of 22,500 or less.
panels where more than one type of motorist
service activity is available from a particular        In April, 1997, the department entered into a
intersection. However, the panels may be spaced,       written agreement with the Association of
based on the speed limit of the roadway, in            Washington Cities which in part sets forth the
accordance with the following table.                   maintenance responsibility for various roadway
                                                       appurtenances including traffic control devices.
                                                       The basis in law for this agreement is RCW
             MIS Signing Spacing (Feet)
                                                       Chapter 47.24, City Streets as Part of State
    Posted                                             Highways. Unfortunately, neither the agreement
 Speed (MPH)         Minimum           Desirable       nor the law clearly establish the responsibility
        25               160              200          for motorist information signs along non-access
                                                       controlled routes within corporate limits.
        30               190              235
                                                       Some cities and towns have established
        35               220              270
                                                       ordinances to include motorist information signs,
        40               255              315          while some have not. Further, some cities and
        45               285              350          towns declare motorist information signs to be a
                                                       form of billboard and prohibit them. The
        50               315              390          Headquarters suggests that the regions encourage
        55               350              430          cities and towns, regardless of population, to be
        60               380              470          lead agency in motorist information sign matters.
                                                       However, the regions can install and maintain the
        65               410              510          signs at the request of a city or town, through a
                    Table 2-13                         written agreement.
                                                       2. Signing From State Highways — WAC
                                                       468-70-040(3) provides in part that signing will
                                                       be provided from the nearest interchange or

Page 2-42                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                              March 2002

intersection from the nearest freeway/expressway        2. Food Activities — WAC 468-70-050(1)(b)
or conventional highway to the activity. There          requires that food activities be open at least
may be situations where two exits are nearly            12 hours per day and serve breakfast, lunch, and
equidistant to a business, and signing from either      dinner. With regard to specialty food services,
exit is convenient for the motorist. In these           such as pizza houses, questions often arise about
situations, it is appropriate to sign from either       what constitutes breakfast and what are reason-
exit, or to “split” the signing directionally since     able morning hours for food activities to open.
the business is equally accessible by either exit.      Historically, the department has been
WAC 468-70-040(3) also provides in part that            unsuccessful in establishing a prescribed
signing will not be provided from a freeway or          regulation to address these two questions. A
expressway to another freeway or expressway.            popular dictionary defines breakfast as the first
The intent of this regulation is to assure that         meal of the day, without reference to specific
signs are not provided along a major route,             food arrangements. Thus, it is not appropriate to
where tourists typically travel, to direct motorists    require that food activities serve traditional
to another major route where tourists typically         breakfast items. Also, the business signs
travel. However, the regulation does not preclude       depicting specialty houses provide travelers with
signing from a freeway or expressway to a               a pretty good idea of what to expect.
conventional state highway in circumstances             The department normally does not receive
where the conventional highway is used primarily        complaints from traveling motorists provided that
by local traffic. In these cases, the regions can       specialty houses are open by 11:00 a.m. and the
consider the conventional highway to serve              menu offers items that are typically associated
travelers more in the nature of a county road or        with lunch and dinner. Opening hours are not
a city street.                                          normally an issue for food activities that offer the
                                                        full complement of menu items typically
C. WAC 468-70-050, Business Eligibility                 associated with breakfast, lunch, and dinner,
WAC 468-70-050 provides the minimum eligibility         because they usually open fairly early in the
criteria that businesses must meet to qualify for       morning.
the display of individual business signs on
motorist information sign panels. The regions           WAC 468-70-050(1)(b)(i) provides that food
may use the following interpretative information        activities must be licensed or approved by the
to assist with eligibility analysis of the nuances      county health office. For casino restaurants on
that arise.                                             Indian lands, there is no county jurisdiction over
                                                        health interests at casinos. The Federal
1. Gas Activities — WAC 468-70-050(1)(a)                Department of Health and Human Services has an
specifies the minimum eligibility requirements          Indian Health Service Office at its District
for the display of gas activity business signs on       Offices around the state. The regions can ask the
motorist information sign panels.                       casino restaurant for a copy of the Indian Health
Within the WAC, restroom facilities available to        Service inspection report as a means to meet the
patrons are an eligibility requirement. Some gas        health eligibility criteria.
activities may utilize portable toilets, while others   WAC 468-70-050(1)(b)(iii) provides that food
keep the doors locked and signed for customer           activities must have parking facilities for a
use only. Travelers expect indoor restrooms, and        minimum of 10 vehicles. This Rule was written
a sink for clean-up, when they stop for fuel.           prior to 1985, when legislature authorized
Portable toilets are acceptable only for temporary      motorist information signs within urban areas. In
use when the indoor facilities are temporarily out      urban areas, notably downtown business districts,
of order for repair or remodel. It’s acceptable for     there are food activities having on-street parking
a gas activity to keep the restroom doors locked,       only but that meet the other eligibility criteria.
provided that patrons may use the services.             Rather than amend the WAC to address this

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 2-43
March 2002

nuance, the Headquarters interprets on-street           visitors. Other traditional historic and cultural
parking to meet the specified parking                   attractions described earlier in this chapter may
requirements for these food activities.                 be eligible for TODs. Where possible, TODs
                                                        are the recommended sign medium for these
Bar and grill type food activities may qualify for
business signs provided that minors are allowed
in the food area. If patronage of the grill requires    The types of businesses not intended for display
that visitors access through the bar, then minors       on TODs are those offering commonly available
would not be allowed and the business is not            retail goods and services, and catering to local
eligible.                                               residents. Accordingly, the regions should review
                                                        applying businesses on a case-by-case basis to
3. Lodging Activities — WAC 468-70-050(c)(i)
                                                        determine their eligibility for the TODs program.
provides that lodging activities must be licensed
                                                        For questionable businesses, the regions should
and approved by the Washington Department of
                                                        contact the State Traffic Engineer’s Office prior
Health. Bed and Breakfast facilities having less
                                                        to final approval, to avoid the possibility of
than three rooms for rent are exempt from the
                                                        setting an undesirable precedent.
Department of Health licensing requirements,
thus an approval letter from the county health          5. Multiple Business Activities — WAC
authority fulfills the eligibility requirement.         468-70-050(6) provides that for businesses
                                                        which qualify for business sign placement on
The regions are occasionally asked to approve
                                                        more than one type of motorist information
youth hostels for business signs. Typically youth
                                                        sign panel, placement will be made on the type
hostels fail to pass the lodging eligibility criteria
                                                        of panel, determined by the department, which
because they have dormitory type sleeping
                                                        best describes the main product or service.
arrangements. The Headquarters Traffic Office
interprets the language in RCW 47.36.340(2) and         This subsection further provides that business
WAC 468-70-050(1)(c)(ii), “provide adequate             signs for such businesses may be placed on more
sleeping ... accommodations”, to mean individual        than one type of motorist information sign panel,
sleeping rooms must be available. As a signing          provided that sign space is available and that a
alternative, there is an international youth hostel     qualifying single business activity that submits
symbol that can be used, in the manner of the           an application in the future will not be precluded
generic motorist service signs discussed in             from receiving business signs. Under these
section 2.F.6 of this chapter.                          circumstances, the department will remove,
                                                        without refund of any fees, the second set of
4. Tourist-oriented Activities — The
                                                        business signs for a multiple business activity
minimum eligibility requirements for the display
                                                        to accommodate business signs for a single
of business signs on tourist-oriented directional
                                                        business activity. Before approving the second
signs (TODs) are provided in WAC
                                                        set of business signs, obtain the business owner’s
468-70-050(1)(f). WAC 468-70-020(11) defines a
                                                        written acknowledgment and concurrence with
tourist-oriented business as a “lawful cultural,
                                                        this stipulation.
historical, recreational, educational, or
entertaining activity or a unique or unusual            A newly evolving motorist service industry joins
commercial or nonprofit activity, the major             together previously independent businesses, such
portion of whose income or visitors are derived         as a food activity and a mini-mart, into one
during its normal business season from motorists        combined business activity. An example is a
not residing in the immediate area of the               McDonald’s combined with a Chevron
activity.”                                              mini-mart. Accordingly, the regions may be
                                                        asked to approve logos for both the food activity
These are businesses that could not exist without
                                                        and the gas activity and to display the activities
tourists, and other tourist-oriented businesses,
                                                        on their respective back panels. Applicable to the
such as wineries and factory outlet complexes,
                                                        question is the word “qualifying.” If each activity
having tourists comprise a majority of their
                                                        qualifies for business signs under its own merit,

Page 2-44                                                                                    Traffic Manual
                                                                                                March 2002

then each can be signed for under WAC                  1. New Applications — The MIS status
468-70-050(6). However, it is inappropriate to         worksheet (Appendix 2-16) may be used to assist
sign for both activities on one business sign if       the Regional Outdoor Advertising
only one of the activities qualifies. An interesting   Representatives with pending applications.
nuance to this situation is where two food             Applications for logo sign permits, together with
activities, such as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, are       the accompanying fees, are accepted at the
combined either under one roof or together with a      regional offices. The steps below are followed to
gas activity. In this situation, review the            process the applications:
combined food activity as if it were one activity,
                                                       •   The Regional Mail Receptionist opens the
and if it qualifies use one business sign that
                                                           application envelope and, if a check is
displays both food activities.
                                                           enclosed, records the date received and other
6. Qualifying Business With the Same Name                  information about the check onto the
— There are a few locations where more than one            Mailroom Cash Receipt Log. An application
business with the same name, e.g., Union 76, will          not accompanied by a check is forwarded to
be accessible to travelers from a particular               the Regional Outdoor Advertising
interchange or intersection. Because travelers do          Representative, for return to the submitter
not need redundant information on mainline back            together with a request for the application fee
panels at these locations, some level of
                                                       •   The application and check is sent to the
interaction between the two businesses will most
                                                           Regional Accounting Office, where the
likely be required.
                                                           TRAINS Cash Receipt document is
If both businesses are located on the same side            completed
of an interchange or intersection, an agreement
                                                       •   The Regional Accounting Office sends the
between the competing businesses may be needed
                                                           original application to the Regional Outdoor
to direct the department as to which activity will
                                                           Advertising Representative for a permit
be the permit holder for the signing. Where the
                                                           number assignment
two activities are located on opposite sides of the
mainline, it may be possible to place both             •   The Regional Outdoor Advertising
activities under permit, and sign each activity            Representative assigns the permit number,
from one direction of travel using a right arrow           documents the state route number and
on the off-ramp follow-through sign. As an                 milepost, the type of highway, and the type of
option, provided both businesses agree both a              business. A copy of the original application is
right and left arrow may be used on each ramp              then sent from the Regional Outdoor
sign.                                                      Advertising Representative back to the
                                                           Regional Accounting Office
D. WAC 468-70-070, Permits and
                                                       •   The Regional Accounting Office enters the
                                                           required information into TRAINS and then
The regional offices are responsible for processing        sends a copy of the application to the
permits, and applications for permits                      Headquarters Accounting Office
(Appendixes 2-14 and 2-15), determining
business eligibility, and assisting the                •   The Regional Outdoor Advertising
Headquarters Accounting Office with the process            Representative visits the business within 30
for billing and collecting annual maintenance              days to review compliance with the eligibility
fees. WAC 468-70-070, Permits and Procedure,               requirements and to verify that sign space is
provides the general requirements and procedures           available
for the information contents on permit                 •   Qualifying businesses receive an approval
applications, ineligible business grievance                letter (see Appendix 2-17), whereas non-
hearings, fabrication and installation of business         qualifying businesses receive a non-approved
signs, business sign maintenance and replacement           explanatory letter (see Appendix 2-18)
fees, and revocation and expiration of permits.

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 2-45
March 2002

Note: New applicants have priority, over existing    The business sign may duplicate the on-premise
permit holders requesting business sign revisions,   sign which is helpful in assessing business signs
if a backlog develops in application processing.     for food activities, such as having “Bar and Grill”
                                                     as part of an on-premise sign. Otherwise, in this
A business may apply for a location having a full
                                                     case, references to bar, lounge, spirits, etc., are
complement of business signs on a back panel. At
                                                     not appropriate on business signs.
the request of an applying business that otherwise
qualifies for signs, a copy of the application may   Another tool for use in evaluating incidental
be retained on a waiting list maintained by the      business sign messages is whether or not the
Regional Outdoor Advertising Representative.         messages provide useful information to travelers
The original application and a refund check for      concerning service availability. For example, an
the application fees are then returned to the        “Open 24 Hours”, “Food Mart” (if part of the
submitter.                                           business name), or a “Closed Sundays”(for food
                                                     activities open 6 days per week) supplemental
A business under construction may apply for a
                                                     message on a business sign provides useful
permit. Although the motorist information sign
                                                     information for travelers. Whereas, incidental
program is intended for operating businesses, the
                                                     messages such as “ATM, Postage Stamps, Car
regions may consider holding an application in a
                                                     Wash, Casino (not open to minors), and
pending status where there is less than a full
                                                     Drive-Thru Espresso” do not. (The message
complement of business signs on a back panel.
                                                     Casino Cafe may be displayed on food business
The application fee is remitted after the business
                                                     signs to provide drivers with a clear picture about
becomes operational and just prior to regional
                                                     what they will find. However, food activities
review for eligibility compliance. Should
                                                     affiliated with casinos are only eligible for
available space on a back panel be limited, an
                                                     business signs if they serve minors.)
operating business that applies during the
“pending” period, receives a higher priority for     Corporate logos are allowed on business signs,
signs than the business under construction. Thus,    reflecting the provisions of RCW 47.36.005(7).
before accepting an application from a business      This statute in part provides that “Nationally,
under construction, the Regional Outdoor             regionally, or locally known commercial symbols
Advertising Representative obtains written           or trademarks for service stations, restaurants,
concurrence from the prospective permit holder       and motels shall be used when applicable.”
acknowledging the signing priority.
                                                     The primary message on a business sign needs
2. Business Sign Messages — WAC                      to be more conspicuous than the supplemental
468-70-070(5) provides that business signs may       message. Accordingly, it is recommended that
not display messages advertising products or         supplemental messages be incorporated into the
services incidental to the qualifying motorist       overall business sign message with a letter height
service activity. The WAC also provides that         no taller than 75 percent of the primary message.
the department has final approval authority of       Refer to Section (C)(5) of this part for additional
the designs.                                         guidance to assist with business sign messaging
                                                     for multiple business activities.
WAC 468-70-050(1)(a)(vi) discusses eligibility
criteria for card-lock gas activities. Business      Directional information, except for arrows and
signs for and eligible card-lock gas activity are    mileage information on ramp or conventional
to incorporate the message CREDIT CARDS              highway business signs is not acceptable.
only if cash is not accepted at the activity.        Follow-through signs are the appropriate medium
                                                     for route direction.
Over time, businesses have proposed an array
of incidental messages on business signs for the     3. Fabrication and Installation of Business
Regional Outdoor Advertising Representatives to      Signs — WAC 468-70-070(8)(a) provides in
consider. A few guidelines will help the regions     part that “Once an application is approved, the
with the assessment.                                 department will request the business to provide

Page 2-46                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                                            March 2002

the signs ...”. It is preferable that the signs not be   If the annual fees remain unpaid 30 days after the
pre-drilled by the fabricator. WAC 468-70-070(8)(b)      business receives the certified letter, the permit
provides the circumstances under which the               is expired and the business signs removed. The
department will manufacture the business signs.          Regional Outdoor Advertising Representative
In either case, the business signs are considered        notifies the Headquarters Accounting Office,
to be the property of the business.                      using the Motorist Information Signing Customer
                                                         Change Form, when permits have expired for
4. Business Sign Maintenance and
                                                         non-payment of the annual fees.
Replacement — WAC 468-70-070(9)(a) and (b)
provide general regulations for maintaining and          6. Prorated Maintenance Fees — WAC
replacing business signs due to weather-wear.            468-70-070(9)(d) provides in part that annual
However, the WAC is silent on replacing                  maintenance fees will not be prorated for fractions
business signs prematurely due to vandalism or           of the year in the event of business sign removal
vehicle impact. The department will replace signs        or coverage. This regulation is intended to
irreparably vandalized, only once. Subsequent            support WAC 468-70-050(8) regarding seasonal
replacements will the business’ responsibility.          business operations, and maintenance activities,
The department always replaces business signs            severe storms, vehicle impact, and changes of
that are irreparably damaged due to vehicle              ownership or operation. The WAC is not intended
impact, although this is an infrequent occurrence.       to consider business sign removal due to
Costs for replacing business signs damaged by            construction activities.
vandalism or vehicle impact are appropriately
                                                         Typically, when long-term projects are planned,
charged against Program M, although Program Q
                                                         temporary motorist information signing is
funds may be used at the region’s discretion.
                                                         developed as part of the sign plan. For some
5. Annual Maintenance Fees and Permit                    projects, however, temporary motorist
Expiration for Failure to Pay — The                      information signs cannot be installed due to
Headquarters Accounting Office mails the                 construction logistics. For these projects, during
annual maintenance fee billings about 30 days            the design stage, the regions contact the
prior to the anniversary date of permit issue.           businesses impacted by the project and also make
About a month before that, the Headquarters              arrangements through the Headquarters
Accounting Office provides the Regional Outdoor          Accounting Office to suspend the annual
Advertising Representative with a Scheduled              maintenance fees until such time as the
Billing Report of impending renewals (see                permanent motorist information signs are
Appendix 2-19) for the upcoming month, to                reinstalled. The time frame for fee suspension is
review, update, and return. The regions use the          rounded to the nearest year.
Motorist Information Signing Customer Change
                                                         7. Reassigning Valid Permits — WAC
Form (see Appendix 2-20) to notify the Service
                                                         468-70-070-(10) provides that the department
Center Accounting Office about changes needed
                                                         shall reassign valid permits, effective only after
on the billing report.
                                                         receiving notice from the permit holder, when an
WAC 468-70-070 requires that annual maintenance          activity changes ownership or an activity changes
fees be paid within 30 calendar days of the              operation, such as temporary closures for remodel
anniversary of the permit issue, and also specifies      or repair. In either case the eligibility
that failure to pay by that date causes the permit       requirements must still be met, and such
to expire and the business signs to be removed           reassignments have preference over applications
from the motorist information sign panel. The            on a regional waiting list. The Regional Outdoor
name of a business, delinquent in fee payment by         Advertising Representative should also notify the
the due date, is provided from the Headquarters          Headquarters Accounting Office about the
Accounting Office to the Regional Outdoor                reassignment using the Motorist Information
Advertising Representative. The region then              Signing Customer Change Form (see
sends the business a certified letter (Appendix          Appendix 2-20).
2-21) requesting the payment.

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 2-47
March 2002

The WAC does not allow permit reassignment for
businesses having simultaneous changes in both
ownership and operation, or where businesses
have closed for reasons other than change of
ownership or operation. For either of these
reasons, a new application and permit is necessary,
giving preference to applications at the top of a
regional waiting list.
8. Surveillance and Permit Revocation for
non-Compliance — Occasionally, the regions
will learn through field review or motorist
complaints that participating businesses are not
operating within the eligibility requirements.
When this occurs, a certified letter is sent to the
business (Appendix 2-22), followed up with a
field review for compliance verification.
Business signs may be removed and permits
revoked 30 days after the written notification
for businesses not yet in compliance. However,
before permit revocation and sign removal, a
hearing in accordance with the Administrative
Procedures Act is required by WAC 468-70-070(11).
9. Program Documentation — It is
recommended that the regions document
expenditures associated with motorist
information signs, so that cost information is
available to support requested levels of funding
during upcoming budget cycles.
Labor for the program administration is paid for
under Program Q, Operations, whereas labor and
materials associated with sign installation are
paid for under Program Q, Minor Enhancements.
(Note: See Section (D)(4) of this part for business
signs replacements due to vandalism or vehicle
impact.) Refer to the Chart of Accounts, M 13-02,
for the correct work operation codes.

Page 2-48                                             Traffic Manual
                                                         March 2002
Appendix 2-1                             Auxiliary Climbing Lane
                             2 MILES


                 THRU LANE

                                         LANE       W9-1R


                              RIGHT          Notes:
                              EXCEPT         1. Sign spacing
                                             and pavement markings
                             TO PASS         shall be installed per

                             1/4- MILE


Traffic Manual                                              Appendix 2-1
March 2002                                                       Page 1
Appendix 2-2                           Auxiliary Passing Lane

                           2 MILES


               THRU LANE

                                        LANE      W9-1R


                            RIGHT          Notes:
                           EXCEPT          1. Sign spacing
                                           and pavement markings
                           TO PASS         shall be installed per

                           1/4- MILE


Appendix 2-2                                              Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                       March 2002
Appendix 2-3                    Shoulder Driving

                              Note: Sign spacing and
                              pavement markings shall
                              be installed per MUTCD



                 SLOW VEHICLES
                   MAY USE

                     2 MI


                   HOURS ONLY


Traffic Manual                              Appendix 2-3
March 2002                                       Page 1
Appendix 2-4              Slow Moving Vehicle Turnout

                                         Note: Sign spacing and
                                         pavement markings shall
                                         be installed per MUTCD
          THRU LANE


                                  F     R8-3a

                       VEHICLE                I8-301

                       SLOW VEHICLE
                         TURNOUT              I8-401
                          1000 FT

                           DELAY OF
                      5 VEHICLES ILLEGAL      I8-201
                      MUST USE TURNOUTS

                       SLOW VEHICLES
                        USE TURNOUT           I8-101
                        NEXT 10 MILES

Appendix 2-4                                              Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                       March 2002
   Appendix 2-5                                               Speed Zone Signing
                     R2-5A          R2-5C

                    REDUCED        SPEED
                    SPEED           ZONE
                    AHEAD          AHEAD

                     R2-501         R2-501

   **Distance Varies

                                    R2-1                        R2-1*

                                   SPEED                     SPEED
                                    LIMIT                     LIMIT

                                   50                         60
                                             Speed Zone
                                   SPEED                      SPEED
                                    LIMIT                      LIMIT

                                   60                         50
                                     R2-1*                       R2-1

                                                                                 **Distance Varies
                                                                R2-5A            R2-5C

                                                             REDUCED           SPEED
                                                              SPEED             ZONE
                                                              AHEAD            AHEAD
*If posted speed is greater than 60 mph                                  OR
install TRUCKS XX (R2-2) sign
** Distance to be determined by traffic
and engineering investigation
                                                                R2-501           R2-501

  Install signs on both sides of traveled way for each direction of multi-lane divided highways

   Traffic Manual                                                                 Appendix 2-5
   March 2002                                                                          Page 1
Appendix 2-6                                      Supplemental Guide Sign Criteria
             Selection Criteria for Supplemental Guide Sign Destinations
                          For Full Access Control Freeways

       Type of Generator                     Specific Criteria                  Major       Urban         Rural
                                                                                Metro       Area2         Area
    Airports -(Destination      Regularly Scheduled Commercial                   35           20            15
    name only, not symbol)      Flights Per Day
                                Distance from Interchange (miles)                    5        5             5
                                Paved &Lighted Runway > 2,500 ft                     -        -             -
    Colleges, Universities,     Must Be Accredited.
    and Branch Campuses         Total Enrollment , full & part time                 4,500    2,500        1,000

                                Distance from Interchange (miles)                    5        5             5
    Regional Shopping           3 Major Department Stores; 500,000
    Centers                     sq ft of Leasable Space; Minimum
                                9,000 Daily One Way Trips4                            -        -             -

                                Distance from Interchange (miles)                    1        1             1
    Industrial Parks            500,000 sq ft of leasable space5                     -        -             -
                                Distance from Interchange                            5        5             5
    Ports/Port Districts        Served by two or more Transportation
                                Modes (Water, Highway, Rail, Air)
                                Distance from Interchange                         5            5            5
    Event Venues                Annual Attendance                              300,000      250,000      200,000
                                Distance from Interchange (miles)                 2            2            2
    Major Recreation Areas      Annual Attendance (open to public)             300,000      250,000      100,000
    National Parks              Sign from Major Junctions; Case by
    State Parks6                Distance from Interchange (miles)                    15       15            15
    USFS Facilities                                                                  1        1             10
    (Campgrounds, HQ’s)         Distance from Interchange (miles)

  Population greater than 50,000
  Population 5,000 - 49,999
  See section 2.4.D.3 for additional criteria
  See WAC 468-95-025 for additional criteria
  Leasable space can be a mix of manufacturing, service, and warehouse facilities
  Per RCW 47.36.290

Appendix 2-6                                                                                          Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                                   March 2002
Appendix 2-7          Signing to Rail Passenger Stations

       EXIT 139

                           NEXT RIGHT


     Nowhere                  Nowhere


                  Nowhere          Notes:
                                   1. The Amtrak symbol is
                                   used to show typical
                 NEXT RIGHT        installation. Sign logo will
                                   vary with transit or rail
                                   2. These typical installations
                                   may also be used for motorist
                                   services signs (Police, Food,
                                   Gas, etc).
                                   3. Install signs per MUTCD
                      c.           spacing requirements.

Traffic Manual                                        Appendix 2-7
March 2002                                                Page 1
Appendix 2-8                           Application for Historic/Cultural Sign
 Organization Address                                  Mailing Address (if different)

 Name of authorizing Official (Include title, e.g., Director, Trustee, etc.)

 Address of Authorizing Official                       Telephone #

                                                       email address

 Has your organization been granted non-profit status (IRS 501 (c)(3))     Yes        No
 Please provide the following information about your organization:
  • What are your visitation hours and when are you open to the general public (note any
     seasonal variations to schedule of operation)?

  • Is the facility easily accessible to all visitors, including ADA features? Yes        No
  • Is the facility readily visible from the highway?                          Yes        No
  • If not, how far is your facility from the state highway on which the sign is being requested

  • Is the road serving your facility a two-lane, all-weather road?          Yes       No
  • Please indicate the name or number of the road, street or highway serving your facility

  • Please describe where you would like the sign to be located. Be specific, include the state
    highway number and milepost, or distance to the nearest important intersection or

       For Official Use Only
                                         Historical Attractions
   •     OAHP – Is attraction included on the Heritage Register?                   Yes   No
   •     HRC – Does site include IC? Yes           No
   •     Are there historic buildings, features, or ruins w/ interpretive marker? Yes    No
   •     HRC approval?                  Yes       No        by___________________________
                                          Cultural Attractions
   •     Museums –HRC approval? Yes                No       by____________________________
   •     Religious – Shrine, or unique religious nature w/ visitor facility or tour? Yes  No
   •     Educational – Outstanding educational value w/ visitor facility or tour? Yes     No
   •     Scientific – Used for scientific advancement w/ visitor facility or tour? Yes    No

 Sign approved             Sign disapproved        Reason for disapproval

 Regional Traffic Engineer                               Date

Appendix 2-8                                                                             Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                      March 2002
Appendix 2-9                                         School Crosswalk Signing


                               SPEED                               SPEED               END
                                LIMIT                               LIMIT OR         SCHOOL
                               20                                   50
                                                                   50                 ZONE
                                                                      R2-1            S5-2

    SCHOOL                      S2-1            SCHOOL CROSSWALK



                              SPEED                                     SCHOOL
                    SCHOOL OR LIMIT                                     SPEED

                     ZONE              50
                        S5-2           R2-1                                  **

** Sign Legend determined by School District
Sign Code #    Sign Legend
S5 - 1           WHEN FLASHING
S5 - 102         WHEN FLAGGED
S5 - 103         8:30 A.M. TO 5:30 P.M.                                  S1-1
    See MUTCD Section “Traffic Control for School Areas” for sign spacing

Traffic Manual                                                                Appendix 2-9
March 2002                                                                        Page 1
Appendix 2-10   Closed Plaques for Signs to State Parks

                  Tolmie D
                State SE
                     O Park
                   CL RIGHT

Appendix 2-10                                  Traffic Manual
Page 1                                            March 2002
Appendix 2-11    Adopt-A-Highway Sign Configurations

Traffic Manual                              Appendix 2-11
March 2002                                       Page 1
Appendix 2-13                      Motorist Information Signs

                   LODGING EXIT XXX                            10”

     8”         MARTIN’S
     8”          MOTEL                   60”X36”

                   LOGO SIGN PANEL


                  TOURIST ACTIVITIES                10”

                      EXIT XXX                      10”

           8”        RIVER         60”X36”
           8”        TOURS

                     TOD SIGN PANEL

Appendix 2-13                                            Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                      March 2002
Appendix 2-14                                                     Motorist Information Sign Permit

                                                                             Permit for Motorist Information Signing
                                                                             or Tourist-Oriented Directional Signing
       Permit No.                                                   Check One                                 Payee No.

                                                     MIS       TODS                New         Update

       In accordance with RCW 47.42 and Washington Administrative Code 468.70, and subject to all terms, conditions,
       and provisions written below or on any part of this form, PERMISSION IS HEREBY GRANTED TO:
             Business Name

            Physical Address

        for the privilege to have motorist information signing or tourist-oriented directional signing installed by the
        Department of Transportation. Such signing is to be installed on SR                              , at an intersection
        or interchange located at State Route Milepost                       .

        Dated At                                                        This                         day of                     ,

        I, the undersigned, hereby accept this permit subject to the terms
        and conditions as herein set forth.
        This                     day of                    ,

        Company Representative Signature                                          WSDOT Representative

       Billing Name                                                            Billing Phone

       Billing Address                                                         RE Location      (22-Character TRAINS Field)

                                                                               Federal Tax ID                                       Bill Code

       General Provisions
       This permit is expressly conditioned and subject to Permittees:
       1. Agreement to limit the height of any on-premise signs to no greater than 15 feet higher than the roof of the
          main building of the business (applicable to businesses located within one mile of the interchange or
          intersection, and further applicable to on-premise signs visible from interstate highways, RCW 47.42.046
          and RCW 47.42.047.
       2. Agreement to provide for and maintain adequate follow-through signing.
       3. Payment of a manufacturing and/or installation fee of                                      for:
                                                                             (Rev. Source 0299-29)
                               Mainline         Ramp                 Conventional

       4. Agreement to and payment of an annual maintenance fee within 30 calendar days after the anniversary
          date of the permit issue.
       5. Acknowledgement that the annual maintenance fee is set at                                            subject to change by the
          Department of Transportation.                                              (Rev. Source 0299-30)

       6. Acknowledgement that assignment of this permit shall be effective only upon receipt of assignments by
          the Department of Transportation.
       7. Acknowledgement that this permit may be revoked for failure to provide any of these general provisions or
          for failure to provide the services and/or facilities required by section 468.70.050 and 468.70.070 of the
          Washington Administrative Code.

      DOT    Form 224-042 EF
             Revised 11/96

Traffic Manual                                                                                                                            Appendix 2-14
March 2002                                                                                                                                      Page 1
Appendix 2-15                                                                                MIS Permit Application

                                                                                            Permit Application -
                                                                                    One or More Business Signs
      Permit Application - One or More Business Signs to be affixed to Information Panels.

       Business Name                                                                                        For WSDOT Use Only

                                                                                               Permit Number
       Physical Address
                                                                                               Payee Number

                                                                                               SR Mile Post
       Federal Tax ID                                                                          Highway Type
                                                                                                                      1 - Interstate           3 - Scenic
                                                                                                                      2 - Non-Interstate
       Interchange or Intersection Name or Number
                                                                                               Type of Business
                                                                                                     1 - Gas           3 - Lodging         5 - Recreation
                                                                                                     2 - Food          4 - Camping         6 - TOD

                                                                                                Bill Code      8110
       Brief Description
                                                                                                Application Fee:
                                                                                                     * $150.00 Per Application -
                                                                                                Make checks or remittance payable to:
                                                                                                     “Department of Transportation”
                                                                                                Mail with proper fee to the appropriate
                                                                                                Region Traffic Engineer listed in the

       Fees in the amount of $150.00 are paid herewith to defray the basic administrative expense incident to the processing of this
       application according to Washington Administrative Code 468-70-070.

       * Application fee may only be refunded if, after approval, the activity is not signed for reasons caused by the department.

       This application is subject to RCW 47.42, Washington Administrative Code 468-70 and provisions contained on the back

       Applicant indicates willingness to enter formal agreement to limit the height of any on-premise signs to no greater than 15 feet higher
       than the roof of the main building of the business. (Applicable to businesses located within one mile of the interchange or intersection,
       and further applicable to on-premise signs visible from interstate highways, RCW 47.42.046 and RCW 47.42.047). Applicant further
       agrees to provide for and maintain follow through signing if required by the department. Applicant expressly understands that failure to
       limit the height of the on-premise signs or to provide for or maintain follow through signing if required or to pay annual maintenance
       fees may result in the revocation of business signing.

       Billing Name

                                                                           Dated this              day of                                  ,

       Billing Address

                                                                                                     (Print Name)

       Billing Phone

      DOT Form 224-041 EF
           Revised 6/00

Appendix 2-15                                                                                                                                    Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                                                                              March 2002
Appendix 2-16                                            MIS Status Worksheet

                            MIS STATUS WORKSHEET

         SR: ____________
         MP: ____________
         Permit #: ________

         Business type and name: __________________________________

         Date and summary of initial contact: __________________________

         Information package and application sent: _____________________

         Completed application and application fees received: ____________

         Review business eligibility and highway location (order backboards if
         needed): _______________________________________________

            Approved (Backboard order date): _________________________

           Denied (sent letter giving reasons and refund fees): ____________

         Issue sign specifications, information sheet: ____________________

         Inspect logo signs, issue permit, collect installation fees: __________

         Install signs: _____________________________________________

         Telephone contacts: ______________________________________

Traffic Manual                                                                 Appendix 2-16
March 2002                                                                           Page 1
Appendix 2-17                                                MIS Application Approval Letter

                  Washington State
                  Department of Transportation                                                 Regional Address Information



         Re: MIS Signing

         Dear __________________

         Your application for Motorist Information Signing has been approved. Since you will be providing your own
         pictorial logo sign, your cost will be $___.00 per sign for the installation fee or a total cost of $___.00. Your
         annual renewal fee will be $___.00 per sign permit each year, beginning in 20__.

         As soon as we receive your $____ fee, we will order your background signs. Installation should follow in
         approximately 90 days.

         Enclosed are your sign specification sheets and a “Permit for Motorist Information Signs.” Please review them.
         If everything is satisfactory, please sign the permit and return it to me along with two copies of your sign design
         (for approval). Send your sign specification sheets to the sign manufacturer of your choice.

         If you have any questions, please call __________________ of my staff at _____________.


         Regional Traffic Engineer


Appendix 2-17                                                                                                                Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                                                          March 2002
Appendix 2-18                                    MIS Application Non-Approval Letter

                 Washington State
                 Department of Transportation                                                 Regional Address Information



          Re: MIS Signing Application

          Dear __________________

          The Department of Transportation is not able to approve your application for a Motorist Information Sign
          on SR ___ at milepost ___.

          (A new intersection is being constructed in this vicinity beginning next month. The new intersection will
          prohibit installation of any new motorist information signs due to sign spacing restrictions described in
          WAC 468-70-030).

          Since this information was not provided to you at the time of your initial inquiry, your application fee of $_____
          is being refunded in accordance with WAC 468-70-070(6).

          Please contact _____________________of my staff at ____________ with any questions regarding this issue.


          Regional Traffic Engineer

Traffic Manual                                                                                                          Appendix 2-18
March 2002                                                                                                                  Page 1
Appendix 2-19   MIS Scheduled Billing Report

Appendix 2-19                       Traffic Manual
Page 1                                 March 2002
Appendix 2-20                                                   Customer Change Form

                                   Motorist Information Signing
                                    Customer Change Form
                        Please indicate both old and new information for each change.

        1.       Delete customer from TRAINS:
                 Customer Name ___________________________________________________
                 Billing Name ___________________________________________________
                 Customer #     __________________ Permit # __________________________

                 Adjust the following RE/IN’s for the above named customer/permit:
                 ________________________________ ________________________________
                 ________________________________ ________________________________
                 ________________________________ ________________________________
                 ________________________________ ________________________________

        2.       Billing Address Change:
                 Customer Name ___________________________________________________
                 Customer #     __________________ Permit # __________________________
                 Old Address    ____________________________________________________
                 New Address     ____________________________________________________

        3.       Business Name Change (Same Owner / Same Customer):
                 Customer #     __________________ Permit # __________________________
                 Old Business Name _______________________________________________
                                                CHANGE TO:
                 New Business Name ______________________________________________
                 New Business Address ______________________________________________
        4.       Business Sold (New Owner / New Customer:
                 Permit # _________________________________________________________
                 Old Customer #____________________________________________________
                 Old Business Name ________________________________________________

                 New Customer # ___________________________________________________
                 New Business Name ________________________________________________
                 New Business Address ______________________________________________
        5.       Permit Denials or Other Changes:

        Authorized by _________________________________________ Date ___________________

Traffic Manual                                                                           Appendix 2-20
March 2002                                                                                     Page 1
Appendix 2-21                                                              MIS Delinquent Fee Letter

                 Washington State
                 Department of Transportation                                               Regional Address Information

         ___________________________                                                       DRAFT

         Re: Annual Maintenance Fees - Motorist Information Signs


         Dear __________________

         The Department of Transportation has not received your annual maintenance fees which were due

         Should you not make this payment within 15 days, we will assume that you no longer wish to participate in the
         Motorist Information Signing program. Then, 30 days after your receipt of this certified letter, we will remove
         your business signs.

         If you have mailed the annual maintenance fee, please disregard this letter.


         Regional Traffic Engineer

         cc: State Traffic Engineer

Appendix 2-21                                                                                                         Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                                                   March 2002
Appendix 2-22                                        MIS Surveillance/Revocation Letter

                 Washington State
                 Department of Transportation                                                Regional Address Information

          ___________________________                                                      DRAFT

          Re: MIS Signing

          Dear __________________

          The Department of Transportation periodically makes a field review of motorist information signing and ensures
          that each business is providing services for (the required number of hours per day).

          A recent review indicated that (your business is not open for business twelve hours a day, seven days a week).

          Item 7 of the Motorist Information Signing permit, which you signed, acknowledges that your permit may be
          revoked for failure to provide the services required by Section 468-70-050 of the Washington Administrative
          Code. Accordingly, we will require written assurance within 15 days that your facility will (be open the required
          number of hours and days).

          Should you choose not to respond, we will assume that you no longer wish to participate in the Motorist
          Information Signing program. Then, 30 days after receipt of this certified letter, we will revoke your permit and
          remove your business sign.

          Your timely response to this matter is recommended. Should you have any questions, please contact
          _____________________ of my staff at ________________.


          Regional Traffic Engineer

Traffic Manual                                                                                                          Appendix 2-22
March 2002                                                                                                                   Page 1

Chapter 3                                                                            Delineation

3.1 General                                            An offset centerline and minor widening may
Delineation is the pavement markings, guide-           help accomplish the proper lane assignments.
posts, and raised pavement markers used on             Stopbars are to be included at all signalized
and adjacent to the roadway to define vehicular        intersections with or without crosswalks. At
travel paths. The MUTCD, Design Manual,                nonsignalized intersections stopbars are neces-
and Standard Plans provide delineation                 sary on the stop sign control approaches when
placement guidelines.                                  crosswalks are not included. Including the
The Roadway Delineation Practices Handbook,            stopbar at stop sign control locations having
published by FHWA, discusses specialized               marked crosswalks is optional.
materials and delineation treatments for unique        B. Interchange Off Ramps
applications and situations. This handbook does
                                                       At either a parallel or a tapered deceleration
not establish policies or standards but is only a
                                                       lane, the MUTCD allows the application of an
reference document.
                                                       optional dotted extension of the main line right
3.2 Pavement Markings                                  edge line through the ramp opening. The dotted
                                                       line is a 2-foot stripe with a 4-foot gap.
Pavement markings are classified as either
longitudinal or transverse. Materials typically        For statewide uniformity, these optional dotted
used for each are paint for longitudinal markings      extensions should only be installed where the
and thermoplastics for transverse markings.            exit ramp is located on a horizontal curve,
Approved sources for thermoplastic materials           except for locations with continuous illu-
are listed in the General Special Provisions. A        mination, and at locations with prevalent foggy
purchase contract is available for the purchase        periods. They are generally not needed at ramps
of paint. Other durable materials are continually      exiting from tangent sections. These markings
being evaluated.                                       are only to be installed as a result of a traffic
                                                       engineering analysis.
A. Intersection Channelization
The MUTCD has a provision that allows                  C. Crosswalks
pavement markings to be extended through an            Marked crosswalks serve to guide pedestrians
intersection where design or visibility conditions     in the proper paths. Crosswalks should only be
make it desirable to provide control through the       marked at locations that are signalized (and
intersection. These markings are only installed        have significant pedestrian volumes), where
as the result of a traffic engineering analysis that   crossing guards are provided, or where pedes-
considers horizontal curvature and other visibil-      trian volumes meet the criteria for signal
ity conditions. For statewide uniformity, the          Warrant 3 in Section 4C-5 of the MUTCD.
dotted line used for this extension is applied as      Crosswalk markings should not be used at
a 2-foot stripe with a 4-foot gap between stripes.     remote locations or where the speed limit
Multilane approaches may provide exclusive or          exceeds 35 miles per hour unless protection
shared lanes for turning and through vehicles.         is provided by a traffic signal or stop sign.
At most intersections through traffic must share       Studies show that marked crosswalks have
a lane with one direction of turning traffic. To       higher accident rates than unmarked crossings,
minimize delay, through traffic should normally        thus crosswalks should not be considered
be combined with right-turning traffic unless          safety devices.
opposite approach geometrics are unfavorable.

Traffic Manual                                                                                   Page 3-1
July 1993

Illumination of marked crosswalks is normally        Concrete barrier is delineated by placing
provided when pedestrian volumes meet the            reflective devices on the face of the barrier
criteria in MUTCD Section 4C-5. When mark-           about 6 inches down from the top. When con-
ings are requested by others and volumes do          crete barrier is placed immediately adjacent to
not meet those requirements, funding and power       the traveled lane, such as in construction zones,
for crosswalk lighting is normally provided by       delineator spacing should be a maximum of
the requestor.                                       40 feet on tangents and 20 feet through curves.

D. No Passing Zone Marking                           3.5 Chevron Alignment Signs
No passing zones are to be established and           Although the Chevron Alignment Sign is
marked on horizontal and vertical curves in          intended to provide additional emphasis and
accordance with the MUTCD.                           guidance for drivers through horizontal curves
State law, in the Rules of the Road RCW              in the roadway, this sign is not a delineator.
46.61.100 - RCW 46.61.165, identifies several        See the MUTCD and the warning sign section
situations with a statutory no passing zone          of this manual for use.
distance such as “. . . when approaching within      3.6 Raised Pavement Markers
100 feet of or transversing any intersection
or railroad crossing . . .” or “. . . the view is    As described in the Design Manual, raised
obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of       pavement markers are extensively used in
any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel . . . .” However,     western Washington to simulate lane lines and
state law does not imply a need to mark no           to supplement painted pavement markings.
passing zones for such situations.                   Maintenance of raised pavement markers is
                                                     discussed in the Maintenance Manual.
3.3 Guideposts
Guideposts, discussed in the MUTCD as                A. Right Edge Lines
delineators, are light retroreflecting devices       The general use of raised reflective pavement
mounted at the side of the roadway to indicate       markers to supplement, or in lieu of, right edge
roadway alignment. They are effective aids for       lines is strongly discouraged. At night, such
night, wet, or other reduced visibility driving      markers can be easily mistaken for lane lines.
conditions and are intended to guide rather
                                                     The State Traffic Engineer has approved the use
than warn motorists.
                                                     of reflective markers to supplement right edge
Guidepost installation and spacing requirements      lines in these locations:
are included in the Standard Plans and the
                                                       • On the taper in lane reduction sections,
Design Manual. The field spacing for guide-
                                                     such as from four lane to two lane.
posts shall be determined from Figure 3-1.
Approved sources for guideposts as well as             • Through sections with reduced lane width,
reflective materials are listed in the General       such as narrow structures.
Special Provisions.
                                                       • At the gore of exit ramps.
3.4 Barrier Delineation                              B. Recessed Markers
Barrier delineation is the extension of guideposts   Recessed reflective markers and recessed lane
through an area of guardrail or concrete barrier.    lines appear to be an effective way to provide
Spacing is the same as for guideposts.               additional centerline and lane line delineation in
Guardrail is delineated by mounting guideposts       areas requiring extensive snow plowing.
on guardrail posts as shown in the Standard

Page 3-2                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                               July 1993

The details for installation of the recessed marker
are contained in the Standard Plans.
Recessed markers and recessed lane lines are
expensive and data is still being collected to
determine effectiveness and expected life. As a
result, the criteria for application and installation
are still subject to change and the State Traffic
Engineer’s office should be contacted when
recessed markers or recessed lane lines are
being considered.
With prior approval of the State Traffic
Engineer, recessed markers may also be installed
on bridges. Currently several alternative methods
are being considered for this application to
minimize the impact on bridge decks.
3.7 Impact Attenuator Marking
The end of impact attenuators adjacent to the
roadway and facing traffic are to be marked
with a modified type 3 object marker. The
design and use of the marker shall be the same
as the MUTCD type 3 marker except that the
attenuator marker shall be square. Attenuators
in gore areas or where traffic may pass on either
side shall have the stripes in a chevron pattern
sloping down from the center of the marker.
These designs are provided in the Sign
Fabrication Manual.


Traffic Manual                                            Page 3-3
July 1993

              Figure 3-1

Page 3-4                   Traffic Manual
                                July 1993
                                                                                Signals and Illumination

Chapter 4                                                  Signals and Illumination

4.1 MUTCD                                            where traffic or physical conditions do not justify
The MUTCD, Section IV, discusses the types           conventional traffic signals but where accident
of signals and their application, and provides       rates above the statewide average for like
warrants and other guidelines used to justify        locations indicate a special hazard.
signal installations.                                The most common application for these beacons
                                                     is at intersections with minor approach stop
4.2 Design Manual                                    control where some approaching vehicles on the
Design Manual Section 335 provides the               controlled legs have failed to stop.
guidelines for signal installations with regard to
                                                     An intersection control beacon should be
state laws, department policies, permit approval
                                                     considered for a problem location only after
procedures, design report requirements, prelimi-
                                                     other remedial measures have been tried and
nary signal plans, phase analysis (level of
                                                     determined to be ineffective based on traffic
service/optimum cycle calculations), detection
                                                     engineering studies.
systems, pedestrian considerations, signal
supports, and contract plan preparation.             Twelve-inch lenses on the intersection control
                                                     beacon may be desirable to enhance visibility at
Special attention should be given to signal permit
                                                     some locations.
applications submitted by local agencies or
developers. The permit application should be         4.5 Audio-Tone Signal Application
submitted to the State Traffic Engineer at least
                                                     Pedestrian crosswalk signals with audio-tone
two months prior to the time the approved permit
                                                     application for the visually handicapped are
is desired. The request can then be processed for
                                                     available, although fairly new on the market. The
approval in a timely manner.
                                                     audio-tone, if installed, should be activated from
See Chapter 6, Traffic Regulations, for the          a push button control mounted on the signal post.
information required as support data which           This will provide audio-tone only when needed.
must accompany permit applications.
                                                     4.6 Illumination
4.3 Flashing Operation                               A. General
Occasionally traffic signals have been, or are,      Transportation facility illumination enhances
installed primarily to reduce intersection delay     visual perception of conditions or features that
during the morning, noon, and evening peak           require additional driver or pedestrian alertness.
hours. These signals may not be warranted            This is accomplished through the use of materi-
during off-peak hours. At locations having           als and techniques that result in optimum energy
fixed time signals, flashing operations may be       efficient illumination designs.
considered for nonpeak hours where there is
significantly larger traffic volumes on the major    B. References
approaches than the minor approaches (i.e.,          Roadway Lighting Handbook, USDOT,
intersections meeting primarily warrant No. 2).      Washington, D.C., December 1978.
If off-peak flashing operations are implemented,     AASHTO Pamphlet, An Informational Guide for
follow-up accident studies should be conducted.      Roadway Lighting.
4.4 Intersection Control Beacons                     WSDOT Directive D22-21 “Truck Weigh
The MUTCD states that intersection control           Stations and Vehicle Inspection Facilities on
beacons are intended for use at intersections        State Highways.”

Traffic Manual                                                                                 Page 4-1
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

National Electrical Code.                               Coefficient of Utilization (CU). The percentage
                                                        of the total light output that actually falls on the
RCW 47.24.020.
                                                        area to be illuminated.
Washington Administrative Code 468-18-040.
                                                        Dirt Factor (DF). A factor used in illumination
C. Definitions                                          calculations to relate the initial illumination
                                                        provided by a clean, new luminaire to the reduced
Area Designations
                                                        illumination caused by dirt accumulation on the
Commercial Area. A district of continuous               luminaire components. A dirt factor of 85 percent
adjacent retail businesses at least 1,000 feet in       is normally used.
length, with lighted store fronts, parking lots, etc.
                                                        Footcandle (fc). The unit of illumination used
Intermediate Area. A partially built-up area            when the foot is the unit of length; the illumina-
consisting of approximately 50 percent adjacent         tion of a surface one square foot in area on which
land use for retail businesses at least 600 feet in     is uniformly distributed a flux of one lumen. A
length, with lighted store fronts, parking lots, etc.   footcandle equals one lumen per square foot.
Residential Area. An area of continuous                     Design footcandles (Dfc). The average light
residences with occasional businesses where the             level on the roadway at the end of rated life.
local street grid has a continuous illumination
system.                                                     Initial footcandles (Ifc). The average light
                                                            level on the roadway after the first 200 hours
Rural Area. Areas not defined as commercial,                of operation.
intermediate, or residential.
                                                        Foot Lambert. A unit of luminance equal to
Ballast. An electrical device which provides the        1/3.14 candela per square foot or to the uniform
necessary voltage, current, and wave form to start      luminance of a perfectly diffusing surface emit-
and operate an electrical discharge lamp.               ting or reflecting light at the rate of one lumen
Basic Illumination. The minimal amount                  per square foot.
of illumination to be provided at certain               Glare. The effect of brightness or brightness
transportation facilities.                              differences within the visual field sufficiently
Basic Interchange Illumination. The minimum             high to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss of
amount of illumination at interchanges which            visual performance.
consists of two luminaires on each single or            Hours of Darkness. The time from sunset
double-lane on ramp, two luminaires on each             to sunrise, inclusive of summer and winter
single-lane off ramp, three luminaires on each          conditions.
double-lane off ramp, and one luminaire at each
ramp-crossroad intersection.                            IES Distribution. Light patterns for luminaires
                                                        consistent with the Illumination Engineering
Candela. A unit of luminous intensity equal to          Society standards for various patterns and
one lumen per steridian.                                distributions.
Candlepower. Luminous intensity expressed               Isolux Diagram. A graphical representation of
in candelas.                                            points of equal illumination connected by a
Contrast Ratio (CR).                                    continuous line. These diagrams usually show
                                                        footcandle values on a horizontal plane from a
    Brightness. The ratio between the                   single unit having a definite mounting height.
    photometric brightness, measured in foot
    lamberts, of any two relatively large areas         Lamp Lumens (LL). The total light output from
    in the field of view.                               a lamp for the position in which the lamp is
                                                        maintained. LL for a standard luminaire is
    Light. The ratio between the maximum and            37,000 lumens.
    minimum light levels of the design zone.

Page 4-2                                                                                      Traffic Manual
                                                                                                   July 1993
                                                                                   Signals and Illumination

Lamp Lumen Depreciation Factor (LF). The               light values when a different mounting height
factor used in illumination calculations to relate     than the one on the isolux curve is used.
initial rated output to the anticipated output at
                                                       Nighttime. The period of time from one-half
replacement time. This factor is 0.73 for high
                                                       hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise
pressure sodium sources. Consult manufacturer’s
                                                       and any other time when persons or objects
data for other sources.
                                                       may not be clearly discernible at a distance of
Light. Radiant energy capable of producing a           500 feet (RCW 46.04.200 Hours of Darkness).
visual sensation.
                                                       Photometrics. The isolux diagram and
Light Standard. A support provided with                coefficient of utilization plot for a particular
necessary attachments for wiring and luminaire         luminaire and light source.
mounting. See Standard Plan J-1.
                                                       Spacing (S). The distance in feet measured on
Lumen. A unit of luminous flux; equal to the           centerline between adjacent luminaires. Spacing
flux emitted through a unit solid angle (one           (S) is equal to the lamp lumens (LL) times the
steridian) from a uniform point light source of        coefficient of utilization (CU) times the mainte-
one candela.                                           nance factor (MF) divided by the width (W) and
                                                       the design footcandle value (Dfc).
Luminance. In roadway lighting luminance is the
reflected light from the pavement surface that is      Security Lighting. The techniques of providing
visible to the motorist’s eye.                         low level lighting for public safety or theft
                                                       reduction. Security lighting is not subject to any
Luminaire. The complete lighting unit inclusive
                                                       lighting uniformity requirements.
of the lamp or light source; the optical system for
the control of the light distribution; and the         Uniformity Ratio (UR). The ratio of the average
ballast for electrical regulation. The standard        light level on a section to the weak point light
luminaire is a cobra head fixture with a Type III      level of the same section for those applications
medium cutoff distribution, a 310 watt lamp and        when uniformity rates applies. The minimum
a flat glass refractor. Decorative cutoff fixtures     uniformity rates are 4:1 approaching 1:1. Unifor-
may be considered for parking area applications.       mity ratio requirements do not apply to security
                                                       or single source applications.
Maintenance Factor (MF). The percentage of
light degeneration through the life of the lamp        Walkway. The connection between two areas
equal to the product of the lamp lumen deprecia-       over which the user is required to travel in order
tion factor (LF) times the dirt factor (DF). The LF    to utilize available services. Typical examples are
for high pressure sodium lamps is 62 percent.          as follows:
Major Parking Lot. Major parking lots for park           • Walkways between parking areas and rest
and ride, carpool, and ferry terminal facilities are   room buildings at rest areas.
those with nighttime usage exceeding 50 vehicles
                                                         • Walkways between drop-off or pick-up
during the nighttime peak hour.
                                                       points and bus loading areas at flyer stops.
Mounting Height (MH). The vertical distance
                                                         • Walkways between parking areas and bus
between the surface to be illuminated and the
                                                       loading areas.
center of the light source of the luminaire.
Standard mounting height is 40 feet. When              For the purpose of this section bicycle trails,
nonstandard luminaires are approved, the               walking trails, pet trails, etc., are not considered
mounting heights noted in Figure 4-5 are               walkways.
recommended.                                           Weak Point Light (WPL). The lowest light level
Mounting Height Factor (MHF). A factor used            within the area being illuminated. The minimum
in illumination uniformity calculations to correct     WPL is 0.2 footcandles for applications where
                                                       uniformity criteria applies.

Traffic Manual                                                                                      Page 4-3
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

Width of the area to be illuminated. This              whether approval by the State Traffic Engineer is
measurement is from edge of traveled way to            required.
edge of traveled way for highway lighting
                                                       Approval by the State Traffic Engineer is
                                                       required for illuminating the following facilities:
D. Approval Requirements                                 • All highways with or without access control.
1. General. WSDOT is responsible for                     • Unsignalized or unchannelized intersections.
illumination on state highways with access
control regardless of location and for illumina-         • Tunnels, underpasses, and lids.
tion of highways without access control located          • Bridges.
outside of the corporate limits of any city. Cities
are responsible for illumination of state highways     Illumination of the following facilities will not
without access control located within their            require the State Traffic Engineer’s approval.
corporate limits. In cities with a population under      • Construction zones.
22,500 where the state is responsible for signal-
ization, the state may assume responsibility for         • Detours.
illumination installed on signal standards in the        • Railroad crossings without gates or signals.
interest of reducing intersection clutter.
                                                         • Walkways.
When the State Traffic Engineer’s approval is
required, it will be obtained through the design         • Bicycle trails.
deviation approval process. See Design Manual,           • Minor parking lots.
Chapter 330.
                                                         • Pavement transitions, including drop lanes.
2. Basic Illumination. Basic illumination is
                                                       4. Nonstandard Features. Approval by the
required at the following facilities:
                                                       State Traffic Engineer is required for any pro-
  • Freeway ramp gore areas.                           posal that incorporates lighting equipment or
  • Ramp terminals.                                    features other than those identified as standard
                                                       in the Traffic Manual.
  • Channelized intersections.
                                                       E. Warrants
  • Signalized intersections.
                                                       1. General. Proposals to install additional
  • Railroad crossings with gates or signals           lighting at basic illumination locations and to
provided there is nighttime train traffic.             illuminate other locations requires satisfying
  • Loading areas at flyer stops.                      the warranting conditions listed below. When
                                                       volumes are used to determine the level of
  • Major parking lots.                                service, the counts should be taken during the
  • Rest areas.                                        nighttime peak hour.
  • Scale platforms at weigh stations.                 Peaking characteristics in urban areas are related
                                                       to clock time. Traffic counts taken during
Any proposal that provides less than or more           daylight hours after 4:30 p.m. and before
than basic illumination at these facilities requires   7:30 a.m. may be used to satisfy nighttime
approval of the State Traffic Engineer. Basic          volume warrants providing seasonal adjustment
illumination applications are shown on Fig-            factors have been applied to demonstrate warrant
ures 4-1, 4-2, and 4-3.                                satisfaction for the applicable portions of the
3. Illumination Beyond Basic Levels.                   months of November, December, and January.
Illumination at the locations listed below is          When accidents are used to warrant illumination,
divided into two categories depending on               the ratio of nighttime to daytime accidents
                                                       should be at least 1.5 times higher than the

Page 4-4                                                                                     Traffic Manual
                                                                                                  July 1993
                                                                                 Signals and Illumination

average for similar locations, and a study should    of service is D or the nighttime accident warrant
indicate that illumination will result in a reduc-   is satisfied.
tion in nighttime accidents. When comparing
                                                     4. Intersections. Illumination of unsignalized
similar locations, volumes, speed, land use, and
                                                     and unchannelized intersections is warranted if
access control should be similar.
                                                     channelization warrants are satisfied or the
2. Highways With Access Control. All                 nighttime accident warrant is satisfied.
roadways within the limits of access control are
                                                     5. Tunnels, Underpasses, and Lids. Daytime
covered in this category and include mainline,
                                                     illumination is warranted if portal conditions
ramps, and crossroads.
                                                     result in a condition where brightness reduction
    a. Mainline. Illumination is warranted           is greater than 15 times and the length to vertical
    when the nighttime peak hour level of            clearance ratio is ten to one or greater.
    service is D or below and any two of the
                                                     6. Construction Zones. Illumination may be
    following conditions occur:
                                                     warranted if construction activities take place on
      • Three or more successive interchanges        the roadway at night.
    are located within an average spacing of
                                                     7. Detours. Illumination is warranted if detour
    11⁄2 miles or less.
                                                     alignment and grade are unusual or result in
      • The segment is in an urban area.             unexpected maneuvers.
      • The nighttime accident warrant is            8. Minor Parking Lots. Security lighting is
    satisfied.                                       warranted if vandalism or security problems have
                                                     developed or are anticipated.
    b. Ramps. Illumination is warranted when
    any of the following conditions occur:           9. Bridges. Warrants for illuminating bridges
                                                     are the same as those for highways with or
      • Nighttime peak hour level of service is D
                                                     without access control, whichever is applicable.
    or worse.
                                                     10. Railroad Crossing Without Gates or
      • Complex ramp alignment and grade.
                                                     Signals. Illumination of these facilities is war-
      • There are routine queues of five or more     ranted if there are potential nighttime accidents.
    vehicles per lane during darkness due to         The extent of nighttime train activity should be
    traffic control features at the ramp terminal.   taken into consideration. Also, if there is the
      • The exit advisory speed is more than         probability that railroad cars may be stopped on
    20 mph below the posted mainline speed.          the crossing during the nighttime, lighting should
                                                     be considered.
      • The nighttime accident warrant is satis-
    fied.                                            11. Walkways and Trails. Security lighting is
                                                     warranted if security problems have developed or
    c. Crossroads. Illumination is warranted if      are anticipated.
    any of the following conditions occur:
                                                     F. Design Report
      • Nighttime peak hour level of service is D
    or below.                                        The design report shall note the following:

      • The nighttime accident warrant is              • The facilities where basic illumination is
    satisfied.                                       proposed.

3. Highways Without Access Control.                     • Justification for any proposal to install less
Illumination is warranted if the segment is          than or more than the lighting required for basic
classified as commercial and the nighttime level     illumination.
                                                        • Justification for any proposal to install
                                                     illumination at other highway facilities.

Traffic Manual                                                                                   Page 4-5
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

  • The status of existing illumination before,           tunnels on continuously illuminated road-
during, and after construction.                           ways should be approximately two times, but
                                                          not exceeding three times, the light level
G. Design Criteria                                        required on the roadway outside the tunnel.
1. Roadway Light Levels. Design light levels              Nighttime light levels in short tunnels on
are indicated in Figure 4-4. These levels are the         noncontinuously illuminated roadways
minimum average levels to be provided on the              should be consistent with Figure 4-4.
roadway at end of rated lamp life for applications
                                                          b. Long tunnels have a portal to portal
requiring a spacing calculation. Light level
                                                          length greater than the wet pavement stop-
requirements do not apply to single source or
                                                          ping sight distance. Long tunnels are divided
security level installations.
                                                          into zones for the determination of daytime
When illumination is proposed for a roadway               light levels. Each zone is equal in length to
with a radius of 450 feet or less, it may be              the wet pavement stopping sight distance.
necessary to reduce spacing, thereby increasing           The entrance zone beginning point is usually
the average light level in order to achieve               taken to be a point outside the portal where
uniformity ratio requirements.                            the motorist’s view is confined to the
                                                          predominance of the darkened tunnel
Light levels at railroad crossing shall be
consistent with the area classification and
highway functional classification.                        The entrance zone light level is dependent
                                                          upon the brightness of the features within the
2. Nonhighway Light Levels. Average,
                                                          motorist’s view on the portal approach. The
maintained end-of-rated-life light levels for
                                                          brightness level is defined as the average
various types of nonhighway facilities are
                                                          brightness measured over a 20 degree cone at
indicated in Figure 4-4.
                                                          a point 500 feet in advance of the portal. The
Security light levels are defined as follows:             entrance zone light level produced within the
  • Park and ride lots, ferry terminal parking            tunnel must be sufficient to provide a bright-
lots. Approximately one-fourth of the luminaires          ness level of approximately 1⁄15 of the
required for full illumination are left on.               measured portal brightness, after adjustment
                                                          for the reflectivity of the roadway, walls, and
  • Rest area parking areas. Typically two                ceiling.
luminaires per parking area.
                                                          Successive zones should have a daytime light
  • Walkways. Luminaires provided at angle                level of 1⁄15 of the previous zone light level
points and shadow areas.                                  until a minimum value of 5 foot candles
  • Bus loading zone. One luminaire in the                is achieved.
immediate vicinity of the loading zone.                   Requirements for nighttime light levels for
  • Weight stations. One luminaire at the public          long tunnels are the same as those noted for
telephone, if any.                                        short tunnels.

3.   Light Levels for Special Applications.           4. Control Requirements. The control
                                                      requirements for various types of illumination
     a. Short tunnels and underpasses with            systems will vary with the application as follows:
     length to vertical clearance ratios of 10:1 or
     less will normally not require daytime               a. Continuous Nighttime Operation.
     illumination. Short tunnels with length to           Controls for continuous nighttime operation
     vertical clearance ratios greater than 10:1          will normally consist of a photocell for
     will be treated the same as an entrance zone         sunset turn-on and sunrise turn-off. The
     on a long tunnel to establish daytime light          following types of applications will have
     levels. Nighttime light levels in short              controls for continuous nighttime operations.

Page 4-6                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                                July 1993
                                                                                    Signals and Illumination

      • All basic interchange illumination on                on and sunrise turn-off along with another
    access controlled highways.                              mechanism capable of providing independent
                                                             nighttime turn-on and turn-off. This mecha-
      • All illumination in excess of basic levels
                                                             nism will override photocell control on a
    that was installed by special condition
                                                             regular basis, during periods of low use. If
    warrant on access controlled highways.
                                                             requested by the WSP, manual switching
      • Illumination at intersections.                       may be provided inside scale houses at truck
      • Illumination at railroad crossings.                  weigh stations. The following applications
                                                             will require this type of control:
      • Security lighting at bus loading zones at
    park and ride lots, and at flyer stops.                    • Illumination in excess of security levels
                                                             in parking areas at park and ride lots, ferry
      • Security lighting in parking areas at park           terminals, and pool-it lots.
    and ride lots, ferry terminals, and pool-it lots.
                                                               • Illumination in excess of security levels
      • Illumination for walkways at park and                at bus loading areas at park and ride lots and
    ride lots, flyer stops, ferry terminals, and rest        flyer stops.
                                                               • Illumination in excess of security levels
      • Illumination for parking areas and                   at truck weigh stations.
    conflict points at rest areas.
                                                             d. Special Applications. Some special
      • Detour illumination.                                 applications, such as tunnels with daytime
      • Construction illumination.                           lighting, will require special controls. Cir-
                                                             cuits for fixtures providing nighttime light
      • Illumination installed on nonaccess                  levels will be energized continuously
    controlled highways by accident warrant.                 throughout the day. Minimum daytime
      • The single luminaire in the vicinity of              light levels, entrance zone light levels, and
    the public telephone at truck weigh stations.            any subsequent zone light levels will be
                                                             accomplished with fixtures in addition to
    b. Continuous Nighttime Operation With                   continuously burning nighttime light level
    Reduction Capability. Controls for these                 fixtures. In most cases, fixtures providing
    applications will normally consist of a                  light levels in addition to minimum daytime
    photocell control for sunset turn-on and                 light levels will be provided with controls so
    sunrise turn-off along with another mecha-               that reduced light levels can be achieved
    nism capable of providing independent                    during periods when the portal brightness is
    nighttime turn-off and turn-on. This mecha-              less than the design value.
    nism will override photocell control only
    during periods of energy crisis. The follow-        5.   Wiring Design.
    ing applications will require this type of               a. Line Loss. Line loss is the voltage drop
    control:                                                 between the electrical service and the electri-
      • Illumination in excess of basic levels on            cal load. Line loss usually controls wire size
    access controlled highways.                              determination rather than the allowable
                                                             ampacities listed in Chapter 3 of the National
      • Illumination in excess of basic levels               Electric Code. For design purposes, allow-
    installed on ramp segments because of                    able line loss is assumed to be a function of
    nighttime backups that routinely occur due to            the stage of plan development and the ballast
    ramp terminal intersection control.                      characteristics of the luminaire being uti-
    c. Noncontinuous Nighttime Operations.                   lized. See Figure 4-6 for allowable line loss
    Controls for these applications will normally            and lamp load factor requirements.
    consist of a photocell control for sunset turn-

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 4-7
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

    Loads shall be determined by dividing the          • Behind traffic barrier provided the traffic
    lamp wattage by the voltage and then multi-      barrier is warranted for reasons other than the
    plying by the appropriate lamp load factor.      luminaire support installation.
    Construction illumination circuits and other     Fixed based may be considered for roadways
    temporary circuits that are both installed and   with speeds under 30 mph with considerable
    removed on the same contract may be              adjacent pedestrian activity.
    designed for 10 percent line loss.
                                                     9. Overcurrent Devices. Branch breakers are
    b. Voltages. Illumination systems should         to be sized to carry 140 percent minimum of the
    operate on 240 or 480 volts, single phase.       computed illumination load. Loads should be
                                                     computed in accordance with the lamp load
    c. Wire Size. The minimum wire used by
                                                     factors noted in Figure 4-6.
    any illumination circuit is No. 8, except for
    the No. 10 pole and bracket cable included       Main breakers are to be sized to carry
    within the light standard. The ampacity of       140 percent minimum of the computed
    the wire, exclusive of pole and bracket cable    illumination load in addition to 125 percent
    which is protected by fusing, shall equal or     minimum of all other loads on the service. The
    exceed the branch breaker rating.                minimum size main breaker shall be 60 AMP.
    d. Wire Type. With the exception of              Lighting contactors are used to switch the light-
    temporary aerial installations where alumi-      ing circuits. Lighting contactors shall be rated to
    num conductors are allowed, all wiring from      equal or exceed the branch breaker rating for the
    the service on shall be copper.                  circuit it switches. Lighting contactors are
                                                     available in 30, 60, and 100 AMP ratings.
6. Conduit. Conduits carrying illumination
circuits are to be sized to provide 26 percent       H. Example Applications
fill, maximum, with 11⁄4-inch minimum size
under all roadways and 1 inch minimum size at        1. Spacing and Uniformity Ratio
other locations.                                     Calculation. Determine the spacing and
                                                     uniformity ratio for the intersection in Figure
7. Luminaire Support Locations. Luminaire            4-7. Channelization is painted, highway class is
supports will normally be located 16 feet from       other, and area classification is intermediate.
the edge of the traveled lane pavement on the        Utilize standard luminaires, standard mounting
right of the roadway with respect to the driving     height and standard base location.
                                                     Design values are:
8. Base Types. Luminaire supports are in-
stalled with either fixed base or slip base. The       • Approach Design Footcandles (Dfc) = 0.8 fc,
pole schedule in the plans should indicate the       Figures 4-3 and 4-4.
required base type. Fixed bases are installed at       • Intersection Design Footcandles (Dfc) = 1.5
locations where it is either unwarranted or          x 0.8 fc = 1.2 fc, Figure 4-4.
undesirable to install a slip base. Locations
where fixed bases are normally installed are:          • Uniformity Ratio (UR) = 4:1.

  • Parking areas.                                     • Weak Point Light (WPL) = 0.2 fc.

  • Where the support location is outside the          • Mounting Height (MH) = 40 feet.
clear zone.                                            • Luminaire = 310 watt high pressure sodium.
  • Median lighting applications where the             • Dirt Factor (DF) = 0.85.
luminaire support is mounted on cast-in-place
median barrier.

Page 4-8                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                               July 1993
                                                                                 Signals and Illumination

  • Lamp Lumen Depreciation Factor (LF) =                                         37, 000 × MF × MHF
0.73.                                                   WPL = chart value × 2 ×
                                                                                          1, 000
  • Maintenance Factor (MF) = DC x LF = 0.85
                                                     The mounting height correction factor (MHF) is
x 0.73 = 0.62.
                                                     0.56 from Figure 4-8.
  • Roadway Width (W) = 39 feet, Figure 4-7.             WPL = 0.035 × 2 × 37 × 0.62 × 0.56 = 0.9 fc
  • Initial Lamp Lumens (LL) = 37,000 lumen.                  Dfc     1.27
                                                         UR =      =        = 1. 4:1 OK
The formula for spacing is:                                   WPL 0.9fc

       LL × CU × MF                                  Light standard A can now be located as indicated
    S=                                               on Figure 4-7.
         Dfc × W
    S   = Spacing                                    Check to see if 0.2 fc is provided at the left turn
    LL = Initial Lamp Lumens                         lane full width point.
    CU = Coefficient of Utilization
                                                         135 ft/40 ft = 3.37 MH
    MF = Maintenance Factor
    Dfc = Design Footcandles                         Entering Figure 4-8 a chart value of 0.008fc is
    W = Roadway Width                                determined. WPL = 0.008 x 37 x 0.62 x 0.56 =
                                                     0.10 fc
The CU is determined from the utilization curve
on Figure 4-8. The ratio of transverse width         Since 0.10 fc is less than 0.20 fc, additional light
(TW) to mounting height (MH) is 39/40 or 0.97.       standards will be required to illuminate the
From Figure 4-8 the CU is 0.26.                      approach. A new calculation is required since the
                                                     design light level on the approach is 0.8 fc versus
Spacing for the intersection can now be
                                                     1.2 fc for the intersection.
                                                              37, 000 × 0.26 × 0.62
         37, 000 × 0.26 × 0.62                           X=                         = 191 feet
    S=                         = 127 feet                           39 × 0.8
               1.2 × 39
                                                     Round to 190 feet and adjust Dfc
Round odd spacing down to the nearest 10 foot
increment, therefore, S = 120 feet. Reducing                         191
                                                         Dfc = 0.8       = 0.80 fc
spacing increases Dfc. The adjusted Dfc is:                          190
                  127                                Check WPL at half spacing in the center of
    Dfc = 1.2 ×       = 1.27 fc
                  120                                the roadway.
Check uniformity at mid spacing in center of         Entering Figure 4-8 at 190 (2 x 40) or 2.37
the roadway.                                         longitudinal and 39 / (2 x 40) or 0.48 transverse
                                                     yields a chart value of 0.017. WPL = 0.017 x 2 x
    UR =                                             37 x 0.62 x 0.56 or 0.44 fc.
The weak point light is determined by entering           UR =         or 1.8:1
                                                                0. 44
the isocandle curves on Figure 4-8.
                                                     Locate luminaires C & D at 190 feet spacing.
The ratio of transverse distance to mounting
height at midpoint is 39/(2x40) = 0.48. The ratio    2. Line Loss Calculation. Determine the
of longitudinal distance to mounting height is       wiring requirements for the circuit in Figure 4-9.
120/(2x40) = 1.5. From Figure 4-8 a value of         The wiring is installed in conduit and conductors
0.035 is determined. This value must be doubled      are copper. Ultimate loads are known. Service
since two luminaires are contributing light on the   voltage is 240. Luminaires are 310 watt high-
point. The value must also be adjusted for the       pressure sodium vapor. From Figure 4-6 the
lumen output of the lamp, the lamp maintenance       lamp load factor is 1.2 and the maximum
(MF) and for mounting height correction (MHF).       allowable line loss is 8 percent.

Traffic Manual                                                                                   Page 4-9
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

The load at each luminaire is:
    310 watts x 1.2 = 1.55 amps
    240 volts
The maximum voltage drop is:
    240 volts x 0.08 = 19.2 volts
Line loss is computed in ampere-feet and is the
current in the circuit times the distance to the
load. Typically the circuit segments with the
greatest length and load will control. On this
basis the line loss table in Figure 4-11 can be
computed. The circuit segment from Luminaire 1
to the service has the highest line loss.
First check No. 8 wiring. From Figure 4-12, the
line loss is:
      10,000   amp-ft   =   15.0 volts
       4,000   amp-ft   =    6.0 volts
         800   amp-ft   =    1.2 volts
Total 14,800   amp-ft   =   22.2 volts > 19.2 volts. Not good.
Try changing the wiring from the service to
Luminaire 5 to No. 6 wire with the remainder
No. 8 wire.
    Service to 5 (10,850 amp-ft) No. 6
                   10,000       amp-ft = 9.7 volts
                       900      amp-ft = 0.9 volts
    Total          10,900       amp-ft = 10.6 volts
    5 to 1 (14,800 - 10,900            = 3,900 amp-ft) No. 8
                     3,000      amp-ft = 4.5 volts
                       900      amp-ft = 1.4 volts
    Total            3,900      amp-ft = 5.9 volts

The line loss to Luminaire 1 is:
    10.6 + 5.9 = 16.5 volts which is less than
    19.2 volts maximum allowed.
Final wire sizes are shown in Figure 4-10.


Page 4-10                                                        Traffic Manual
                                                                      July 1993
                              Signals and Illumination

                 Figure 4-1

Traffic Manual                              Page 4-11
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

                           Figure 4-2

Page 4-12                               Traffic Manual
                                             July 1993
                              Signals and Illumination

                 Figure 4-3

Traffic Manual                              Page 4-13
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

       Average Maintained Horizontal Illumination Levels (Foot Candles)

                                       Highway Applications

                                                          Area Classification

       Highway Class              Commercial         Intermediate         Residential           Rural

  Full Access Cont. - Divided          0.6*                0.6*               0.6*              0.6*

             Arterials                 1.6                 1.2                0.8*              0.6*

               Other                   1.0                 0.8*               0.6*              0.6*

      Construction Lanes
         and Detours                   1.0                 1.0                1.0               1.0

                                    Non-Highway Applications

                                     Parking            Loading                                Weight
                                      Areas              Areas             Walkways            Scales

       Park & Ride Lots                 0.8                   2.0              0.8               N.A.

            Flyer Stops                N.A.                   2.0              0.8               N.A.

        Ferry Terminals                 0.8                   2.0              0.8               N.A.

            Rest Areas            2 Luminaires            N.A.           Security Level          N.A.

            Pool-It Lots                0.8               N.A.                N.A.               N.A.

        Weigh Stations                None                N.A.                N.A.           2 Luminaires

*Increase light level by 50 percent at intersections where more than one light standard is installed.

                                                 Figure 4-4

Page 4-14                                                                                     Traffic Manual
                                                                                                   July 1993
                                                                        Signals and Illumination

                          Recommended Mounting Heights

                                   High Pressue Sodium
                         Wattage                Mounting Height (Ft)
                            70                                20
                           100                                25
                           200                                30
                           250                                35
                           310                                40
                           400                                50
                          1000                               100

                    Line Loss and Lamp Load Factor Requirements

                                                              Maximum Line Loss

                              Lamp                  Ultimate Loads       Ultimate Loads
       Lamp                Load Factor                  Known               Unknown

 High Pressure Sodium            1.2                         8%                  5%

     Metal Halide                1.2                         8%                  5%

    Mercury Vapor                1.1                     10%                     5%

                                       Figures 4-5 and 4-6

Traffic Manual                                                                        Page 4-15
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

                           Figure 4-7

Page 4-16                               Traffic Manual
                                             July 1993
                              Signals and Illumination

                 Figure 4-8

Traffic Manual                              Page 4-17
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

                           Figures 4-9 and 4-10

Page 4-18                                         Traffic Manual
                                                       July 1993
                                                                     Signals and Illumination

                                  Line Loss Table

                 Load (A)   ∑ Loads (A)     Distance (D)     AxD                ∑ AD
 Load No.         AMPS        (AMPS)            (FT)       (AMP-FT)          (AMP-FT)

     1             1.55         1.55             250          390                 390

     2             1.55         3.10             250          780                1170

     3             1.55         4.65             250         1,160              2,330

     4             1.55         6.20             250         1,550              3,880

   5-6-7           4.65        10.85           1,000        10,850             14,730

  Service                                                                    Say 14, 800

     7             1.55         1.55             250          390                 390

     6             1.55         3.10             500         1,550              1,940

 5-4-3-2-1         7.75        10.85           1,000        10,850             12,790

  Service                                                                    Say 12,800

                                       Figure 4-11

Traffic Manual                                                                     Page 4-19
July 1993
Signals and Illumination

                           Voltage Drop for Aluminum Conductors
             (Aerial Installation only, underground installation prohibited)
                   Power Factor 100 Percent Single Phase … 2 Wire

                                         Figure 4-12

Page 4-20                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                July 1993
                                                             Signals and Illumination

                     Voltage Drop for Copper Conductors
                         (In Conduit or Aerial Installtion)
                 Power Factor 100 Percent Single Phase … 2 Wire

                                   Figure 4-13

Traffic Manual                                                             Page 4-21
July 1993
                                                                              Work Zone Traffic Control

Chapter 5                                                Work Zone Traffic Control

5.1    General                                        A. Traffic Control Features
Work zone traffic control is a major aspect of        1. Lane Geometry. The approach lane width
any roadway project. It must be designed from         should be equaled or exceeded throughout the
the motorists point of view to provide the motor-     connection. The minimum allowable lane width
ists with the necessary information to proceed in     is 10 feet. Design the lane and the lane width
a safe and orderly manner through a construction      reductions prior to any lane shifts within the
or maintenance work zone which may have               transition area.
unexpected roadway conditions, changes in             Every effort should be made to maintain an
alignment, and temporary roadside obstacles           approach speed that matches the design speed of
relating to the work activity. The sudden transi-     the facility. Where this is not possible, a 10 mph
tion to tighter geometrics and the closer             reduced speed advisory, posted with a warning
proximity of traffic control must be incorporated     sign which tells the driver of the hazard, is
into the work area in a manner that will minimize     considered maximum per speed change. Design
driver uncertainty. Effective work zone traffic       for the highest design speed allowed with respect
control is the result of strategy planning, plan      to curve radii. Curve radii and lane width should
development and preparation, and field applica-       not be reduced simultaneously.
tions. The goal of any work zone traffic control
plan is to allow no reduction in the level of         The objective is to use lane geometrics that will
service for traffic.                                  be clear to the driver and keep the vehicle in the
                                                      intended lane. Lane lines and construction joints
TCP (Traffic Control Plans) must be included in       must be treated to provide a smooth flow through
the PS&E to provide for the orderly movement          the transition area. It may also be necessary to
of vehicular and pedestrian traffic through           modify or remove other existing traffic control
construction and maintenance areas.                   devices.
No single standard sequence of signs or other         2. Physical Barriers. There are three types
traffic control devices can be used as an inflex-     of barrier protection used in construction
ible arrangement for all situations due to the        workzones: water-filled barriers, moveable
variety of roadway and traffic conditions that        barrier, and concrete barriers. Several items as
may be present in a roadway project. A TCP that       summarized below must be considered when
adequately address the variables motorists will       determining their use.
encounter on each specific project are generally
preferred                                             Water-filled Barriers:
                                                       • Short-term projects (zero to three days) for a
5.2    Principles
                                                      minimum 100-foot length.
Guidelines for TCPs are found in Section VI of
the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices           • Do not use in lane transitions until further
(MUTCD). Section VI details the fundamental           testing has been done or unless the situation
principles of temporary traffic control, including    meets with manufacturer’s specifications. In the
the design and erection of signing, traffic control   case of an open construction work area, use in
layout, pavement markings, delineation, lighting,     conjunction with TMAs.
and flagging standards. This chapter sets forth         • Evaluate risk and site conditions and if used,
specific principles for designing traffic control.    follow manufacturer’s guidelines and specifica-
                                                      tions. Provide chart for Washington State
                                                      Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 5-1
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Work Zone Traffic Control

designers to use which shows deflection based         In areas where temporary concrete barriers
on speed of vehicle.                                  cannot be installed, drums, cones, barricades, or
                                                      vertical panels can be used as an acceptable
Moveable Barriers:                                    alternate. However, temporary concrete barriers
  • High volume traffic conditions with very          must be used in the transition areas between
short-term lane closures.                             multilane and two-lane, two-way roadways, and
  • Continuous operation over extended period         as described in (c) above.
of time, where there is a need to get the lane back   Exposed ends of concrete barriers must be
in operation at some point in the day. (Could be      located outside the clear zone and adequately
used in lieu of reduced lane widths or lane           flared, or have a crashworthy end treatment.
reduction, i.e., HOV lane additions; wall next
                                                      Where drums, cones, etc., are used, consistent
to roadway.)
                                                      patterns of the devices are important to help
Temporary Concrete Barriers:                          alleviate driver confusion. Random mixing
   • High speed roadways and areas where there        of these devices at any given location is
is a high potential for injury to workers (i.e.,      undesirable.
internal lane work).                                  Where positive barriers are not used throughout a
  • Work zones in “no escape” areas such as           two-way connection, warning lights may be used
tunnels, bridges, lane expansion work, etc.           to mark opposing traffic separation devices.

  • Long term, stationary jobs (work that occu-       3. Illumination. Full lighting is normally
pies a location more than three days).                provided through traffic control areas where
                                                      power is available. Illumination will be placed
  • Worker and traveling public exposure              in accordance with Chapter 840 of the Design
considerations such as high speed and volume          Manual.
of traffic, when workers are not protected by
vehicle, and in proximity to traffic (concrete        4. Delineation. Removable temporary or
slab repair in freeways).                             painted lane lines and edge lines are normally
                                                      used to delineate the roadway. These pavement
Temporary concrete barriers are normally              markings are preferred for shifts in travelway
installed for:                                        alignment. Type 2 raised pavement markers and
    a. The operation of opposing traffic where        guideposts may be used to accentuate the lane
    two-way traffic must be maintained on one         and edge lines in illuminated areas.
    roadway of a normally divided highway for         In areas where power for illumination is not
    an extended period of time.                       available, reflective devices must be used to
    b. The separation of opposing traffic where       delineate the traveled way for nighttime driving.
    a four-lane divided highway transitions to a      Guideposts provide eye-level delineation, while
    two-lane, two-way roadway that is being           Type 2 raised pavement markers provide lane
    upgraded to become a divided four-lane            line delineation. Reflective devices are also
    roadway.                                          installed on temporary concrete barriers used in
                                                      transition areas and/or to separate opposing
    c. Projects where existing safety features        traffic.
    such as bridge rail or guardrail are removed.
                                                      When concrete barrier is used, lateral clearance
A 2-foot minimum shy distance is normally             markers may be installed at the barrier’s angle
provided between the lane edge and the near           points and at other locations along the barrier
edge of the separation barrier.                       where additional delineation may be needed.
It may be necessary to utilize a portion of the       Pavement marking arrows are placed in lanes to
roadway shoulder to provide the roadway width         indicate direction of travel.
needed for the barrier use.

Page 5-2                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                            Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                                  Work Zone Traffic Control

Delineation guidelines are shown in Chapter 830          • Where significant queuing and delays
of the Design Manual.                                  are expected.
5. Speed Limit or Speed Advisory Signing.                • Where adverse environmental conditions
As part of the design process for construction         are present.
and projects for maintenance, speed reductions
                                                         • Where there are changes in alignment or
are an option requiring a thorough traffic analy-
                                                       surface conditions.
sis conducted prior to making a change. For
emergency and other necessary speed reductions,          • To provide advance notice of ramp, lane,
guidelines are outlined in RCW 47.38.020,              or roadway closures.
WSDOT Construction Manual, and Directive                 • For accident or incident management.
D 55-20 “Reduced Speed in Maintenance and
Construction Zones.”                                   Operators must always be aware of what the
                                                       arrow board is displaying. Keep displays appro-
When a change of speed is necessary, a request         priate and when not needed, turn them off. For
for change of speed limit must be submitted to         instance, when the vehicle or arrow board is
the regional Traffic Control Engineer. When            placed on the right shoulder, never display the
regulatory speed limit reduction or advisory           “right arrow” because it would move people off
speed signing is necessary, use the letters “XX”       the shoulder/road and be potentially hazardous to
to represent the speed limit on the TCP. The           drivers/workers. This also applies to “left arrow”
actual posted speed indicated on the signs is          usage in the left lane/shoulder placement.
determined prior to opening the temporary
connection.                                            Make messages clear and brief. Keep messages
                                                       to a maximum of two panels. If special messages
Some items to consider when reducing speeds            are necessary, be consistent with conventional
in work zones because of worker safety include:        signs and standards normally used. Whenever
  • Post speed limit signs in the work zone.           possible, use the pre-programmed “canned”
When speed limit is lowered and enforced               messages that the VMS is equipped with.
(monitored by WSP/local law enforcement),              7. Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMAs).
ensure work zone is adequately signed.                 Items to consider for determining TMA use:
  • Post regulatory speed limit signs for work           • Speed of Traffic: Higher operating speeds
hours only (identify hours when the limit is in        leave less time for response, and impacts at
effect if condition for speed limit reduction is not   higher speeds generally result in more severe
present when work is not being conducted).             injuries and damage. Therefore, activities on
Remove signs when reduced speed limit is not           facilities with high speed limits are likely to
in affect.                                             entail more frequent and more severe incidents
  • Use variable message signs more frequently         than are activities on facilities with low
(as a supplement to standard signs) to display         speed limits.
either advisory speeds or regulatory speed limits        • Type of activity: moving, intermittent,
and explain the activity requiring the reduction.      or stationary.
6. Variable Message Signs. Per the MUTCD,                • Duration of project.
the primary purpose of VMS in temporary traffic
control zones is to advise the driver of unex-           • Roadway environment: access controlled vs.
pected traffic and routing situations. Some            non-access controlled, urban vs. rural; and
typical situations can include the following:          geometrics of roadway. Access controlled
                                                       facilities frequently give drivers a false sense
  • Where speed of traffic is expected to drop         of security resulting in a lower expectation of
substantially.                                         interruptions to free traffic flow. Therefore,

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 5-3
Interim Draft — August 1994
Work Zone Traffic Control

activities on freeways may be more likely to           • Slow Traffic – Do not rely solely on flaggers
become involved in incidents than are activities     to slow the traffic; supplement with traffic
on non-access controlled facilities where most       control set up (i.e., simplify traffic flow, restrict
drivers are operating at a higher state of           traffic flow).
                                                       • Direct Traffic – The flagger is sometimes
 • Traffic volumes which relate directly to          necessary to keep traffic from following work
worker exposure.                                     vehicles into the work zone. They are responsible
                                                     for redirecting vehicles back into the flow of
  • Exposure to special hazards: Operations
                                                     traffic safely.
involving personnel on foot or located in
exposed positions on or within work vehicles           • Stop Traffic.
(for example, on the platform of a cone pickup
                                                     9. Use of Enhanced Enforcement. For use of
truck or in a lift-bucket performing overhead
                                                     enforcement, the initial determination should be
operations) are particularly susceptible to high
                                                     based on engineering judgment (between mainte-
severity incidents.
                                                     nance/construction office and district traffic
  • Location of work area: Locations of primary      office) considering the type of construction
concern are those within the traveled lanes and      activity, complexity of the traffic control plan,
those within all-weather frequently used shoul-      possible speed reduction needs, traffic volumes,
ders. Activities taking place within the traveled    nighttime work activity, geometric conditions,
lanes are more likely to become involved in an       associated cost for use of enforcement (cost
incident than are shoulder activities.               benefit analysis), and actual traffic problems
                                                     observed as the work progresses.
Some suggested priorities for the application of
truck-mounted attenuators are contained in           Enhanced enforcement in the work zone is
Figure 5-2.                                          recommended to:
8. Use of Flaggers. Flaggers should be                 • Provide single stationary patrol car for work
employed only when all other methods of traffic      zones where the work area is less than 1,000 feet
control are inadequate to warn and direct traffic.   in length. (This is the length of the actual work
They should be used prudently when signing and       area and excludes the advance warning, taper,
other methods cannot work. The use of more           and buffer spaces before and after the actual
innovative, restrictive, traffic control methods     work zone.)
such as signs, signals, channelization, etc.,
                                                       • Provide two or more stationary patrol
should be considered.
                                                     vehicles for work zones with a work area greater
Flaggers must be part of an approved Traffic         than 1,000 feet in length. (This is the length of
Control Plan and included in the initial design.     the actual work area excluding the advance
                                                     warning, taper, and buffer spaces before and
On high speed locations, post speed advisory
                                                     after the actual work zone). The WSP stated that
plaques with appropriate warning signs and other
                                                     use of two troopers (one set up at the start of the
innovative traffic control methods, preceding
                                                     project who would radio to the trooper at the end
flaggers, to slow the traffic down and to let
                                                     of the project) works best for enforcement. One
drivers know there are people ahead.
                                                     trooper would be available to transport individu-
Flaggers should not be used when there is no         als as needed and one trooper would remain to
intention to control traffic.                        cover the work zone.
Use of flaggers should be consistent between         B. Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
regions/offices/locations for like jobs. For
                                                     Special consideration must be given to the safe
instance, use flaggers for the following
                                                     accommodation of pedestrians when the work
                                                     zone encroaches upon a sidewalk, crosswalk, or
                                                     other areas used by the pedestrian.

Page 5-4                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                            Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                               Work Zone Traffic Control

Where walkways are closed by construction or          of these categories. The following is a general-
maintenance, provide an alternate walkway when        ized description of the characteristics for these
feasible. Where it is necessary to divert pedestri-   three types of work zones.
ans into the parking lane of a street, provide
                                                      1. Short-Term Stationary. In this type of
barricades and delineation to separate the pedes-
                                                      work zone, situations exist where the work
trian walkway from the adjacent traffic lane.
                                                      activity is of a very short time, such as, picking
Pedestrians should not be diverted into a portion
                                                      up obstacles or inspecting a culvert for debris.
of the street used for vehicular traffic. At loca-
                                                      For these very short-time work periods, a flash-
tions where adjacent alternate walkways cannot
                                                      ing/rotating beacon in addition to the vehicle’s
be provided, post appropriate signs at the limits
                                                      four-way flashers may give drivers, approaching
of construction and in advance of the closure at
                                                      on sections of highway that have no restrictions
the nearest crosswalk or intersection to divert
                                                      to sight distance, adequate warning. When the
pedestrians across the street.
                                                      driver’s sight distance is obscured by roadside
When overhead work could endanger                     obstacles or the roadway geometry, appropriate
pedestrians, it may be necessary to install a         advance warning signs, and/or other traffic
fixed pedestrian walkway of the fence or canopy       control devices, are required.
type to protect and control pedestrians. In such
                                                      Advance warning signs should be used if the
cases, wood and chain link fencing can be used
                                                      short-term activity is repetitive after moving only
with warning lights and illumination to warn and
                                                      a short distance. The signs selected should be
guide both pedestrians and motorists.
                                                      appropriate for the operation and the signs
Fences around a construction area are often           should be moved ahead as required in order to
necessary. They are constructed in conjunction        maintain an appropriate spacing between the
with a special pedestrian walkway around deep         warning signs and the activity. The maximum
excavations, or when pedestrian access to the job     advisable distance between the advance warning
site is not desirable. Installation of such fencing   signs and the work activity is one mile.
must consider relocation of existing control
                                                      2. Continuous Moving. Continuous moving
devices and facilities such as traffic signals,
                                                      work areas are activities where work is being
pedestrian signals, traffic signs, and parking
                                                      done while the equipment is moving either
meters. Open mesh or other suitable fencing may
                                                      beside or on the traveled lanes of the highway.
be needed at intersections to ensure adequate
                                                      Included in this category would be striping,
sight distance.
                                                      roadside spraying, sweeping, and other similar
When the work zone encroaches upon a bicycle          tasks.
path, an alternate route should be considered and
                                                      The advance warning signs used for moving
provided for cyclists where feasible. Bicycles
                                                      operations can be mounted on the shoulder or
should not normally be directed into the same
                                                      on a shadow vehicle, or both. Shadow vehicles
path used by pedestrians. See Part IX of the
                                                      should carry a sign which describes the work
MUTCD for details on bicycle traffic control.
                                                      ahead and warning lights. If the shadow vehicle
Appropriate considerations should be made for         must encroach on the traveled lane, a flashing
traffic control operations that are conducted         arrow board should be used. Whether the ad-
during the hours of darkness.                         vance warning signs are ground mounted on the
                                                      roadside shoulder or mounted on shadow ve-
C. Types of Work Zones                                hicles, the signs should be moved ahead as
Anticipated work zones are categorized as:            required in order to maintain an appropriate
(1) Short-Term Stationary, (2) Continuous             distance between the signs and the work activity.
Moving, and (3) Long-Term Stationary. Differ-         The maximum advisable distance between the
ent criteria will apply to the design and planning    advance warning signs and the continually
of the necessary traffic control measures for each    moving work activity is one mile.

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 5-5
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Work Zone Traffic Control

    On Multi-Lane Highways                            If ramps, structures or intersections are to be
                                                      temporarily closed, signs giving advance notice
    The requirements for traffic control during
                                                      of the closure dates and times are necessary so
    moving operations on multi-lane highways
                                                      commuting motorists have the option of selecting
    are similar to those for stationary operations.
                                                      alternate routes. The advance notice should be
    If work vehicles must encroach on the
                                                      placed a minimum of seven days in advance of
    traveled way, a flashing arrow board should
                                                      the closure.
    be used while working on multi-lane
    highways.                                         5.3    Strategy Planning
    An advance warning sign which describes           On construction projects, the design report
    the operation should be mounted on a              establishes the parameters for the project’s
    separate or shadow vehicle. The distance          specific needs. At that time such items as lane
    between the shadow vehicle and the work           restrictions and closures, working hours, ramp
    vehicle can vary but it should not be so great    closures, detour options, and other possibilities
    that traffic has the tendency to pull back into   should be considered. On low volume rural
    the lane behind the work vehicle where the        highways, traffic control procedures may be
    work is being done.                               simple to develop; whereas, traffic control
    On Two-Lane Highways                              procedures on limited access, multi-lane, high
                                                      volume routes can be complex and require
    Moving operations on two-lane highways            extensive planning.
    can basically be handled in the same manner
    as on multi-lane highways with the exception      From this strategy the Work Zone Traffic
    that a flashing arrow board should never be       Control Plan is developed to identify the type
    used in the arrow or directional mode.            and location of devices (signs, pavement mark-
    Advance warning signs should be placed            ings, delineation, and flaggers) required to
    on the roadway shoulder or on a shadow            adequately inform the motorists of the situation.
    vehicle.                                          The keys to strategy planning for traffic control
3. Long-Term Stationary. Traffic control              on any public roadway, whether rural roads,
plans developed for long-term stationary opera-       urban streets, or freeways are the traffic, with
tions address each anticipated work situation that    considerations for both volume and types of
encroaches into the traveled lanes or shoulders.      vehicles, and the roadway characteristics. Care-
The considerations for those traffic control plans    ful consideration should be given to the effect the
should include all traffic entering the work zone     traffic control will have on the traffic flow in the
from driveways, intersections, ramps, and the         work area and on the adjacent roadways. Traffic
main roadway. The plans should also consider          volumes, along with the speed and classification
how traffic will leave the work area and re-enter     of vehicles, express the character of the traffic to
the main traffic stream or leave by the way of an     be encountered. Hourly volumes show the
intersection or off-ramp.                             periods of heavy traffic which should be avoided
                                                      or that will require special treatment. Any
Detour routes should be given special                 restrictions, such as lane closures, and the hours
consideration when directing traffic through          for those restrictions can then be established by
urban areas. Local jurisdictions are to be con-       the District Traffic Engineer. Special attention
sulted when detoured traffic must use local           should be directed to bicycles and over-sized
streets and roads. Also, advise local emergency       vehicles and the detouring of those vehicles
services, transit and major traffic generators,       which may be necessary. Figure 5-1 is a general-
such as airports and port facilities, about any       ized checklist intended to assist in strategic
detour routes.                                        planning and does not necessarily contain all the
                                                      elements for consideration.

Page 5-6                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                            Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                                Work Zone Traffic Control

5.4    Plan Preparation                                on the project unless the roadway and the work
To aid in the preparation of traffic control plans,    operation is repetitive and each location is
the Traffic Control Zone is divided into traffic       similar in character.
control areas or elements. These individual            There are a number of typical traffic control
traffic control areas or elements are used to          situations stored in a CADD file. These figures
develop the complete traffic control plan.             are not intended to be standard control plans for
                                                       any given operation. They are shown only as
A. The Traffic Control Zone                            examples for the situations depicted and are to be
The traffic control zone is the section of street or   used as aids in the development of traffic control
highway having traffic control devices warning         plans.
motorists of upcoming conditions or to guide
                                                       The traffic control devices shown in each area or
motorists through a construction or maintenance
                                                       element of the traffic control zone are available
operation. Complex projects may have more than
                                                       in a “CEL” library for CADD or PC Microstation
one traffic control zone, one for each operation
                                                       and can be placed directly on the plan sheets
which may be going on at any one time. The
                                                       drawn in either one of these systems.
traffic control zone extends from the first
advance warning sign to the last sign which            Roadway plan sheets for the project should be
indicates the end of the traffic control zone.         used in preparing the traffic control plan. This
                                                       provides the scale drawing of the roadway
The traffic control zone typically consists of five
                                                       section needed to establish proper placement for
areas (illustrated in Figure 5-2):
                                                       the signs and devices. Signs and devices can then
1. Advance Warning Area. The area of initial           be placed on the plan sheet in their proper
warning and communication with the driver.             locations by using the CADD. An on-site review
2. Transition Area. The area where lane                of the area is recommended, since many charac-
closure tapers and detours transition traffic to       teristics cannot be determined from a drawing.
the paths required for travel through or around        Give special attention to existing signs which are
the work area.                                         to be maintained during the work activity that
                                                       could conflict with or obstruct the view of the
3. Buffer Area. The area in advance of the             traffic control signs. All features and characteris-
work area which provides a margin of safety for        tics which will have an effect on the movement
both traffic and the workers.                          of traffic within and adjacent to the traffic
4. Work Area. The area where the operation or          control zone should be included in the plan.
activity is taking place.                              The drawings of sample situations included in
5. Termination Area. The area which provides           the CADD file can be used as guidelines for
a short distance for traffic to clear the work area    the selection and placement of traffic control
and to return to normal traffic lanes.                 devices. The unique characteristics of the spe-
                                                       cific work area should be individually addressed.
B. Plan Development                                    Those features may include side roads, drive-
The work zone traffic control strategies are to be     ways, ramps, commercial approaches, bus stops,
identified early in the design of a project in         bridges or areas which have no shoulders (which
accordance with Section 8.10 of the Design             make temporary sign placement difficult),
Manual. Plan development begins with a review          substandard roadway width, vertical or horizon-
of the strategy contained in the design report.        tal alignment which will affect the sight distance
The supporting data should be checked and any          of approaching traffic, add-lanes, drop-lanes,
changes in roadway or traffic characteristics          railroad crossings, regulatory traffic controls, or
should be taken into consideration while prepar-       any other characteristics which differ from the
ing the traffic control plan. Site specific traffic    examples shown in the sample drawings or the
control is to be prepared for each work operation      standard plans.

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 5-7
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Work Zone Traffic Control

The traffic control devices shown on traffic           channelization which the driver must follow,
control plans should clearly and concisely give        the next upstream element to be designed is the
the motorists information needed to adjust their       Transition Area.
speed and travel direction through the work area.
                                                       3. Transition Area. This is the area where
The prepared plans should include any special
                                                       normal traffic flow is transitioned or shifted to
signs for situations in which standard signs do
                                                       the path it must follow around or through the
not give accurate information and should be
                                                       work area. No parking of vehicles or storage
supplied as an item in the contract. The use of
                                                       should be permitted in the transition area. Lane
special signs should be kept to a minimum and
                                                       closure and traffic shift taper lengths are estab-
used only where necessary. The Headquarters
                                                       lished to recommended minimums depending on
Traffic Office should be consulted regarding the
                                                       the speed limit of the highway and width of the
use of special signs. Signing should be as spe-
                                                       traveled lane. Formulas for determining a taper
cific as possible and always relate to the
                                                       length are found in Part VI of the MUTCD and a
immediate situation to be encountered.
                                                       chart for determining taper lengths is available in
1. Work Area. Although the work area is not            the CADD file.
the first area of a traffic control zone encountered
                                                       4. Advance Warning Area. Upstream from
by a motorist, it is the area that must be consid-
                                                       the transition area is the advance warning area
ered first when developing traffic control plans.
                                                       that gives the oncoming driver information
Traffic control requirements for all the other
                                                       about the situation ahead. Messages used on the
traffic control zone areas are determined by the
                                                       advance warning signs will depend on the type of
location of the work area and type of activity
                                                       transition ahead. Sign messages which give the
taking place within that area. The other areas of
                                                       driver clear and concise information are the most
traffic control will then be designed to comple-
ment the activities and channelization
requirements within the work area.                     5. Termination Area. The final area of traffic
                                                       control to be designed is the termination area.
Identifying the work requirements in the work
                                                       This is the area which gives the driver notifica-
area, such as which lanes need to be closed,
                                                       tion that the temporary traffic control situation
exposure to drop-offs, obstacles created, and
                                                       is ended. Terminal notification is generally
equipment considerations will indicate what kind
                                                       accomplished with a sign such as “END
of traffic control or warning devices will be
                                                       CONSTRUCTION” or may be indicated with
required in advance. With an understanding of
                                                       channelizing devices which indicate the conclu-
the kind of work to be done, the designer then
                                                       sion of the road work situation and a transition
works back to the next element of traffic control
                                                       back to normal alignment.
which is the buffer area.
                                                       6. Other Considerations. Planning temporary
2. Buffer Area. The buffer area is a safety
                                                       traffic control area by area has distinct advan-
area but it can have other uses. Vehicles hauling
                                                       tages, especially for complex situations. For
material can be parked in the buffer area for
                                                       instance, if a flagger is needed in advance of the
short periods of time during the work day. This
                                                       work area, the buffer space should be lengthened
area should never be used as a material or
                                                       to provide space for a secondary warning area
equipment storage area unless the traffic is
                                                       where warning signs for the flagging situation
protected by a temporary barrier. The buffer
                                                       would be placed. Roadway features can affect
area allows the driver to become accustomed to
                                                       the traffic control in many ways. For example, an
the channelization and to recognize the path
                                                       on-ramp or side road which enters the highway
of channelization they will follow through the
                                                       within the proposed transition area will require
work area.
                                                       special treatment. In such situations advance
After the desirable length of the buffer area is       warning signs should be installed on the ramp or
determined, by considering the number of               side road and the transition area might have to be
vehicles which might be parked there and the

Page 5-8                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                             Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                                 Work Zone Traffic Control

relocated to provide a well channelized path for        be conducted by the individual designated as the
all vehicles.                                           “responsible person” for the project’s traffic
                                                        control to check the installation and position of
After locations for the work site traffic control
                                                        the signs and other devices; and, to determine if
have been established, project signing such as
                                                        the overall configuration of the traffic control
“Road Construction Ahead,” “Road Construction
                                                        relays clear, concise information to the reason-
Next XX Miles” (if required by the length of the
                                                        able motorist. Special attention should be given
project), and “End Construction” may be added
                                                        to the traffic control for overlapping and poten-
to the plan.
                                                        tially conflicting traffic control zones. If the
The time of day when most drivers will encoun-          traffic control plan is going to remain in effect
ter the traffic control should be considered while      during the hours of darkness, a drive-through
preparing the plans. If traffic control will be in      inspection is to be made after sunset to ensure
effect during nighttime hours, the signs and            that all devices meet the requirements for
devices might need to be supplemented with              reflectorization, proper position, and that the
lights to increase perception and credibility.          messages are clearly legible. The night review
During a nighttime field review, give consider-         should also ensure work area flood lights and
ation to the area’s background lighting from            flashing arrow boards do not blind approaching
adjacent facilities and advertising signs which         motorists.
are competing for the driver’s recognition.
                                                        Periodic reviews (twice daily is recommended
Warning signs and channelization devices should         for long-term traffic control) of the traffic control
be positioned in a sequence which can be recog-         devices should be made to verify the adequacy
nized and respected by the driver. In order to          of the traffic control and to identify any needed
assure proper application, conduct a visualization      revisions. Additional night reviews may be
review of the signs and devices on the plans from       necessary to confirm that the devices are clean
a reasonable driver’s point of view. Make sure          and that the reflectorized qualities of the signs
that the messages and devices are appropriate for       and devices are being maintained. These reviews
each situation the reasonable driver will face.         should be documented. Particular attention
Temporary concrete barriers and barrier end             should be given to motorist’s reaction through or
protection are to be shown on the traffic control       around the work area and if there appears to be
plans.                                                  confusion, additional reviews should be initiated.
                                                        The documentation refers to both the location,
5.5    Work Zone Operations                             appropriateness and condition of the signs or
After traffic control plans based on strategy from      devices. Devices are to be replaced as necessary
the design report are reviewed by the District          when their appearance and condition dictate. A
Traffic Engineer, traffic control can be put into       form to document the traffic control reviews is
operation on the project.                               useful and most districts or project offices have
                                                        developed their own forms for this purpose. A
A drive through inspection of the project to
                                                        photo or video inventory of the work zone traffic
compare actual field conditions, prior to install-
                                                        control may be used to supplement documenta-
ing the traffic control, can identify characteristics
                                                        tion. If photos or video are used, supplemental
which might require adjustments on the traffic
                                                        inventory information should be referenced in
control plan. Aspects of the plan that are not
                                                        the project documentation.
appropriate for the field conditions should be
revised. Any modifications to the traffic control       Should an accident occur on the project or within
plan should be documented. Section 1 of the             the work area, a review of the traffic control plan
Construction Manual gives additional guidelines         and the devices should be made and documented
for effective traffic control.                          as soon as possible. This review should be done
                                                        not only to see if the devices are in place as
Immediately after the traffic control is laid out on
                                                        shown on the plan, but also to determine if the
the roadway, a drive-through inspection should

Traffic Manual                                                                                     Page 5-9
Interim Draft — August 1994
Work Zone Traffic Control

devices are adequate or if the plan should be
revised in light of experience. Each field office
should have a procedure for analyzing accidents
which take place with the limits of the project.
Formal communications with the Washington
State Patrol must be established at the pre-
construction stage and arrangements made to
receive copies of accident reports in a timely
manner. Occasional contact with WSP for
their perception of the traffic flow through the
construction area can be beneficial.
If any assistance is desired at any stage of traffic
control plan development, consult the District
Traffic Engineer’s office. Each district traffic
engineer’s office should have a traffic control
specialist to review and provide guidance in the
preparation of the traffic control plans for the
PS&E, to review traffic control in the field, and
to have the authority to approve revisions to the
traffic control plans.

Page 5-10                                                            Traffic Manual
                                                       Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                                    Work Zone Traffic Control

                        Traffic Control Planning and Strategy Check List
                                                   Figure 5-1

The following is a list of things to consider when
designing construction traffic control and writing
traffic control specifications.                             • Determine if liquidated damages or
Effective traffic control is integrated into the          incentives for early completion should be
project early in the design and planning process.         included in the special provisions.
Traffic control will often determine the staging          Step 2 — Strategy Or “How Can This Thing
of a project and will always effect the project           Be Built?”
                                                          If the roadway must remain open during
Step 1 — To Close Or Not To Close                         construction, determine how to build the project
                                                          with the least possible impact on traffic.
Closing the roadway or ramp is the most
desirable option. This usually lowers construc-           1. Read any District policy about lane closures
tion costs, decreases contract time and increases         or restrictions.
worker safety.                                            2. Determine the volumes of traffic on the
Roadway closure can be considered if an                   facility and the hours of high volume.
alternate route is available. The alternate route         3. Determine if long duration lane closures are
must carry the additional traffic volumes and any         needed. Some construction activities that require
weight or height restrictions must be considered.         long closures are:
For the traveling public, closing the road for a                Concrete panel replacement
short time may be less inconvenient than having
the road under construction for a long time.                    Bridge overlays

Consider the following while determining if a                   Major excavations in the roadway
road should be closed.                                          Large continuous concrete pours
1.   Is there an available detour route?                  4. Determine the hours of restriction — the
2. Can the proposed detour carry the additional           hours that lanes and shoulders must be open and
traffic?                                                  clear for traffic.
3. Will businesses or residences be isolated if           For a quick analysis, assume the following
the road is closed? If so, is there an alternate          volumes of vehicles per hour in urban
access point.                                             construction areas:
If a complete closure is possible, do the                       1400 Veh/hr/lane on controlled access
following:                                                      highways
  • Get the approval of the governing agency to                 600 Veh/hr/lane on undivided rural and
use the proposed detour route.                                  suburban highways.

  • Meet with the community and businesses to                   (any signals will lower the capacity)
discuss the roadway closure. Find resolutions to          When determining the hours of restriction, check
the community’s concerns. This may mean                   the local noise ordinances and determine what
leaving the roadway open during construction.             construction work can be done at night. Loud
  • Determine the maximum number of                       construction work, such as pile driving, is
allowable days of closure and incorporate                 prohibited at night in many areas. For work that
this into the special provisions.                         is prohibited from being done at night, provisions

Traffic Manual                                                                                      Page 5-11
Interim Draft — August 1994
Work Zone Traffic Control

must be made for daytime work. Avoid engine            8. Study the project and determine if traffic
powered generators for VMS or arrow panels in          control or lane closures are needed on adjoining
residential areas during night-work, if possible.      roads. Adjoining roads include frontage roads,
                                                       intersections, overcrossings, and undercrossings.
Be sure to consider holiday weekends, special
                                                       Some examples are:
events, and regular weekend traffic when
determining the hours of restriction.                    • Low clearance because of bridge falsework.
Also, consider the impact on private or                  • Long-term lane closures for bridge falsework
commercial driveways or road access.                   and substructure excavation.
5. Determine if there should be liquidated               • Short- and long-term lane closures on
damages in excess of the standard specification        frontage roads because of retaining wall
amount. Determine if there should be contract          construction.
incentives for early completion of the project.
                                                         • Placement of “Road Construction Ahead”
Determine the amounts of each of these.
                                                       signs and other warning signs.
6. Study the project and determine how it could
                                                         • Short-term access closures for paving
be built. Is it possible to build the project within
the restrictions stated? Is staging necessary?
                                                       If traffic control is needed on facilities that are
Staging a project can be as simple as deciding
                                                       not state highways, get permission to use the
one lane must be paved at a time. Staging is a
                                                       facility from the governing agency.
suggested way of building the project, not the
only way to build a project. By staging the            9. Determine if there are any areas that
project we determine:                                  construction vehicles cannot safely leave or enter
                                                       the highway because of limited sight distance.
  • If our traffic control special provisions are
                                                       Label these areas on the traffic control plans.
                                                       10. Work zone sites exhibiting one or more of
  • The approximate duration of lane closures.
                                                       the following characteristics should be reviewed
  • If temporary structures and detours are            for possible enhanced enforcement needs:
                                                         • Sites where “excessive speeding” is
  • If existing utility systems can remain             observed or could be anticipated within the
operational during construction, or will they          construction zone. Based on a study conducted
have to be relocated/replaced. (Examples:              by the California Department of Transportation
signals, electrical, drainage)                         (Caltrans), “speeding” and speed-related
                                                       measures were identified as the primary factor
  • If the work areas are adequate. (Examples:
                                                       affecting work zone safety. While sufficient
storage space for equipment and materials, space
                                                       warning of desirable travel speeds through the
to load/unload trucks.)
                                                       work zone may be placed in compliance with the
7. Incorporate into the project design ways of         MUTCD, driver acceptance and compliance with
lessening the traffic impact. Some examples are:       the advisory speeds is, in many cases, poor. The
    A. Use precast concrete or steel girders           use of increased enforcement to “command”
    instead of cast-in-place concrete for              adherence to the speed limit has been shown to
    structures over main traffic lanes.                be effective in maintaining these speeds, as
                                                       evidenced by the findings in the literature review
    B. Specify materials that have faster cure         and interviews with the Caltrans and California
    times than conventional materials.                 Highway Patrol (CHP) personnel.
    C. Building detours and improving                    • Sites where a reduced speed limit is
    alternate routes in order to carry the             recommended. The purpose of a reduced
    increased traffic volumes.                         regulatory speed limit within a construction zone

Page 5-12                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                              Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                               Work Zone Traffic Control

is based on a perceived need, such as reducing        sites exhibiting a “high” accident rate prior to
travel speeds prior to diverting or detouring         construction (under normal field conditions) may
traffic, reducing speeds adjacent to unprotected      require supplemental traffic control in the form
construction workers. For a complete discussion,      of enhanced enforcement in order to minimize
refer to D 55-20. Based on the findings from the      accidents during construction. Oftentimes, site
study sources, adherence to reduced speed limits      characteristics (horizontal and vertical curvature,
is, in many cases, poor. To ensure adherence to       geometrics, access) prior to construction are a
the speed limit, enhanced enforcement may be          major factor in the level of pre-construction
necessary.                                            accident activity. The presence of construction
                                                      activity may worsen the impact of these
  • Sites having a complex traffic plan or
multiple phases to the plan. Sites with traffic
control plans having a number of traffic diver-         • Sites having high volume conditions
sions, lane closures, or traffic restrictions         and/or limited roadway capacity. Construction
requiring a number of decisions by motorists,         activity resulting in significant reductions in the
particularly in a short distance, are highly          available roadway capacity can have a dramatic
susceptible to increased accident activity. Much      impact on travel speeds and congestion in an
of this activity may be attributed to motorist’s      area. To aid in maintaining an acceptable level of
indecision through the area, to differentials in      traffic operations, selective enforcement through
travel speeds through the site, and to the lack of    the work zone may be desirable. The enforce-
adherence to speed controls in the area. Past         ment may take the form of traffic control/
efforts have shown that enhanced enforcement,         flagging or the visible presence of police
through manual control/flagging or a visible          officers and vehicles.
presence, have resulted in smoother, more
                                                        • Sites planned for nighttime construction.
efficient traffic flow through the work zone.
                                                      Research has identified safety problems associ-
Typically, a lower level of accident activity
                                                      ated with nighttime work in construction areas.
has resulted.
                                                      Increased distraction to motorists, unique con-
In addition, construction projects requiring          struction lighting needs, reduced perception
multiple traffic control phases are shown to          levels by motorists, sub-optimal traffic controls,
exhibit greater accident activity than those          as well as excessive travel speeds for the condi-
containing a single phase. Much of this may be        tions through the work zone contribute to the
attributed to the driver indecision associated with   increased accident activity. The use of enhanced
“learning” a new traffic pattern each time a new      enforcement to “alert” motorists to the need for
traffic control phase occurs. As the requirements     increased caution and to enforce excessive
for the motorists’ decision-making increases          speeding in the area can be extremely valuable
between subsequent phases, accident activity is       in maintaining safety during nighttime
also likely to increase. The use of enhanced          construction activities.
enforcement to supplement the existing traffic
                                                      The safety impact associated with nighttime
controls has an “alerting” effect, helping motor-
                                                      travel through work zones with no construction
ists recognize field changes and the need for
                                                      activity presents a similar problem. Faced with
increased safety through the area. Use of
                                                      similar field situations as identified above (e.g.,
enhanced enforcement for a specific time period
                                                      reduced perception levels by motorist, sub-
following traffic control phase changes has been
                                                      optimal traffic controls, excessive speeding),
found to be effective.
                                                      accident activity through the work zone during
  • Sites currently exhibiting a “high”               nighttime conditions has exhibited major
accident rate. Based on research, accident rates      increases over nighttime conditions prior to
during the construction activity typically increase   construction, particularly where traffic move-
over the pre-construction accident rate. As such,     ment through the area drastically differs from

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 5-13
Interim Draft — August 1994
Work Zone Traffic Control

the “normal” condition. Enhanced enforcement          conditions and are likely to become lax in
measures have been shown to aid safety in these       maintaining safe driving practices. Examples
situations.                                           of such practices can include speeding or unsafe
                                                      lane changes. At this location, there is a need to
   • Sites involving short-term activities. Past
                                                      reinforce safe driving techniques and motorists’
studies have shown that the most critical safety
                                                      caution within the work zone. Proper placement
period for work zones is the initial implementa-
                                                      of enhanced enforcement personnel are included
tion period. Motorists accustomed to driving
                                                      in a later portion of this section.
through an area with no restrictions are forced to
adhere to restrictions and “unfamiliar” situations      • Sites requiring incident management.
that did not exist previously. Driver indecision is   Where immediate response to freeway incidents
at its peak and driver compliance to regulations      (accidents, breakdowns) is desirable in order to
varies sharply. As a result, increased accident       reduce traffic delays and additional traffic
activity typically results. As drivers become         accidents, the use of enhanced enforcement
more familiar with the field conditions, the level    techniques is beneficial. Numerous studies
of accident activity typically is reduced. For        have documented the benefits associated with
short-term project activities (less than one day),    improved response times to freeway incidents.
little or no adjustment period exists. The accident   These benefits have often led to the implementa-
activity can be quite high, particularly for field    tion of freeway surveillance techniques. On-site
situations requiring traffic diversions, detours or   availability of enhanced enforcement personnel
lane reductions. Enhanced enforcement for these       at areas where quick response is critical (high
conditions may be warranted.                          volume corridors, peak period conditions, limited
                                                      off-road space) is desirable.
  • Sites with restricted geometrics. Where
steep grades, sharp curves, narrow lanes, or            • Sites where workers are not protected by
other abnormal field conditions exist, enhanced       barrier. Situations falling under this heading
enforcement to supplement the traffic controls        generally include only those work areas where
per the MUTCD may be necessary. Sites with            personnel must work within 10 feet of the
restricted geometrics can exhibit accident rates      traveled way. Having an officer on the site can,
higher than normal. The use of enhanced               as stated before, keep the drivers more “alert”
enforcement can reduce the anticipated                and attentive, increasing the safety margin for
accident levels.                                      both the workers and the drivers.
  • Sites in areas during periods of poor             11. Determine traffic control concerns that
weather conditions. In areas where weather            should be addressed in the special provisions.
conditions such as snow, fog, ice, and heavy          Examples are:
rain are anticipated to occur during periods of
                                                        • Abrupt lane edges
construction activity, enhanced enforcement
services during these conditions would be               • Installation of sign bridges
beneficial. The visible presence of enforcement         • Rolling slow-down operations for short time
personnel would serve to ‘“alert” motorists to        complete closures of a highway.
the potential hazards and need for driver caution
through the area. Most construction projects shut
down during adverse weather conditions.               5:P3:TM1

  • Sites extending for long distances (>1/2
mile). Past studies show that in long construction
zones, a location within the zone exists in where
motorists become “comfortable” with field

Page 5-14                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                            Interim Draft — August 1994
                                                                 Work Zone Traffic Control

                                      Figure 5-2

         Suggested Priorities for the Application of Truck-Mounted Attenuators

Traffic Manual                                                                  Page 5-15
Interim Draft — August 1994
                                  CHAPTER 6

                             TRAFFIC REGULATIONS


Traffic regulations place specific operating restrictions on the use of
the road. RCW 46.61 regulates basic traffic movements on public
roadways with regard to maximum speeds, lane use, and assignment of
right-of-way, and further requires an official action by the
jurisdictional authority where additional regulations are necessary to
enhance safety or operating efficiency on state highways, county roads,
or city streets. Where city streets are part of state highways without
access control, RCW 47.24 requires a concurrent city or town ordinance
for speed limits, parking restrictions, stop control, and turn
prohibitions within the corporate limits.

For state highways, the State Operations and Maintenance Engineer is
delegated authority for approving the following traffic regulations:

 •   Signal permits for new signal installations.

 •   Speed limits below the statutory maximums.

 •   Stop control on state highway approaches to intersections.

 •   Bicycle prohibitions on limited access highways.

 •   HOV lane operations.

For state highways, the district administrators are delegated authority
for approving the following regulations:

 •   Work zone speed limits.

 •   Parking restrictions.

 •   Turn prohibitions.

 •   Fishing from bridges prohibitions.

 •   Pedestrian prohibitions    on   highways   with   partial   and   modified
     access control.

The guidelines in this chapter identify the data to be compiled and
analyzed in preparing traffic regulation submittals. This data helps
achieve uniform statewide consideration and interpretation in obtaining
approval of proposed regulations.

                                     6-1                           April 1989

Permits are required for the following types of signals:

 •   Conventional Traffic Signals

 •   Emergency Vehicle Signals

 •   Intersection Control Beacons

 •   School Signals

 •   Reversible Lane Control Signals

 •   Movable Bridge Signals

 •   Ramp Meter Signals

 •   Hazard Identification       Beacons   installed   overhead     at    an

 •   Temporary or Portable Signals

Emergency vehicle signals require an annual permit renewal. The renewal
is extended by a letter to the permit holder from the district
administrator with a copy to the State Traffic Engineer.

See “Traffic Signal Approval Requirements,” Section 335 of the Design
Manual; and, submit the following information with the signal permit

A.   A vicinity map showing SR/MP location of the intersection. Include
     traffic volume and lane distribution on a detailed sketch, showing
     other data relative to the request. If possible, include photos of
     the intersection and surrounding area.

B.   A complete warrant analysis based on actual traffic volumes per
     MUTCD Section 4C or traffic volume estimate per Design Manual,
     Section 335 if new alignment. Submit a capacity analysis and other
     justification if volume warrants are not met but a signal appears
     necessary to resolve operational problems.

C.   An accident data summary listing for the last three years. State
     whether or not the location is scheduled for improvement in the
     latest priority array. Provide a statement of funding and
     maintenance responsibilities of local agencies if appropriate.

D.   All city/county fire districts and citizen requests       along     with
     copies of other pertinent documents and correspondence.

E.   The history of previously tried corrective countermeasures.

F.   Other supporting data such as proximity to schools,           shopping
     centers, pedestrians traffic, etc., as appropriate.

April 1989                           6-2
For locations where signal removal may be considered, refer to FHWA
publication titled FHWA-IP-80-12 “For Removal of Not Needed Traffic
Signals,” available through headquarters or district traffic engineering


The following information on the existing and proposed speed changes are
to be submitted:

A.   A strip map showing 85th percentile speed locations with SR/MP.
     Show locations of pedestrian walkways, schools, etc., on the strip

B.   If applicable, a brief description on the alignment based on Design
     Manual data. Include geometrics, sight distances, lane widths,
     shoulders, and other data, such as three year accident data which
     may affect the request.

C.   A copy of any required local agency ordinance. Also include copies
     of any citizen petitions or other letters regarding the proposed
     speed zone.

D.   State Patrol and/or local police agency concurrences.

Work zone speed limits are approved by the district administrator as
prescribed in policy Directive 55-20.


Requests for stop control on state highway approaches to intersections
are supported with the following information:

A.   A vicinity map showing SR/MP location of the intersection, together
     with the total traffic volume and approach distributions.

B.   A description of the operational problems, such as limited sight
     distances, which identify the need for stop control. Include a
     history of previously tried corrective measures.

C.   An accident summary listing for the last three years. State
     whether or not the location is scheduled for improvement in the
     latest priority array.

D.   A city or town ordinance is required for city streets which are
     part of state highways. Also includes copies of city, county,
     and/or citizen requests along with other pertinent documents and

E.   Copies of State Patrol and/or local police agency correspondence.

                                   6-3                        April 1989

Provide the following information to support requests for approval of
bicycle regulations:

A.   A vicinity map and strip map showing SR/MP to highlight the area

B.   Descriptions of operational problems (e.g., restricted shoulder
     width, interchange configurations) which identify the need for the

C.   Information and descriptions of alternate routes.

D.   Copies of documents, correspondence, and citizen requests. Include
     the recommendation, if any, of WSDOT’s Bicycling Advisory

E.   State Patrol concurrence.


To support requests for high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane regulations,
provide the following information:

A.   A vicinity map identifying the SR/MP limits           and    showing     the
     locations of ramps within the proposed lane.

B.   The proposed minimum number of occupants per vehicle, and
     engineering documentation to support that minimum. Also show
     projected lane occupancy rates for both the HOV lane and the
     adjacent general purpose lanes.

C.   Identify the types of vehicles to be allowed in the HOV lane.

D.   Copies of design report data if the lane is part of an upcoming
     construction project.

E.   If a shoulder HOV lane is proposed, concurrence from Project
     Development that the shoulder has adequate structural strength must
     be included.


The following information is to be provided in support of requests for
parking regulations:

A.   A detailed strip map of the area showing SR/MP, intersecting streets and
     driveways, and other on-street or off-street parking
     alternatives. Photos are helpful.

B.   Identify the type of restriction       required   (e.g.,    time   of   day,
     mid-block location to corner).

April 1989                          6-4
C.   An analysis of operational problems such as narrow shoulders or
     limited distances that identify the need for the regulation.

     If the regulation is for approval of angle parking by the Secretary
     (see RCW 46.61.575), include a traffic engineering analysis
     regarding safety of operation.

D.   When the request is in cooperation with another agency or includes a city
     street portion of a state highway, obtain copies of all
     related correspondence and required ordinances.

E.   Correspondence or comments regarding adjacent property            owners
     parking requirements and concurrence with the regulation.

F.   Copies of State Patrol and/or local police agency concurrences.

Except for angle parking approval by the Secretary, parking restrictions
are approved by the district administrator.

Within the Department’s park and ride facilities, parking is limited to
48 hours maximum, when posted with signs. This restriction was
established by official calendar action by the State Operations and
Maintenance Engineer on January 8, 1982.


Support requests for turn prohibitions with the following information:

A.   A vicinity map and intersection sketch showing the SR/MP location.
     Also show the traffic volumes with approach lane distributions.
     Photos are helpful.

B.   Descriptions of operational problems, such as lack of adequate gaps
     or pedestrian movements, that identify the need for the regulation.

C.   An accident data summary for the last three years. Consider
     whether or not the location is scheduled for improvement in the
     latest priority array.

D.   A copy of any required local agency ordinance. Also include copies
     of any citizen petitions or other correspondence regarding the

E.   Copies of State Patrol and/or local police agency concurrences.

Turn prohibitions are approved by the district administrator.


The prohibition of fishing from bridges is needed for State Patrol
enforcement. Support information is to include:

A.   A vicinity map showing the SR/MP of the bridge.

                                     6-5                           April 1989
B.     Identification of the magnitude of     the   potentially   hazardous
       condition requiring the prohibition.

C.     Copies of State Patrol concurrence.

Prohibitions of fishing from bridges are approved by the district
administrator. See WAC 468-30-030 for prohibitions adopted by the
Highway Commission prior to transfer of traffic regulation authority to
the department.


Both RCW 46.61.160 and 47.52.025 authorize the Department to prohibit
nonmotorized traffic (e.g., pedestrians) on limited access highways but
do not differentiate between the levels of access control.
WAC 468-58-050 prohibits pedestrians only on highways with full access
control. Thus, traffic regulations are required on highways with
partial and modified access control where it is desirable to prohibit
pedestrian travel.

Prohibitions are appropriate for highways with partial and modified
access control in areas having the appearance of full access control,
areas where parallel pedestrian routes are available, and other areas
where pedestrians on the shoulder create a potential hazard to them-
selves or motor vehicles. These types of considerations are documented
to support requests for pedestrian prohibitions.

Pedestrian prohibitions on highways with partial and modified access
control are approved by the district administrator.


Traffic regulation requests are submitted in writing from the district
traffic engineer to the district administrator for regulations approved
in the district or to the state traffic engineer for regulations
requiring headquarters approval. To support the request, the submittal
letter should provide a summary of the engineering data and other
support data discussed in this chapter.

Traffic regulations, and their approval or denial, are recorded on a
Calendar Agenda form (see Figures 6-1 and 6-2). Informational copies of
completed agendas are exchanged between the headquarters and district
traffic offices and are provided to the Secretary, Assistant Secretary
for Highways, headquarters Location-Design Engineer, and State Patrol,
and to appropriate local agencies for concurrent regulations required by
RCW 47.24.020.

Traffic regulation records are to be permanently retained together with
the supporting engineering data and analysis.

April 1989                           6-6
Figure 6-1

   6-7       April 1989
             Figure 6-2

April 1989      6-8
                               CHAPTER 7
                          SPECIAL HIGHWAY USE


RCW 46.61 prescribes the rights and duties for bicycle and pedestrian
travel an highways, county roads, and city streets, With regard to
bicycle or pedestrian events, traffic control considerations are
essential to minimize potential traffic hazards.

Requests to use state highways for bicycle, running, and walking related
events require written approval from the district to the event sponsor
for events occurring within a district. Headquarters coordinates the
required activities for multi-district events, responding to the
involved districts and the State Patrol. Approvals may be granted after
consideration and documentation of the following guidelines:

A.   Event sponsors should be encouraged to use county roads or city
     streets if at all possible.

B.   Where use of a highway without access control is necessary, there
     should be a detour route available. The detour should be
     satisfactory for through traffic and appropriately signed by the
     local jurisdiction(s). Request for state highway use within
     incorporated areas should receive concurrence from the affected
     city or town.

C.   Sponsor developed traffic control plans must adequately and safely
     accommodate anticipated traffic conditions. Such plans must
     be approved by the district traffic engineer. All traffic control
     devices shall conform to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
     Devices (MUTCD).

D.   The organizers, or sponsors, will prepay all extraordinary costs
     for labor and materials provided by the Department of

E.   The party requesting the state highway use shall notify, at least
     48 hours (preferably seven days) in advance of the event, all local
     fire, ambulance, transit, law enforcement departments, and other
     service oriented activities that could be affected by the event.

F.   The department must be included as an additional insured when
     highway authorities are not specifically named within event
     insurance policies.

Department regulations and policies do not allow bicycling, running, or
walking related events on limited access highways except when prior
approval is granted at locations where no alternate route exists. On an
event basis, written approval by the State Operations and Maintenance
Engineer is required.

                                   7-1                         April 1989
Where a limited access highway has been approved for use, sufficient
lane(s) are to be left open in each direction to allow expected volumes
of traffic to operate without serious congestion. Appropriate traffic
control plans and devices are to be used to enhance safety and to warn
event participants and vehicle drivers of each others presence.

Public information efforts should be commensurate with the anticipated
traffic impacts. The news media should be encouraged to publicize the
event and possible congestion. This can be accomplished by imposing
special requirements for public information on the sponsor, by news
releases or media contacts by WSDOT personnel, or a combination.

Provide informational copies of correspondence related to such events to
the State Traffic Engineer. When these events may affect ferry
operations, contact the Marine Transportation Division.


In accordance with RCW 47.24, district administrators may grant written
approval for suspending banners above state highways without access
control provided that the organizers or sponsors comply with the
following criteria:

A.   A vertical clearance of 20 feet to the bottom of the banner must be
     maintained above the pavement surface.

B.   The banner is located so as not to interfere with, or obstruct the
     view of, any traffic control device.

C.   The banner must be removed within three days after the event is

D.   Banner messages are limited to name, date, and event sponsor.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in future request

The content of the banner message must comply with the requirements of
the Scenic Vistas Act, RCW 47.42. Banners to promote civic events are
permitted only if the profits derived from the activity they promote go
directly to the support of nonprofit organizations.


The Transportation Commission names a highway or bridge by resolution.
The Commission normally will only consider naming a facility upon
receipt of a resolution by the Washington State Legislature. This
practice assures the Commission that: (1) local and state officials
jointly agree the facility should be named, (2) there is agreement on
which name should be used, and (3) residents along the roadway agree.

Plaques or signs memorializing highways or bridges are typically
installed in rest areas, scenic overlooks, recreational areas, or other

April 1989                         7-2
appropriate locations with parking, where the installations are not
visible to mainline traffic.

For locations where there is no appropriate off-the-main-roadway site,
the MUTCD provides that one memorial sign per direction may be erected
along the mainline, independent of other guide and directional signing,
if not adversely compromising the safety or efficiency of traffic flow.


RCW 46.44.030 prescribes that the routes of school buses longer than 36
feet 6 inches upon or across state highways shall be limited as
determined by the Department of Transportation.

Accordingly, all state highways are considered satisfactory as routes
for such school buses except:

 •   Selected highways or segments determined as inappropriate for the
     operation of the buses, because of inadequate turning radius and/or
     related operational characteristics.

 •   Where crossing or left turns onto a multi-lane divided highway
     utilizes a median 50 feet wide or less and a reasonable alternative
     route exists.

Upon request by a school district, an exception to B. above may be
granted by the district administrator for locations where no reasonable
alternate route is available.

Restricted highway segments and intersections on multi-lane highways
having a median width of 50 feet or less are shown in Figure 7-1.


District administrators are authorized to require a pilot car for
overwide loads on a location basis after the following criteria are met:

A.   Notice of the restrictions are provided to the State Operations and
     Maintenance Engineer for dissemination to the permit offices.

B.   Signs are installed giving notice of restriction, identification of
     corridor (milepost) limits and duration of restriction. The signs
     are to be installed at selected locations providing pilot car
     operators safe on/off access to the highway without conflicting
     with other traffic.


Agreement GM 869 between WSDOT and the Washington State Parks and
Recreation Commission provides the procedures and guidelines for
developing and maintaining interpretive signs and markers which depict
the states natural and manmade history.

                                   7-3                       April 1989
April 1989   7-4

Within the provisions of RCW 47.48, WSDOT may close highways in part or
in whole to any class of motor vehicles where such continued use will
damage the roadway or would be dangerous to traffic.

Prior to closing or placing such restrictions, the districts must give
notice of such action by:

A.   Publishing a notice describing the restriction in at least one
     newspaper issue of general circulation in the county, city, or town
     where the restricted highway is located.

B.   Posting notice describing the restriction in a conspicuous place at
     the ends of the highway.

The highway may be closed or restricted no sooner than three days after
such notice and posting occurs.

The districts may implement emergency closures or restrictions
immediately, without prior notice or posting, in accordance with the
procedures in the Maintenance Manual, M 51-01, which also provides
signing guidelines for both nonemergency and emergency closures and


District administrators may execute agreements for special event
directional signing. Special events are activities such as county
fairs, conventions, major sports events, and other large scale spectator

The department will fabricate, install, maintain, and remove signs to
direct motorists to a special event only after:

A.   The agency sponsoring the event submits a written request to the
     applicable district sufficiently in advance of the event to permit
     orderly sign fabrication and installation.

B.   The event is determined by the district to generate sufficient
     traffic to create a hazard or congestion at one or more points
     along a state highway.

C.   The agency sponsoring the event provides copies of agreements with
     local agencies for follow-through directional signing from the
     state highway to the event.

D.   By written agreement, the cost for fabrication, installation,
     maintenance, and removal of the special event signs, is prepaid by
     the sponsoring agency.

When requests for special signing are denied, requestors will be
provided with an explanatory letter from the district administrator. A
copy is to be provided to the State Operations and Maintenance Engineer.

                                   7-5                       April 1989
The installation and removal of special event signs on state highways,
will be accomplished only by the department.


As authorized by RCW 46.61, district administrators may designate
segments of two-lane state highways on which drivers of slow-moving
vehicles may safely drive onto improved shoulders for the purpose of
allowing overtaking vehicles to pass.

The following highway characteristics are required for designating
shoulder driving areas:

A.   A minimum length of 600 feet of paved shoulder must be available.

B.   The structural strength   of   the   paved   shoulder   is   adequate   to
     support driving.

C.   The shoulder width is 8 feet or more; except, shoulder widths of 6
     to 8 feet may be utilized after review of the following

      •   Horizontal and vertical alignment.

      •   Shoulder slope from pavement edge.

      •   Absence of passing opportunities.

      •   Character of traffic (e.g., recreation, logging, or other
          significant volumes of slow-moving traffic).

Refer to Chapter 2, for signing requirements.


A memorandum of understanding between the department and the Washington
State Patrol provides guidance for filming commercial advertisements on
state highways. The department, the State Patrol, and the filming
company enter into a written agreement (see Figure 7-2) that authorizes
the filming and defines the terms and conditions applicable to the
particular filming operation.

The agreement letter is to be adjusted considering the guidelines below
for each specific filming project and must be completed 10 days prior to

Notice of a proposed filming operation is provided to the department and
the State Patrol by the Department of Trade and Economic Development
(DTED) Motion Picture Bureau (MPB). The notice enables the department
and the State Patrol to investigate operational requirements for the
proposed filming.

April 1989                          7-6
7-7   April 1989
Initial contact may be by telephone or letter. However, a verbal
request is to be followed with a letter identifying the type of filming
operation to be undertaken, together with an indication of the state
highway location, date, and time desired by the filming company for the
filming operation.

Periods and/or locations of high traffic volume or peak traffic flow are
to be excluded from any roadway filming because of the potential adverse
impact to traffic.

Normally, interstate and other freeway mainline closures will not be
permitted. Road or lane closures on other highways will be considered.

A rolling traffic break, which is the intentional slowing of traffic
through a moving roadblock provided by the State Patrol, may not be
slower than 35 mph on full-access controlled highways.

Operational decisions and/or emergency situations may require immediate
reopening of closures or suspension of rolling traffic breaks.

In no event are any vehicles permitted to exceed the regulatory speed

Traffic enforcement shall be provided by the State          Patrol,   in
cooperation with local police agencies where appropriate.

Prior to any filming operation requiring a road or lane closure or the
use of a rolling traffic break, an operational meeting scheduled by the
DTED/MPB may be required with the department, the State Patrol, and the
film company. When appropriate, local authorities and police agencies
should attend this meeting.

The purpose of this meeting is to assure that all traffic control plans
and related operational procedures are finalized, and that participants
are aware of their individual responsibilities prior to filming. Minor
filming operations, as determined by the department and the State
Patrol, may not require this operational meeting.

Normally, the filming company’s base of operations is to be located
outside state highway right of way. Authorization in the agreement is
required for locations within the right of way.

Stunts, accidents, or pyrotechnics that may cause damage to state
property or that potentially may disrupt or endanger traffic are not
allowed. Use of pyrotechnics must meet all federal and state laws and
regulations. No liquid or solid materials may be placed on the highway
except as approved by the department and identified in the agreement.

All costs for labor, equipment, and supplies incurred by the department
and the State Patrol for traffic control and related operational
procedures must be prepaid by the filming company.

The filming company must obtain liability insurance of at least one
million dollars to cover the state of Washington for any and all

April 1989                         7-8
liabilities, including all costs of defense, arising from state highway
use for filming operations. A verification certificate must be provided
to the department and the state patrol prior to filming.

The filming company must also agree to indemnify and hold the state of
Washington harmless against any claims or actions by third parties for
injuries or property damage, including all costs of defense, caused by
or arising from the filming operation.

The department and the State Patrol may develop additional guidelines
and operational procedures relative to individual filming operations on
state highway rights of way. These are to be included in the agreement.

Detailed arrangements and development of letter agreements will be
administered by each WSDOT district. The State Traffic Engineer’s
office participates only in requests for multi-district filming

                                  7-9                       April 1989
Chapter 8                                               Highway Advertising Control
8.1 General                                             WAC 468-66 & M 55-95 — The Department
The Department is directed by law to regulate           sanctions advertising signs on state highways
advertising signs that are visible to state highways.   under purview of the Scenic Vistas Act and the
Advertising messages may be displayed by one of         companion regulations in WAC 468-66.
several methods:                                        Department manual M55-95, Scenic Vistas Act
                                                        of 1971, contains the laws and regulations together
•   Billboards and other outdoor advertising signs      with a map showing a breakdown of the statewide
    may display business logos and                      highway systems. Because M55-95 contains only
    advertising print along selected areas of state     text of the law and regulations, this chapter
    highways, outside state right of way                provides operational guidelines and technical
•   Advertising venues exist at rest areas on           information to assist in application of these
    Interstate highways, and at several                 regulations. From the traffic engineering
    Washington State Ferry system locations             perspective, and for procedural efficiency, all
                                                        WSDOT Regions need to apply the provisions
•   Motorist Information Signs display logos for        of these regulations as uniform procedures. This
    specific types of motorist services along state     uniform application also results in equitable
    highways on regulated signs within the right        treatment for the business community in all
    of way. See chapter 2, section 6 of this manual     corners of the state.
8.2 Outdoor Advertising Signs                           A. Definitions —WAC 468-66-010
Signs located on private property that are visible      This section provides definitions for terms and
to certain state highways are regulated by an array     concepts used when applying these WAC rules.
of Federal and state laws and regulations.              In addition to definitions provided in the WAC,
United States Code, Title 23, Section 131               use the following information to assist in
Federal laws provide direction to the states            interpretation and application of specific
through the Federal Highway Administration and          regulations.
the Code of Federal Regulations regarding outdoor        1. Unzoned Commercial/Industrial Areas &
advertising along Interstate and National Highway           Visible Development— Several sections of
System (NHS) non-Interstate highways, and at                these regulations refer to the “three-business
safety rest areas. Washington state is required to          rule”.
comply with these regulations or be subject to
                                                            The “rule” is used to determine the presence
penalty of Federal-aid highway funds forfeiture.
                                                            of unzoned commercial/industrial areas along
RCW 47.42 — This law, referred to as The Scenic             Interstate and non-interstate NHS highways.
Vistas Act of 1971, authorizes and directs the              Use the following requirements to establish
Department to regulate advertising sign                     an unzoned commercial/industrial area, as
installations visible to interstate, non-interstate         described in RCW 47.42.020(9) and WAC
NHS, and scenic highways in accordance with                 468-66-010(4):
federal regulations. Advertising sign installations         • Requirements are met where three or more
are not regulated adjacent to other state highways.             commercial or industrial activities are
The intent of the Scenic Vistas Act is to enhance               located within a space of five hundred
the roadside’s scenic beauty while assuring that                feet. The five hundred foot establishment
information of specific interest to travelers is                area is measured parallel to edge of the
presented safely and effectively.                               highway’s main traveled way, and may
                                                                include activities located on both sides
                                                                of the highway.

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 8-1
March 2002

    •   In addition, these commercial or              outside the right of way, subject to all other
        industrial activities must be located         applicable regulations for the particular type
        within six hundred sixty feet of the          of highway.
        nearest edge of the right of way.
                                                      2. “Maintain” — Rebuilding Damaged
    •   All measurements shall be made from              Non-conforming signs — Non-conforming
        the outer edges of regularly used                signs that are damaged or partially destroyed
        buildings, parking lots, or storage or           by weather related incidents, or other acts of
        processing areas, not from property lines.       God, may be re-erected, depending upon the
    •   On certain highways, where the above             extent of damage to the sign. A sign that
        criteria are met, additional buffer zones        remains at least 50% intact after being
        may be established. See Appendix 8-1.            damaged by ‘non-tortious’ acts may be
                                                         rebuilt in kind. WAC 468-66-010(12)
The “rule” is expanded in WAC468-66-010(27)
by adding a definition for “Visible development”.     3. “Primary system” — Language in the WAC
This subsection states that criteria defined in          refers to several highway system types:
RCW 47.42.020(9) shall be met; and in addition,          Interstate, Primary, and Scenic. In
the businesses shall not be visibly obstructed by        Washington state, outdoor advertising control
vegetation or other physical objects. The presence       applies to highways that are included as part
of “visible development” is used, along with             of the National Highway System. The NHS,
local zoning requirements, as criteria to exempt         created by the National Highway System
portions of state highways from the scenic system        Designation Act of 1995 includes; the
for the purpose of allowing off-premise                  Interstate system, the non-Interstate former
advertising signs. (See WAC 468-66-010(16)(c))           primary system, and other routes added by
                                                         congress to the National Highway System.
Interstate and non-interstate NHS systems
                                                         Routes that were previously included as part
If the above requirements are met, the five
                                                         of the primary system can now best be
hundred foot establishment area may be
                                                         described as NHS non-interstate. WAC
expanded by including buffer zones, extending
500 ft. before the beginning of the area, and 500
ft. after the end of the area. The buffer zones are   4. “Visible” — Signs on Unregulated
measured parallel to the main traveled edge of the       Roadways — See WAC 468-66-010(21). In
highway, and include both sides of the highway.          addition to the definition provided in this
Advertising signs may be permitted along both            WAC section, consider the following
sides of this 1500 ft. section of highway, outside       information about signs located on
the right of way, subject to all other applicable        unregulated roadways. Signs, located along
regulations for the particular type of highway.          unregulated roadways that intersect with
                                                         interstate or other regulated state highways,
Scenic system — If the above requirements are
                                                         shall be considered ‘not visible’ if they meet
met on sections of the scenic system that lie
                                                         at least three of the following criteria.
within areas zoned commercial/industrial by
the governing county, and the commercial or              • The sign faces are not substantially larger
industrial development is visible to the highway,             or at a substantially higher elevation
the five hundred foot establishment area is                   above the ground line than other signs
excluded from the scenic system. Because the                  along the same unregulated intersecting
“visible development” criteria defined in WAC                 roadways
468-66-010(27) refer only to the requirements            • The angles of sign faces are generally
of the three-business rule, the five hundred foot             oriented toward unregulated intersecting
establishment area shall not be expanded to                   roadways rather than interstate or other
include the buffer zones. Advertising signs may               regulated state highways
be permitted along both sides of the highway
within this five hundred foot section of highway,

Page 8-2                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002

    •   The length of time that the informative          motor vehicle, or otherwise interfere with any
        contents of signs can be viewed is               driver’s operation of a motor vehicle.
        substantially greater for the travelers on
                                                     Electronic Signs — Electronic signs may be
        unregulated intersecting roadways than
                                                     used only to advertise activities conducted or
        from interstate or other regulated state
                                                     goods and services available on the property on
                                                     which the signs are located (Type 3 signs); or to
    •   The signs are visible to a motorist          present public service information in accordance
        traveling at the posted speed on the         with WAC 468-66-010(23).
        interstate or other regulated state
        highway, for a period of time that is less   For Interstate highways and NHS non-interstate
        than that required to read the entire sign   highways outside corporate limits and
        message                                      commercial and industrial zones, the specific
                                                     language in WAC 468-66-030(7) that prohibits
    •   The signs are only incidentally visible
                                                     “ . . . any flashing, intermittent, or moving
        from interstate or other regulated state
                                                     lights . . .” does not apply to electronic signs
                                                     used as on-premise signs; provided the lights
    •   The signs advertise activities accessible    operate in accordance with WAC
        from unregulated intersecting roadways       468-66-030(12).
        along which the signs are located
                                                     C. Classification of Signs — WAC
B. General Provisions — WAC 468-66-030               468-66-050
This section of the WAC describes features and       This section of the WAC describes and defines
characteristics that are regulated on all outdoor    highway advertising sign classifications. The
advertising signs installed adjacent to state        Scenic Vistas Act authorizes and regulates eight
highway rights of way.                               specific sign types. The following information
Moving Parts — Signs visible from the                will help identify each type.
main-traveled way of the interstate, NHS             Type 1 – Directional or other official signs or
non-interstate, and the scenic system that move or   notices. This type is divided into two groups:
have any animated or moving parts (except
                                                         Type 1a – The following information
giving public service information as described in
                                                              provides specific criteria for both
WAC 468-66-010(23)) are prohibited.
                                                              Directional and Official signs.
Sign Lighting — No signs are permitted which:
                                                     Directional Signs
1. Contain, include, or are illuminated by any
                                                     1. Publicly Owned Places — May contain
   flashing, intermittent, or moving lights,
                                                        directional information about public places
   except those signs giving public service
                                                        owned or operated by Federal, state or local
   information as described in WAC
                                                        government, or their agencies.
   468-66-010(23). This prohibition does not
   apply to Type 3 signs visible from NHS            2. Publicly or Privately Owned Places
   non-interstate highways that are located             May contain directional information about
   within city limits or within areas zoned             publicly or privately owned places that
   commercial/industrial. RCW 47.42.062.                feature: natural phenomena; historical,
                                                        cultural, scientific, educational; religious
2. Use any lighting in any way; unless the lights
                                                        sites, areas of scenic beauty, or naturally
   are shielded to prevent beams or rays of light
                                                        suited for outdoor recreation.
   from being directed at any portion of the
   traveled way of the highway, or are of such       3. Privately Owned Places — May contain
   low intensity or brilliance as not to cause          directional information about privately
   glare or impair the vision of the driver of any      owned places that feature scenic attractions.

Traffic Manual                                                                                 Page 8-3
March 2002
    These attractions must be nationally or           3. Official signs shall be pursuant to and in
    regionally known or of outstanding interest          accordance with direction or authorization
    to travelers.                                        contained in Federal, state, or local law for
                                                         the purpose of carrying out an official duty
Directional Sign Standards
                                                         or responsibility.
1. Sign area shall not exceed 150 sq. ft. - The
                                                      Official Signs — Authority to Install
   maximum height or length of the sign shall
   not exceed 20 ft.                                  1. The officer or agency authorizing the sign
                                                         installation must exercise some form of
2. The Department must approve sign
                                                         governmental authority over the area upon
   installation location.
                                                         which the sign is located – governmental
3. Along the Interstate system or other freeway          authority means the authority to enact or
   type roadways, the sign shall not be located          administer the law.
   within 2000 ft. of an interchange, measured
                                                      2. The officer or agency authorizing the sign
   from the ramp physical gore, or within 2000
                                                         installation must be directed by statute or
   ft. of a rest area, parkland, or scenic area.
                                                         local law and/or must have the specific
4. Directional signs shall not be placed closer          authority by statute or local law to erect
   than 1 mile apart.                                    and maintain signs.
5. On a state route approaching an activity,          Official Sign Standards
   a maximum of three directional signs, per
                                                      1. Official signs shall not exceed 150 sq. ft.
   direction of travel, are allowed for that
                                                         The maximum height or length of the sign
                                                         shall not exceed 20 ft.
6. Signs located along the Interstate system
                                                      2. There are no restrictions on the message
   shall be within 75 air miles of the activity.
                                                         content, provided the activity being described
7. Signs located along the non-Interstate, NHS           is in furtherance of an official duty or
   system shall be within 50 air miles of the            responsibility.
   activity.                                             Type 1b – Service club and religious notices,
Directional Signs —Message Content Limitations                containing only group name and location
                                                              and schedule of meetings. These
1. Message shall be limited to identification                 organizations must be nonprofit.
   of, and guidance to the activity or attraction.
                                                      Type 2 – For sale or for lease signs.
2. Signs may include directional information
   that helps the motorist locate the activity such   1. These signs shall only advertise the sale
   as mileage, route numbers, or exit numbers.           or lease of the parcel or real property upon
                                                         which the sign is located.
3. Descriptive words, phrases, and photographic
   or pictorial representations of the activity or    2. The name and phone number of the owner
   its environs are prohibited.                          or the owner’s agent shall not be displayed
                                                         more conspicuously than the message “FOR
Official Signs                                           SALE” or “FOR LEASE”. Discretion is
1. Official signs shall be erected and maintained        suggested in enforcing this stipulation
   by public officers, or public agencies, for           because of the real estate industry’s trend
   example county, city, or county                       toward national conglomerates in recent
   commissioners.                                        years. “State of the Art” real estate signs
                                                         typically may not include the words “for
2. Official signs shall be located within the
                                                         sale” or “for lease,” especially on signs
   governing jurisdiction of the public officer
                                                         provided to agencies and agents by national
   or public agency.
                                                         conglomerates. Accordingly, real estate signs

Page 8-4                                                                                      Traffic Manual
                                                                                                March 2002
    may require case-by-case evaluation to           Type 6 – Advertising sign lawfully in place prior
    determine if they are located on property        to October 22, 1965. Signs are to be “landmark”
    for sale or lease.                               signs, of historic or artistic significance.
                                                     Currently there are no permitted Type 6 signs
3. No other message may be displayed on this
                                                     visible to Washington state highways.
   sign. This is an area where property owners
   have attempted to stretch the rules by            Type 7 – Public service sign, located on school
   displaying a business name, or other              bus shelters. Currently there are no permitted
   information in lieu of the name of the owner
                                                     Type 8 – This seasonal sign provides direction
   or his agent. The WAC is specific, allowing
                                                     to specific agricultural activities. This temporary
   only the names of the property owner, or the
                                                     sign is regulated through a permit issued by the
   name of the owner’s agent and phone
Type 3 – On-premise signs. The on-premise            D. Rules and Regulations for On-premise
signs are divided into 3 separate groups.            Signs - WAC 468-66-070, and others
    Type 3a – This sign advertises the activity      This section of the WAC discusses regulations
        conducted, or products available on the      applied to Type 3, on-premise signs. The
        property on which the sign is located.       following details discuss how this, and other
                                                     WAC components apply to on premise signs.
    Type 3b – This temporary sign expresses
        the property owner’s endorsement of a        Location of On-Premise Signs - Along the
        political candidate or ballot issue. Each    Interstate system, Type 3a signs that exceed
        year in June, OSC Traffic Office mails       twenty feet in length, width, or height, or one
        out a political information packet to all    hundred fifty square feet in area may not be
        county auditors. This packet contains        located more than fifty feet from the advertised
        information for political candidates         activity. (See WAC 468-66-030).
        regarding type 3b signs.                     Type 3 signs located less than fifty feet from
        • Temporary political campaign signs         the advertised activity, or within corporate limits
             are limited to a maximum size of        or commercial or industrial zones adjacent to the
             thirty-two square feet in area.         primary system (WAC 468-66-110), do not have
        • Temporary political campaign signs         a size limitation. The fifty-foot distance is
             must be removed within ten days         measured from that building, storage, or other
             after the election.                     structure or processing area, which is most
    Type 3c – This sign is allowed on properties     regularly used and essential to the conduct of
        where a planned business will be             the activity (WAC 468-66-070).
        operating within a year. Signs will          Some business activities, such as auto dealerships
        typically display the message “future site   and recreational vehicle sales, have locations
        of” or other similar wording.                contiguous to the main building structure for
Type 4 –This commercial advertising sign is          persons to view vehicles. These locations are
regulated by permit. The business or activity        essential to the business activity (i.e., a
being advertised shall be within twelve air miles    processing area). Thus, an on-premise sign
of the sign.                                         located within fifty feet of a contiguous vehicle
                                                     display area complies with WAC 468-66-070.
Type 5 – This commercial advertising sign is
regulated by permit. The information displayed       A single on-premise sign advertising a shopping
must be of specific interest to the traveling        center, mall, or other combined business facility,
public. See WAC 468-66-100(2). There is no           may be located within 50 feet of the nearest
geographic location limitation as with Type 4        portion of any parking area that serves the
signs.                                               business combination (WAC 468-66-070(3).
                                                     See Appendix 8-2, figure 1. This single

Traffic Manual                                                                                  Page 8-5
March 2002
on-premise sign does not have a size limitation        F. Priority Criteria for Issuing Permits –
(WAC 468-030(11)(c); however, on-premise               Type 4, 5 and 8 Signs WAC 468-66-090
signs advertising individual businesses within         This section of the WAC provides priority criteria
the complex that are displayed in array with the       to be used when issuing permits. When the
single on-premise sign are limited to maximum          number of applications for Type 4, Type 5, and
size of 150 sq. ft. (WAC 468-030-(11). See             Type 8 signs exceeds the number of available
Appendix 8-2, figure 2.                                sign sites, use the following preferential criteria
On-Premise Signs Located Within Incorpo-               to award sign permits.
rated Areas and Commercial/Industrial Areas            1. Agencies of the state of Washington in
On the NHS Non-Interstate System — Certain                order of their applications.
RCW and WAC sections are written so that they
do not apply to on-premise signs that lie within       2. Counties or incorporated cities in order of
incorporated areas and commercial/industrial              their applications.
areas located along the NHS non-interstate             3. Federal agencies in order of their
system. On-premise signs located in these areas           applications.
are administered under local ordinance and
regulations. These portions of WAC 468-66              4. All other applicants in order of their
and the Scenic Vistas Act refer to this exception:        application; giving preference to existing
                                                          permit holders who are due for renewal.
•   WAC 468-66-070(1)
                                                       G. Rules and Regulations for Type 4 and 5
•   WAC 468-66-010 – All sections                      signs (Non-Interstate) WAC 468-66-110
•   RCW 47.42.045(2)                                   This section of the WAC discusses allowable
•   RCW 47.42.062 – All sections, except               numbers, and spacing requirements for type 4,
    that signs resembling official traffic control     and 5 signs located within commercial and
    devices are prohibited under purview of            industrial areas and visible to the NHS
    RCW 47.36.180.                                     non-interstate system. Refer to Appendix 8-4,
                                                       pages 1 and 2, for spacing requirements that
Crop Identification Signs — Crop identification        apply to various levels of access control.
signs are classified as on premise signs, and are
used to identify specific agricultural crops being     Section (1) (c) states that signs which exceed
grown on property adjacent to state highway            three hundred twenty-five square feet in area may
right of way. Regional OAC representatives             not be double-faced (abutting and facing the same
review these signs for compliance with the             direction). The intent of the WAC is to limit the
Scenic Vistas Act. The sign message is limited to      size of abutting double-faced signs to three
the display of the name of the crop, and the name      hundred twenty-five square feet; per sign face.
of the sponsor. The letter size should be three        The total size allowable is six hundred fifty
times larger for the crop message than the             square feet for both sign faces combined.
sponsor message to maximize readability.               H. Non-conforming (Grandfathered)
E. Rules and Regulations for Type 4 and 5              Signs- Type 4 and 5 WAC 468-66-120
signs (Interstate) WAC 468-66-080                      This section of the WAC discusses signs that
This section of the WAC discusses the number           were lawfully erected and maintained, and in
of allowable signs, and spacing requirements for       place prior to enactment of the Scenic Vistas Act
type 4 and 5 signs visible to the Interstate system.   (June 1, 1971). These signs were permitted to
Refer to Appendix 8-3.                                 remain and be maintained if they were visible
                                                       from the primary system within commercial and
WAC 468-66-080 (4) — The one thousand foot             industrial areas. Consider these signs when
distance in which type 4 or 5 signs are prohibited     determining spacing requirements for additional
shall be measured from terminus of the on-ramp         sign installations. These signs are issued permits
taper.                                                 as Type 4 or 5 signs, and are categorized as

Page 8-6                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                             March 2002
nonconforming (grandfathered) signs. Refer to           2. If the sign owner cannot be contacted, or
section 1B, “Maintain”.                                    there is no voluntary compliance after thirty
                                                           days, notify the sign owner and the property
I. Removal of existing signs WAC                           owner about the sign by way of certified
468-66-130                                                 letter, return receipt requested. (See appendix
This section of the WAC discusses removal of               8-6, pages 1 and 2) Describe the illegal
existing signs that were lawfully in place prior to        aspects of the sign and advise them of actions
enactment of the Scenic Vistas Act, but became             they must take within fifteen days to comply
illegal under provisions of the Act and                    with the law and/or WAC rule. (Refer to
accompanying WAC regulations.                              RCW 47.42.080)
Nonconforming or Grandfathered Signs                    3. If the sign owner or property owner does not
Knowing the history of how OAC legislation was             comply with the abatement notice within 15
applied helps clarify this section of the WAC.             days of receiving the Region’s certified letter,
Enactment of the Scenic Vistas Act created the             request assistance from the Attorney
June 1, 1971 deadline for removing signs that              General’s Office by submitting a letter from
did not comply with the new laws. A three-year             the Regional Traffic Engineer to the State
window was established to allow removal of                 Traffic Engineer. The State Traffic Engineer
existing signs that did not conform to the new             then works with the Assistant Attorney
regulations, creating the May 10, 1974 deadline.           General assigned to outdoor advertising to
Removal of these signs required just                       secure sign removal. Include the following
compensation to the sign owner, with Federal               information along with the letter of request
funding contributing 75% of the buyout cost.               to the State Traffic Engineer:
Federal funding was not adequate to buyout all             • All correspondence to the sign owner
nonconforming signs on Washington’s highway                     from the region, including phone call
systems within the three year window. Under                     logs and a brief discussion of any
purview of RCW 47.42.105, no sign can be                        conversation.
required to be removed if the Federal share of just
                                                           • All applicable WAC and RCW
compensation to be paid upon removal of the sign
is not available. As a result of this lack of federal
funds, existing nonconforming signs that had not           • Submit quality descriptive 3” x 5” (or
been bought out by May 10, 1974, were allowed                   larger) color photos of sign features or
to remain and be maintained on state highways.                  components that contribute to violations;
These types of signs are nonconforming or                       include any sketches, measurements or
grandfathered signs. Refer to section 1B,                       other pertinent data that provide
“Maintain”.                                                     supporting evidence of the violation.

Abatement Under RCW 47.42.080 any sign                  4. The Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
constructed or maintained contrary to the Scenic           assigned to the Department will notify the
Vistas Act or companion regulation is illegal.             sign owner and property owner, by way of
The following steps are utilized to abate illegal          certified letter, that the sign is illegal,
signs installed on private property.                       considered to be a public nuisance, and must
                                                           be removed. The Regional OAC
1. Contact the sign owner, and if necessary,               representative conducts a review to determine
   the property owner personally. Explain the              if the sign owner has complied with the
   requirements in law, options available, and             abatement notice. This review should take
   actions necessary to resolve the problem,               place 15 days after the sign and/or property
   and ask for voluntary compliance within                 owner’s receipt of the AAG’s certified letter.
   thirty days. If requested by the sign owner,            If, after this time period, the sign remains in
   this initial contact may be immediately                 place, the Regional OAC representative
   followed by a letter that documents the                 informs the State Traffic Engineer, preferably
   essence of the conversation (Appendix 8-5).

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 8-7
March 2002
    by e-mail. The State Traffic Engineer may         J. OAC Permit Process WAC 468-66-140
    then request in writing that the AAG pursue a     This section of the WAC discusses outdoor
    legal remedy.                                     advertising sign permits issued by the
5. When WSDOT outdoor advertising personnel           Department.
   are contacted by anyone, public or private,        Sign Relocation — Signs with valid permits that
   regarding matters that have been referred          are being relocated to a different property are
   to the Attorney General’s Office, advise the       considered to be a new sign, requiring
   caller that the matter has been referred and       appropriate application and permit fee submittal,
   that information is only available from the        and review for approval by the Region.
   Assistant Attorney General. Obtain the
   caller’s name and phone number and explain         Existing permits shall be revoked upon approval
   that you will ask the AAG to contact them.         of the relocation application, or upon the
   In the event the caller demands immediate          effective date of the existing lease termination,
   attention, provide the AAG’s phone number          whichever comes first.
   and address. Notify the Assistant Attorney         A sign being relocated to a new location on the
   General immediately after receiving such           same property does not require a new permit,
   inquiries.                                         providing the proposed location meets the size
Maintain a current inventory of all illegal           and spacing requirements, and all other
sign action activities. The File Maker program        provisions, of the Scenic Vistas Act and WAC
(IllegalSignInv.FP5) is available to all Regional     468-66. The sign owner shall submit a letter of
OAC personnel as a standardized method                notification along with a sketch showing the
of tracking all illegal sign activity within the      proposed location and approximate distance from
Region.                                               the existing permitted sign to the new location.

Create a file for each illegal sign immediately       Change of Ownership or Transfer
following receipt of initial report or observation.   When signs with valid permits are sold or
All information, such as the sign owner, property     otherwise transferred, the new sign owner
owner and all contact with the owners, whether        assumes control of the existing permit. Regions
by phone or letter shall be included on the form.     shall forward information identifying the new
See Appendix 8-7.                                     sign owner, and/or the new property owner to
                                                      OSC Traffic to facilitate inventory update.
The Scenic Vistas Act defines any illegal sign
placed on state highway right-of-way as a public      Signs Subject to Authorizing Permits
nuisance. (See RCW 47.42.080(5)) The                  The WAC excludes sign types 1, 2, and 3 from
Department is authorized to remove such signs         permit requirement; therefore, permits are
immediately without notice. For uniformity,           required for sign types 4 through 8. Type 4
illegal signs on the right-of-way are to be           and 5 signs account for the vast majority of
removed as quickly as practical.                      permits issued. A small number of type 8 signs
                                                      are issued permits throughout the state. The
Signs removed from the right-of-way are to be         Department has no valid permits outstanding for
stored for thirty days (seven days after election     type 6 and 7 signs; however, the WAC includes
for illegal political campaign signs) or until such   these as signs that shall be placed under permit.
time as they interfere with operations at the         A permit, duly issued by the Department, does
storage site. When contacted by a sign owner          not negate the permit holder’s responsibility
about recovering a sign that has been removed,        to comply with local rules, regulations, and
advise the caller where the sign is stored, and let   ordinances pertaining to signs and signing
them know that the sign may be recovered if it        structures. Thus, a permit issued by the
has not yet been destroyed. Dispose of usable         Department does not necessarily grant the
materials obtained from these signs in accordance     permit holder the right to erect a sign.
with M72-91, “Disposal of Personal Property”.

Page 8-8                                                                                  Traffic Manual
                                                                                            March 2002
Permit Processing Procedures — Type 4 & 5           Permit Processing Procedures — Type 8
The application and $300 permit fee for each        Applications for type 8 sign permit, along with
Type 4 and 5 sign structure are received at         the $50 permit fee are submitted to the
Headquarters Traffic, or the regions (See           appropriate regional office. This permit is valid
Appendix 8-8). Applications received at the         for 5 years, and may be renewed upon expiration.
regions are submitted to Headquarters Traffic       See Appendix 8-11.
Office. Sign applications are assigned a
                                                    Annual Permit Renewal Certification — Prior
sequential identification number and the permit
                                                    to January 1 of each year, Headquarters Traffic
fees are deposited through the department’s
                                                    will mail a permit renewal notice to each sign
Accounting Office. The effective application date
                                                    permit holder. If the permit holder intends to
is the day it is received in Olympia.
                                                    continue operation and maintenance of the sign,
Headquarters Traffic forwards the application to    the permit holder certifies this intent by signing
the region with a letter of request for site        the notice and returning it to Headquarters
investigation (Appendix 8-9) along with a           Traffic. This signed renewal notice shall be
checklist used for investigating proposed sign      returned to the Department no later than February
sites (Appendix 8-10). Within thirty days, the      1. For any renewal notice not received by Head-
region investigates the proposed sign site for      quarters Traffic by February 1, the Department
compliance with the zoning and spacing              may initiate legal proceedings for abatement as
requirements of WAC 468-66. During review of        an illegal sign.
the proposed sign locations on NHS
                                                    Inventory — An inventory for all type 4 and 5
non-Interstate highways, Regional personnel
                                                    signs is maintained in Headquarters Traffic.
should focus special attention on meeting the
                                                    Copies of this inventory are sent to the regions
spacing requirements for limited access
                                                    periodically, or upon request.
controlled areas that have been established
pursuant to RCW 47.52. These spacing                Inventory updating is required whenever
requirements are called out in RCW 47.42.062        revisions are made to existing signs. Such
(3)(b) and WAC 468-66-110 (2)(b).                   revisions include any changes in sign size,
                                                    sign owner, or sign removal. The inventory
Limited access areas include sections of state
                                                    revision process is initiated when OSC Traffic
highway that are classified and operate as full,
                                                    receives notification from the permit holder, or
partial, and modified. Sections that are planned
                                                    when regional traffic personnel discover changes
or proposed for classification as limited access
                                                    during field review.
areas are not included.
                                                    Inventory of Signs on Local Jurisdiction NHS
Access classification information can be obtained
                                                    Roadways — The National Highway System Act
from the Regional work group that focuses on
                                                    of 1995 (NHS) extended outdoor advertising
limited access control determination and
                                                    control to all NHS routes. This means that signs
documentation, or the Headquarters Design
                                                    on private property visible to NHS routes,
Access Office.
                                                    including NHS routes under local agency
For all locations meeting the requirements of       jurisdiction, are required by Federal law to be
WAC 468-66, the region assigns an inventory         regulated under the purview of the Scenic
number to each sign face indicated on the           Vistas Act.
application. This number is selected sequentially
                                                    Headquarters maintains an inventory of
from a block of inventory numbers provided to
                                                    off-premise outdoor advertising signs on the
the Regional traffic offices for a particular
                                                    NHS local roadways, however the actual control
highway or highway section.
                                                    of such signs is the responsibility of the local
The application package is then returned to OSC     jurisdiction or agency. Our department is
Traffic with the region’s recommendation for        committed to provide technical assistance when
approval or denial noted on the application.        requested, or assume the control responsibility if

Traffic Manual                                                                                Page 8-9
March 2002
asked to do so. Periodically the regional outdoor     L. Miscellaneous
advertising personnel include a review of local       Billboards on Indian Trust Lands Background
NHS routes to assure that the department’s
                                                      The Department first learned about this subject
inventory is up to date
                                                      through a March 7, 1986 Federal Highway
K. Penalties – Permitted Non-conforming               Administration (FHWA) memorandum. This
Signs WAC 468-66-150                                  memorandum cited the United States Court
                                                      ruling that left in place a California Supreme
This section of the WAC discusses sanctions and
                                                      Court decision that held the following:
penalties that may be applied to permit holders
who maintain signs that do not comply with the        •   The California Department of Transportation
provisions of the WAC. After a hearing                    could not use the state’s outdoor advertising
conducted under the Administrative Procedure              act to regulate billboards erected on
Act, RCW 34.05, the Department may revoke a               reservation land held in trust by the United
sign permit, without refund, for any of the               States for the beneficial use of the Morongo
following reasons:                                        Indian Band
•   Making false statements on a permit               •   The Federal Highway Beautification Act
    application                                           (HBA) preempts the state’s regulatory
                                                          authority in the area of outdoor advertising
•   Allowing any sign to remain in a state of
                                                          on Indian reservations.
    disrepair for thirty days after receiving
    letter notifying permit holder about the          •   The Federal Department of the Interior is
    condition of the sign.                                the appropriate agency to enforce the HBA
•   Maintaining any sign, for which permit has
    been issued, that is in violation of any          These decisions set the precedent which remains
    provision of the Scenic Vistas Act or this        today, that the states have no regulatory authority
    WAC.                                              over billboards on Indian land. The Department
                                                      has not included signs on Indian land in it’s
•   Maintaining a discontinued sign, as defined
                                                      billboard inventory since 1986.
    by WAC 468-66-010(6)
                                                      Advertising on Commercial Trailers
The OSC Traffic Office will coordinate
                                                      Advertising on commercial vehicles and trailers
establishing the required hearing through the
                                                      in normal business usage is not controlled by the
Attorney General’s Office.
                                                      Scenic Vistas Act. This includes times when they
If convicted of violating the Scenic Vistas Act,      are intermittently parked at locations visible to
sign permit holders may face revocation of            state highways.
permits for other signs that they maintain.
                                                      Should a commercial vehicle or trailer visible
Discontinued Signs — A discontinued sign is           to the state highway remain stationary for an
defined as a sign absent of advertising content for   extended period of time, it must then be
a period of six months. Permits may be revoked        determined whether or not its intent is for
for maintaining a discontinued sign. Signs vacant     off-premise advertising purposes. An expired
of advertising display should be noted and            vehicle registration is a primary indicator of its
monitored. After three months of vacancy, the         use for advertising purposes. Under these
sign owner or permit holder is notified by            circumstances, commercial vehicles or trailers
certified letter (Appendix 8-12) about the failure    visible to state highways are abated in the same
to display advertising content on an existing         manner as illegal advertising signs.
billboard. If the sign remains vacant after an
additional three-month period, a certified letter
of permit revocation (Appendix 8-13) may be

Page 8-10                                                                                   Traffic Manual
                                                                                              March 2002
Digital or Lighted Signs Used for Advertising        8.3 Advertising at Rest Areas and on
on State Highways (Signs in Motion)                  Washington State Ferries
WAC 204-65, Vehicle Lighting and Equipment,          Advertising at Rest Areas on State Highways
prohibits displaying any digital or lighted          Businesses may purchase advertising space on
advertising sign from motor vehicles on state        displays in 12 rest areas located along interstate
highway rights of way. This includes any sign        5 and interstate 90. This advertising program
device towed behind a motor vehicle. This            features lighted display boards. In rest areas, the
prohibition does not include messages displayed      only requirement is that services advertised be of
on traffic control vehicles, taxicabs, or            interest to travelers. For more information about
destination placards on public transportation        this program, contact WSDOT’s sales contractor:
                                                     Storeyco, Inc.
Laser Lights — On occasion, laser lights have        234-D SW 43rd Street
been used to project images onto an area visible     Renton, WA 98055
from the traveled way of state highways.             1-800-558-7867 Fax (425) 251-9726
Washington state has no specific laws that           Ron Storey
regulate laser lights. Informally however, RCW       E-Mail -
47.36.180 (Forbidden Devices) provides some
basic guidance that may be applied on a              Advertising on Washington State Ferries
case-by-case basis. The Department has cited         Businesses also have the option to purchase
Subsection (4) of this law in the past to prohibit   advertising space on 6 Washington State Ferry
projection of laser lights onto an area that was     runs and at 4 terminals. This advertising program
visible from the Interstate system.                  features lighted display boards. For more
                                                     information about this program, contact
In the event that the laser light is being used to   WSDOT’s sales contractor:
project advertising display, the moving lights
components of the Scenic Vistas Act (RCW             Certified Folder Display
47.42.062 (4)(a)) prohibits such use in all areas    5808 S. 196th
except those located on the non-Interstate NHS       Kent, WA 98032
system inside commercial and industrial areas,       1-800-799-7373
and/or within corporate limits.                      Website: click on
                                                     FERRY BOAT ADVERTISING
Documentation of Illegal Sign Abatement              E-Mail -
Activity-The Headquarters Traffic Office
provides the Assistant Secretary for Maintenance
and Operations with an annual summary of illegal
sign abatement activities conducted during the
previous year. A copy is provided to the Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) Division Right
of Way Office.
The FHWA Division Right of Way Office is a
valuable resource when responding to questions
or investigating apparent ambiguities within the
laws. Normally, the Headquarters Traffic
conducts these inquiries or communications with
the FHWA.

Traffic Manual                                                                                Page 8-11
March 2002
Appendix 8-1                            Unzoned Commercial/Industrial Area
                                      UNZONED COMMERCIAL
                                      OR INDUSTRIAL AREA (1)

                        500’                       500’                       500’
                                                  MAX. (2)

660’ MAX.


660’ MAX.

                                         WAC. REF. 468-66-010 (4)

                                                Commercial or Industrial Activity

                                               Qualifying Commerical/Industrial Area
                                                Additional Buffer Area - Where Applicable

                 1. Billboards may be permitted within this 1500’ max. area, measured parallel
                 to the highway.

                 2. Three or more separate and distinct commercial and/or industrial activities
                 are required within 500’. Activities may be located on either or both sides of the
                 highway and must be within 660’ of the right of way line to qualify.

Traffic Manual                                                                             Appendix 8-1
March 2002                                                                                     Page 1
Appendix 8-2                                   Single On-Premise Sign
                           WAC 468-66-070 (3)
 Single On-Premise Sign may be placed within 50 feet of combined parking area

                                                              50 (typical)


                                 Figure 1
                                 (Plan View)

                           Single On-Premise
                               No Size Limit

                        Individual Business Sign
                              150 sq ft max
                        Individual Business Sign
                              150 sq ft max

                                Figure 2
                            (Elevation View)

Appendix 8-2                                                       Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                March 2002
Appendix 8-3                  Off Premise Sign Spacing - Interstate

                            Signs Not Permitted
                            Within Right of Way

                                                            Number and spacing
                                                                 of signs

                                0 - 2 Miles
                               From Off-Ramp                        0 Signs

                                                              Maximum of 6 signs
                                                       Not more than 2 signs within any
                                 2 - 5 Miles           one mile distance from any point
                                                    1000’ Minimum spacing between signs

                                  More than                Average - 1 sign per mile
                                  5 Miles
                                                    1000’ Minimum spacing between signs

                                  1000’ ft
                               From On-Ramp
                                   Taper                            0 Signs

                                         Sign spacing includes all sign faces visible
                                         to traffic approaching from any one direction
       (TYPE 4, 5, or 6)
     WAC. REF. 468-66-080

Traffic Manual                                                                Appendix 8-3
March 2002                                                                         Page 1
Appendix 8-4                                 Off Premise Sign Spacing
                                - NHS Non-Interstate Controlled Access
                                       Signs Not Permitted
                                       Within Right of Way

                                                              1000’ Minimum if
                                                              At-Grade Intresection

                                                              3000’ Min. in advance of
                                                              interchanges, safety rest
                                                1000’         areas, or Information Centers

                                                              Maximum total of 5 sign

                                                              structures shall be

                                                              permitted on both sides
                                                              of the highway per mile
                                                1000’ 1000’

                                                              Double faced signs
                                                              are prohibited

                                                              3000’ Min. In advance of
                                                              Interchanges, Safety Rest
                                                              Areas, orInformation Centers

                                                              1000’ Minimum if
                                                              At-Grade Intresection

                                                                      - Billboard Sign

                (Type 4,5, or 6)
               WAC Ref. 468-66-110(2)(b)

Appendix 8-4                                                                 Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                          March 2002
Appendix 8-4                              Off Premise Sign Spacing
                        - NHS Non-Interstate Non-Controlled Access

                                         Signs not permitted
                                         within right of way

  500’ MIN

                                        OUTSIDE CORPORATE CITY LIMITS

                                        INSIDE CORPORATE CITY LIMITS


                                                                   - BILLBOARD SIGN

                                                   1. Within corporate limits, a maximum of 4 sign
                                                   structures shall be permitted within a space of 660’,
                                                   or between platted intersections. This includes signs
                                                   on both sides of the highway

                                                   100’ min. spacing between sign structures on both
                                                   sides of the highway


                                                   2. Outside corporate city limits the minimum spacing
                                                   is 500’ between structures on each side of
                                                    the highway
  NHS Non-interstate Noncontrolled Access 3. In areas where one side of a highway is within
                (Type 4,5, or 6)          corporate limits and the other side of the highway
           WAC. REF. 468-66-110 (2) (c)   is outside corporate limits, the appropriate sign
                                          spacing shown above applies

Traffic Manual                                                                                Appendix 8-4
March 2002                                                                                         Page 2
Appendix 8-5 Abatement - Initial Contact Follow-up Letter

Date                                                        DRAFT
Inside Address

Dear __________________

This letter is to follow up our recent conversation about signs located on private property adjacent
to the (direction, e.g., east, west) side of SR WX , near milepost Y.Z, and visible to (lanes, e.g.,
both northbound and southbound, or, eastbound) traffic.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is directed by law to regulate signs on
private property and visible to certain state highways. The statutes and regulations governing
allowable visible signs are provided in Chapter 47.42 of the Revised Code of Washington
(RCW), the Scenic Vistas Act, and Chapter 468-66 of the Washington Administrative Code
(WAC), respectively.

Accordingly, the department conducts periodic reviews of state highway corridors to fulfill its
statutory obligation. A recent review of SR WX in the vicinity of milepost Y.Z revealed that you
maintain an advertising sign, displaying the message type the sign message here, on property
owned by Mr./Ms. name of property owner.

Please be advised that the sign is illegal because it can’t meet the eligibility requirements for
permittable off-premise advertising signs visible to note highway type, and is thus prohibited by
RCW 47.42.030. [Insert description of illegal aspects of the sign, e.g. spacing, sign type, sign size,
zoning, etc. Cite applicable RCWs and WACs] Further, under RCW 47.42.080, the sign is declared
a public nuisance and we request that the sign be removed within 30 days.

The department desires to provide you with the opportunity to voluntarily remove the sign,
without issuing a formal complaint or initiating enforcement action against you. Failure to
remove the sign will cause the department to begin formal abatement procedures through the
Attorney General’s Office.

Please call Mr./Ms. Name of Regional Outdoor Advertising Representative of my staff, phone
(123) 456-7890, should you have any questions or to notify the department that the sign has been


Regional Traffic Engineer

cc: (Name of ) Sign Owner

Appendix 8-5                                                                                     Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                              March 2002
Appendix 8-6                                                                       Sample Abatement
                                                                                    – Property Owner



Inside Address


Dear Mr. and/or Mrs./Ms.       :

The Department of Transportation is directed by state law to regulate signs on private property and visible
to certain state highways. The statutes and regulations governing allowable visible signs are provided in
Chapter 47.42 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Scenic Vistas Act, and Chapter 468-66 of
the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), respectively.

Accordingly, the department conducts periodic reviews of state highway corridors to fulfill its statutory
obligation. A recent review of SR WX in the vicinity of milepost Y.Z revealed that an advertising sign,
displaying the message type the sign message here, is maintained on your property.

Please be advised that the sign is illegal because it can’t meet the eligibility requirements for permittable off-
premise advertising signs visible to note highway type, and is thus prohibited by RCW 47.42.030. [Insert
description of illegal aspects of the sign, e.g. spacing, sign type, sign size, zoning, etc. Cite applicable RCWs
and WACs] Further, under RCW 47.42.080, the sign is declared a public nuisance and must be removed
within 15 days of the date you receive this letter.

The department desires to provide you with the opportunity to voluntarily remove the sign, without issuing
a formal complaint or initiating enforcement action against you. Failure to remove the sign will cause the
department to begin formal abatement procedures through the Attorney General’s Office.

Please call Mr./Ms. Name of Regional Outdoor Advertising Representative of my staff, phone (123) 456-
7890, should you have any questions or to notify the department that the sign has been removed.


Regional Traffic Engineer

Traffic Manual                                                                                              Appendix 8-6
March 2002                                                                                                       Page 1
Appendix 8-6                         Sample Abatement Letter – Sign Owner

Inside Address


Dear Mr. and/or Mrs./Ms.       :

The Department of Transportation is directed by state law to regulate signs on private property
and visible to certain state highways. The statutes and regulations governing allowable visible
signs are provided in Chapter 47.42 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Scenic
Vistas Act, and Chapter 468-66 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), respectively.

Accordingly, the department conducts periodic reviews of state highway corridors to fulfill its
statutory obligation. A recent review of SR WX in the vicinity of milepost Y.Z revealed that you
maintain an advertising sign, displaying the message type the sign message here, on property
owned by Mr./Ms. name of property owner.

Please be advised that the sign is illegal because it can’t meet the eligibility requirements for
permittable off-premise advertising signs visible to note highway type, and is thus prohibited by
RCW 47.42.030. [Insert description of illegal aspects of the sign, e.g. spacing, sign type, sign size,
zoning, etc. Cite applicable RCWs and WACs] Further, under RCW 47.42.080, the sign is declared
a public nuisance and must be removed within 15 days of the date you receive this letter.

The department desires to provide you with the opportunity to voluntarily remove the sign,
without issuing a formal complaint or initiating enforcement action against you. Failure to
remove the sign will cause the department to begin formal abatement procedures through the
Attorney General’s Office.

Please call Mr./Ms. Name of Regional Outdoor Advertising Representative of my staff, phone (123) 456-
7890, should you have any questions or to notify the department that the sign has been removed.


Regional Traffic Engineer

cc: (Name of) Property Owner
    (Name of) Assistant Attorney General
    (Name of) Olympia Service Center Outdoor Advertising Specialist

Appendix 8-6                                                                                     Traffic Manual
Page 2                                                                                              March 2002
Appendix 8-7                                               Illegal Sign Inventory

                              Data Entry Panel

 Region                               SR              MP        R Month/Year Prepared
  Sign Message                                              Reported By:
                                                              Sign Co.     DOT Employee
                                                              Citizen      Other (List Below)

    Sign Owner Information                   Property Owner Information
    Name                                     Name

    Address                                  Address

    City/State/Zip            WA             City/State/Zip                  WA

    Phone                                    Phone

Date of PhoneContact Response or Action
                        No Response   Sign Removal     Refusal to Remove     Other (Describe)

 Date of 15 Day Letter Response or Action
                        No Response    Sign Removal    Refusal to Remove     Other (Describe)

   Date AG Notified   Final Action
                        No Response   Sign Removal     Refusal to Remove     Other (Describe)

                                             Sign Status                   Date Closed
                                             Closed           Open

                                             Referred to AG

Traffic Manual                                                                    Appendix 8-7
March 2002                                                                            Page 1
Appendix 8-8                                                                       OAC Sign Permit Application

                                                                                                           Application - Outdoor
                                                                                                         Advertising Sign Permit
   Name                                                                                                             For WSDOT Use Only
                                                                                                        Log Number
                                                                                                        Date Received
   City                                                State       Zip Code
                                                                                                        Permit Number

   Phone                                               Date                                             Year
                                                                                                        Date Permit Issued

   Location of Sign                                                                                     Inventory Number
                                                                                                        Control Section
   State Highway Number
                                                                                                        CS Mile Post
   Side of Highway             N       E     S         W
                                                                                                        SR Mile Post
   Sign Facing                 N       E     S         W
   Direction and Distance from Center of Nearest Cross Road or Street                                   Application Fee:
                                                                                                             $300.00 Per Sign Structure
                                                                                                        Make checks or remittance payable to:
       Direction         N         E    S     W                Distance                   ft.                “Department of Transportation”
   Sign Description                                                                                     Mail with proper fee to:
   Size                  ft.   X                 ft.   Total Area                    sq. ft.                   Washington State
                                                                                                               Department of Transportation
      TriVision                                                                                                Outdoor Advertising Control
   Shape          Rectangular          Octagonal           Other                                               PO Box 47300
                  Square               Round                                                                   Olympia, WA 98504-7300

   Other (Describe)

   Product(s) Being Advertised

   Name and Address of Advertised Activity


   Address                                                            City                                          State           Zip Code

   Phone                                                                        Property Tax I.D. No.

    I, the undersigned, have consented to the erection and maintenance of the above described outdoor advertising sign on property which
    (I own) (I Lease) in conformance with the Washington Outdoor Advertising Control Act of 1961 as amended by the Scenic Vistas Act of
    1971 (RCW 47.42) and the Department of Transportation rules and regulations for outdoor advertising control along interstate, primary, and
    scenic routes.

   A Copy of Lease Accepted in Lieu of Signature
                                                                                                                         Property Owner

   This permit shall not be considered to allow a sign to be erected or maintained that is otherwise prohibited by Statute or by the
   Resolution or Ordinance of any county, city or town of the State of Washington. By issuance of this permit the Department of
   Transportation does not warrant that this sign is not prohibited by such Statute, Resolution, or ordinance.

   Signature of Department of Transportation representative
   validates this permit and acknowledges receipt of fee paid.                     By
                                                                                                                 For Department of Transportation
  DOT Form 224-018 EF
          Revised 9/99

Appendix 8-8                                                                                                                                        Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                                                                                 March 2002
Appendix 8-9                                                      Illegal Sign Inventory


DATE:            Date

FROM:            OSC Traffic Office
PHONE:           Scan 705-7291                          SUBJECT: OAC Sign Permit Application

TO:              Regional OAC Representative            LOG #______

                 We are enclosing _________________ sign permit applications from __________
                 that have been received by this office . Please return the completed application to
                 this office no later than mmddyy.

                 Please investigate the legality of the signs with respect to size, spacing, property
                 owner consent and highway right of way limits and furnish your
                 recommendations for approval at your earliest opportunity, together with all
                 necessary information for issuance or reply to the applicant.

                 If there are any discrepancies that arise concerning the permit application, please
                 have them clarified by the sign owner.

                 Approved: Y         N

                 Reason for disapproval:

Traffic Manual                                                                            Appendix 8-9
March 2002                                                                                     Page 1
Appendix 8-10                             New OAC Sign Permit Checklist

                                           Checklist for Outdoor Advertising Permits
                                                       New Sign on Interstate System

 SR ___ Milepost ______ Direction of Travel ____ Sign Type ____ Date ______

 Proposed Location _______________________________________________________

 Nature of Sign Site:
 Scenic Area - Y    N     Commercial/Industrial Area - Y N
 Sign Length (20’ max) ____ Sign Height (20’ max) ____ Sign Area (150’ max) _____

 Distance Between Interchanges      Number/Spacing of Signs      Does site comply?
 0-2 miles                          No Signs Allowed                Y      N
 2-5 miles                          Max of 6 signs.                 Y      N
                                    Max of 2 within any 1 mile      Y      N
                                    1000’min between signs          Y      N
 More than 5 miles                  Average 1 sign per mile         Y      N
                                    1000’ min between signs         Y      N
 Within 1000’ of on-ramp terminal   No Signs Allowed                Y      N
 Within 2 miles of off-ramp taper   No Signs Allowed                Y      N

 Sign Owner/Operator: ____________________________________________________

 Property Owner: ________________________________________________________

 Comments: _____________________________________________________________

Appendix 8-10                                                                Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                          March 2002
Appendix 8-10                                New OAC Sign Permit Checklist

                                            Checklist for Outdoor Advertising Permits
                                             New Sign on NHS Non-Interstate System

SR ___ Milepost ______ Direction of Travel ____ Sign Type ____ Date ______

Proposed Location _______________________________________________________

Nature of Sign Site:
Scenic Area - Y N              Commercial/Industrial Area - Y N
Sign Length (50’ max) ____ Sign Height (25’ max) ____ Sign Area (672’ max) _____
A. Inside Corporate Boundaries of City or Town – Not Controlled Access
 Including this sign, and counting both sides of the roadway, how many signs are located
 within any platted intersection; or any 660 ft.* section? ________ (4 max)
 Is the proposed sign location at least 100 ft.* from any existing sign? - Y N
B. Outside Corporate Boundaries – Not Controlled Access
Is the proposed sign location at least 500 ft.* from an existing sign structure? - Y N
C. Limited Access Highways
Is the proposed sign location at least 1000 ft.*from any existing sign, or any at grade
intersection? Y N
Is the proposed sign location at least 3000 ft.* from any interchange, safety rest area, or
information center? Y N
Is the sign double-faced? Y N (not allowed on limited access roadways)
Including this sign, and counting both sides of the roadway, how many signs are located
within any 1 mile* section? ________ (5 max)
*All distances measured parallel to edge of the highway’s main traveled way

Sign Owner/Operator: ____________________________________________________

Property Owner: ________________________________________________________

Comments: _____________________________________________________________

Traffic Manual                                                                       Appendix 8-10
March 2002                                                                                Page 2
Appendix 8-11                                                  Agricultural Sign Permit Application

                                                                                           Permit Application - Temporary
                                                                                             Agricultural Directional Sign
  Name                                                                                                          For WSDOT Use Only
                                                                                                    Date Received
                                                                                                    Permit Number
  City                                                State       Zip Code
                                                                                                    Date Permit Issued

  Phone                                Date                       Federal Tax I.D. Number           Expiration Date

                                                                                                    CS Mile Post

  Location of Sign                                                                                  SR Mile Post
                                            Side of Highway        N           E     S          W
  State Highway No.
                                                                                                     Application Fee:
                                               Sign Facing         N           E     S          W
                                                                                                          $50.00 Per Sign Face
  Direction and Distance from Center of Nearest Cross Road or Street
                                                                                                     Make checks or remittance payable to:
      Name                                                                                                “Department of Transportation”
      Direction          N         E    S       W             Distance                     ft.             See Instructions for correct
                                                                                                                mailing address.
  Sign Description
  Size                   ft.   X                ft.   Total Area                      sq. ft.

  Shape          Rectangular           Octagonal         Other
                 Square                Round

  Description of Sign Copy

  Product(s) Being Advertised
  Name and Address of Advertised Activity

   The applicant agrees to remove the sign(s) at the expiration of this temporary permit or cover the sign(s) during the times when no sales occur, and
   further agrees to provide and maintain follow-through signing if required by the Department of Transportation. In addition, if the sign(s) remain up in
   non-compliance for longer than 10 days after notification to the applicant thereof, the applicant does hereby authorize the Washington State
   Department of Transportation and it’s agents or employees to remove and dispose of such sign(s) and waives all claims for damages against the
   Washington State Department of Transportation and it’s agents or employees for such removal and disposal of each sign(s).
   This permission and waiver is granted in order to permit the removal of such sign(s) as required by the Washington Highway Advertising Control Act
   of 1961 as amended by the Scenic Vistas Act of 1971 (Chapter 47.42 RCW).

                                                                                                                        Sign Owner
  Land Owner Name                                                      Phone                                    Property Tax I.D. No.

  Address                                                              City                                     State           Zip Code

   I, the undersigned, have consented to the erection and maintenance of the above described outdoor advertising sign on property which
   (I own) (I Lease) in conformance with the Washington Outdoor Advertising Control Act of 1961 as amended by the Scenic Vistas Act of 1971
   (RCW 47.42) and the Department of Transportation rules and regulations for outdoor advertising control along interstate, primary, and scenic

   A Copy of Lease Accepted in Lieu of Signature                              Signature
                                                                                                                     Property Owner

   This permit shall not be considered to allow a sign to be erected or maintained that is otherwise prohibited by Statute or by the Resolution or
   Ordinance of any county, city or town of the State of Washington. By issuance of this permit the Department of Transportation does not warrant that
   this sign is not prohibited by such Statute, Resolution, or ordinance.

   Signature of Department of Transportation representative
   validates this permit and acknowledges receipt of fee paid.                      By
                                                                                                             For Department of Transportation

  DOT Form 224-068 EF
         Revised 12/99

Appendix 8-11                                                                                                                                   Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                                                                             March 2002
Appendix 8-12                          Discontinued Sign – 3 Month Letter


                                                               Re: Sign Permit #____

  Dear __________________

  The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chapter 468-66-010 (6) considers an
  outdoor advertising sign to be “Discontinued” if, after receiving notice of absence of
  advertising content for three months, the permit holder fails to put advertising content on
  the sign within the next three months.

  Through documented observation, it has been determined that the billboard structure for
  which you hold permit # ____, located along SR ___ at milepost ___, has been absent of
  advertising material since (date), a period of three months.

  Please be advised that this billboard structure will be considered “Discontinued” if, after
  receiving this letter, you fail to affix advertising copy by (date). At such time, your
  permit for this sign will be subject to revocation without refund under purview of WAC

  For your information, I have enclosed a copy of the applicable WAC regulations. If you
  have any questions, please contact (Mr. or Ms.) (Region OAC Representative) at


  Regional Traffic Engineer

Traffic Manual                                                                        Appendix 8-12
March 2002                                                                                  Page 1
Appendix 8-13                    Discontinued Sign - Permit Revocation

                                                              Re: OAC Signing

 Dear __________________

 The Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Chapter 468-66-010 (6) defines an
 outdoor advertising sign as “Discontinued” if, after receiving notice of absence of
 advertising content for three months, the permit holder fails to put advertising content on
 the sign within the next immediate three months.

 Through documented observation, it has been determined that the sign for which you
 hold a permit, located along SR ___ at milepost ___, has been absent of advertising
 material for a period of three months.

 If you fail to display advertising content on this sign within the next 3 months, the sign
 will be considered “Discontinued”, and the sign permit will be revoked under purview of
 WAC 468-66-150(1)(e). For your information, I have enclosed a copy of the applicable
 WAC regulations. If you have any questions, please contact (Mr. or Ms.) (Region OAC
 Representative) at ____________.


 Regional Traffic Engineer

Appendix 8-13                                                                         Traffic Manual
Page 1                                                                                  March 2002
                                                                           Safety Management System

Chapter 9                                           Safety Management System
9.1    General
                                                    2. Ensure that traffic safety will be considered
The Safety Management System (SMS) is a             at all phases of roadway-related programs;
systematic process designed to assist decision
makers allocate limited transportation safety       3. Provide for partnership among citizens,
resources. Through SMS, the state defines,          statewide agencies, regional organizations, and
prioritizes, and measures the effectiveness of      local jurisdictions on traffic safety efforts.
safety efforts.                                     There are also two main coverage elements of
SMS consists of two key processes. The              the SMS:
Collaboration Process provides statewide            1.   All public roads within the state;
organizations with a reference network for
sharing various available safety resources. The     2. All roadway, traveler, and vehicle safety-
Decision-making Process ensures that all needs      related elements.
and opportunities are given due consideration in    While the SMS covers all public roads, the
all phases of our plans and programs, and com-      extent of SMS requirements (such as data
patibility with the other management systems        collection, analyses, and standards) vary depend-
(Pavement, Bridge, Congestion, Public Transpor-     ing on roadway functional classification. Also,
tation, and Intermodal) is maintained. The five     because each jurisdiction within the state imple-
steps of the Decision-making Process are:           ments SMS within their own individual
  • Needs Identification                            processes and programs, describing each of
                                                    them within this manual is not feasible. As an
  • Solution/Resource Development                   example, the following subsections describe
  • Investment Prioritization and Implementation    WSDOT’s implementation of SMS.

  • Investment Tracking                             9.2 SMS Collaboration
  • Investment Evaluation                           Responsibilities Within WSDOT
As resources allow, within their own existing       The region offices may contact the following
processes, all jurisdictions within the state are   Olympia Service Center offices for information,
encouraged to (1) take part in the SMS Collabo-     resources, and assistance regarding safety-related
ration Process, and (2) implement the SMS           decisions:
Decision-making Process. This occurs through        Office (Service Center) — SMS Responsibilities
the appropriate existing partnership and assis-
                                                    Transportation Planning (P&P) — Develops/
tance forums for each jurisdiction. Examples:
                                                    Maintains the Systems Plan: Service Objectives
a city might work with WSDOT TransAid; a
                                                    and Performance Indicators, needs identification,
county might work with the County Road
                                                    solutions/strategies, and financial responsibility.
Administration Board; or the Department of
Health might work with the Traffic Safety           Transportation Data (P&P) — Maintains
Commission.                                         traffic and highway crash statistics and technical
                                                    assistance on safety data analysis.
There are three main goals of SMS:
                                                    Research (P&P) — Provides for research
1. Prevent and reduce the number and severity
                                                    projects and reporting on highway safety issues.
of roadway collisions;

Traffic Manual                                                                                Page 9-1
November 1996
Safety Management System

Traffic (E&E) — Leads Development/Mainte-            identification in our long-range (20-year) system
nance of the statewide SMS, leads standing           plan. Some examples of safety-related service
committee for Workzone Safety, provides              objectives within WSDOT are:
technical assistance/training on safety investment
and benefit/cost analysis, and coordinates safety    Maintenance
investment tracking and evaluation efforts.            • Ensure safe, reliable roadway surfaces.
Program Management (P&P) — Directs/                    • Maintain the visibility and operation of
Coordinates program activities, such as targeting    traffic control and safety devices.
region allocations and providing programming
instructions to the regions.                           • Provide safe travel through work zones.

Design (E&E) — Develops/Maintains design             Preservation
approach to effective safety design features/         • Repave highways at regular intervals to
standards for transportation projects.               minimize long-term costs.
Maintenance (Operations) — Develops/                   • Restore existing safety features.
Maintains effective approach to safety
maintenance activities.                              Improvements
Construction (Operations) — Provides for               • Improve highway sections that have a high
implementation of transportation projects, and       accident history.
provides guidelines for workzone safety.
                                                       • Improve roadways where geometrics, traffic
TransAid (TransAid) — Provides support               volumes, and speed limits indicate a high
and coordination with local transportation           accident potential.
jurisdictions on highway safety issues.
                                                       • Improve geometrics of the Interstate system
Staff Development (Personnel) — Provides for         per the FHWA/WSDOT Stewardship
training/staff development on highway safety for     Agreement.
all program areas.
                                                     9.4 SMS Solution and Resource
Communication and Public Involvement
                                                     Development Within WSDOT
Office — Provides for public information and
media coverage on traffic safety (i.e., “Give ‘Em    As safety needs are identified through the State
a Brake” campaign)                                   Systems Plan for each biennium, solution and
                                                     resource development is performed throughout
9.3 SMS Needs Identification                         the WSDOT program structure. This is generally
Within WSDOT                                         carried out as scoping work by region project
                                                     development staff (as determined by each region)
Needs identification is the first step to ensure
                                                     for the Preservation and Improvements pro-
that safety is considered in all phases of traffic
                                                     grams, and region/area maintenance staff for the
and roadway related efforts focused on the goal
                                                     Maintenance program.
of preventing and reducing the number and
severity of collisions. This basically means an      Each region provides to Transportation Planning
identification of historically or potentially        (P&P), resource estimates for safety related
hazardous conditions, or identification of any       activities that address the identified needs.
cause/effect issues that contribute to collisions.   Supported by the other Olympia Service Centers,
                                                     Transportation Planning then checks for financial
Measurable service objectives are established for
                                                     feasibility. If the solution costs do not match
all WSDOT programs and subprograms. These
                                                     expected revenues, the service objectives are
service objectives provide a baseline for needs
                                                     reviewed and modified. Once the solution costs
                                                     are in balance with revenues, the Systems Plan is
                                                     updated. This occurs every two years.

Page 9-2                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                                        November 1996
                                                                              Safety Management System

9.5 SMS Investment Prioritization/                     The basic elements of tracking are:
Implementation Within WSDOT                            1. Need Addressed —For example: crash
Prioritization is based on (1) the anticipated         reduction, risk of leaving roadway, etc.
benefits of preventing and reducing collisions         2. Description — A description of the identifi-
(focusing of identified needs) and (2) the cost        able safety related activity (e.g. straighten curve,
and duration of implementing the solution. Many        install illumination, slope flattening, public ads
safety activities may overlap with solutions           on work zone traffic control, etc.), including
developed for other program/subprogram needs.          location, region, roadway classification, etc.
Therefore, individual project prioritization
should also be coordinated with those other            3. Date — The date(s) the safety related
efforts.                                               activity is effectively implemented.
Prioritization of safety projects, funded from the     4. Resources — Funding (staff, equipment,
Improvement Program, is based upon project             time, etc.) requirements dedicated to each safety
benefit-cost ratios. First, the statewide System       related activity.
Plan needs are ranked from greatest to least,          5. Projected Benefits — Identification of
using societal costs of collisions per year as a       expected benefits for identified needs from each
common denominator. Then, starting at the top          safety related activity.
of the list, benefit-cost methods are applied to the
solutions which adequately address the identified      6. Actual Benefits — The actual benefits
needs. To be considered for implementation, a          derived from the activity (e.g. societal costs of
safety solution must have a projected benefit          collisions, public education benefits, etc.)
value equal to or greater than the solution cost.      7. Investment Type — The investment category
This analysis is repeated until the available          of the activity. (General headings: System
safety improvement resources for a two year            Management, Traffic control, Roadside,
program have been allocated to the array of            Roadway.)
safety solutions which maximize the projected          8. State Program Source — The program/
benefits.                                              subprogram (Maintenance, Preservation,
Implementation includes the specific funding,          Improvements) from which the investment was
scheduling, and management of the prioritized          made.
solution activities. Examples include: program-        The guidelines for safety investment tracking are
ming, design, construction or manufacturing,           currently being developed.
maintenance, operations, enforcement, and driver
safety instruction.                                    9.7 SMS Investment Evaluation
                                                       Within WSDOT
9.6 SMS Investment Tracking
                                                       Safety investments should be monitored and
Within WSDOT
                                                       evaluated to determine whether appropriate and
As safety solutions are implemented under SMS          cost-effective investments were made. Monitor-
they become safety investments. A variety of           ing and evaluating provides new insight for
safety investment data will be tracked by loca-        future problem identification, solution develop-
tion, funding source, projected benefit/cost, type     ment, and solution prioritization and
of investment, and roadway safety feature to           implementation. The districts will monitor and
ensure that each investment can be easily              evaluate all safety investments.
identified for the purpose of monitoring and
evaluation. The regions will uniformly track           All evaluations will be documented in a stan-
safety investments.                                    dardized format provided by the Olympia
                                                       Service Center Traffic Office and should address
                                                       each of the five items listed below:

Traffic Manual                                                                                    Page 9-3
November 1996
Safety Management System

1.   Need addressed.                                9.9 References
2. Total resource investment for all safety-        Section 1034 (Public Law 102-240) of the 1991
related activities.                                 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency
                                                    Act (ISTEA) calls for each state to develop six
3. Projected benefits for each activity, based on
                                                    inter-related transportation management systems
the prevention and reduction in number and
                                                    and a traffic monitoring system. By October 1,
severity of collisions.
                                                    1994, the state shall develop a work plan for
4. Actual benefits for each activity, based on      SMS which will be fully operational by
the prevention and reduction in number and          October 1, 1996.
severity of collisions.
                                                    Washington State Law, C 406 L 93, directs that
5. Associated collision rates and societal costs    measurable, outcome based objectives shall be
applicable to the “before/after” evaluation         used to track the performance of agencies with
period.                                             traffic safety responsibilities.
As the evaluation data is compiled regionally and   RCW 47.05 requires WSDOT to develop a six
statewide, new trend data becomes available for     year program and financial plan for highway
future decision-making.                             improvements specifying program objectives.
                                                    The program and plan shall be based upon the
9.8 WSDOT Programming for                           improvement needs for state highways as
Safety Preservation and                             determined by WSDOT.
Improvements                                        Under RCW 47.01.250 the State Patrol,
Programming safety dollars must be consistent       Washington Traffic Safety Commission
with several plans, procedures and systems:         (WTSC), County Road Administration Board,
SMS, Statewide Systems Plan, State                  and the Department of Licensing shall consult
Prioritization and Programming Law (RCW             with the Transportation Commission and
47.05), and Federal Regulations for standards       WSDOT to ensure that their transportation
and the FHWA/WSDOT Stewardship Plan.                related responsibilities, goals, and activities are
The programming instructions for the Roadway        fully coordinated. Results of this interaction shall
Preservation subprogram identifies typical safety   be reported to the Governor and the Legislature.
“restoration” type items which are to be            Among other duties listed in RCW 43.59, the
addressed on our Preservation projects. This is     WTSC shall plan and manage at both the state
funded with a 12 percent program maximum            and local level, safety activities and programs for
allocation. The longer safety improvements          the prevention of accidents on roads, streets, and
which address System Plans safety needs in          highways. WTSC shall confer with and advise
reduction or prevention of collisions are funded    the political subdivisions and all agencies of
from the Improvements program. The Safety           Washington State government whose programs
Improvement Projects Workbook guides the            and activities are within the scope of traffic
regions in the process of prioritizing safety       safety.
improvements within the Safety Improvements

Page 9-4                                                                                 Traffic Manual
                                                                                        November 1996

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