Highway guide signs are used, principally, to direct motorists to different routes, destinations, and other exits along this system. Not surprisingly, some motorists find this system too difficult to navigate and get lost. The basic issue facing the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (SDHPT) is to develop a roadway information system (guide signs) that enables motorists to drive efficiently, conveniently, and safely. The overall objective of this research is to examine and evaluate guide signing complaints and suggest alternative signing methods or configurations to improve roadway-user information. Following identification of procedures for inventorying guide sign problems, and the actual inventory, guide sign problems were analyzed categorically for (1) problems that stem from poor or insufficient signing, (2) problems that stem from complex or unusual roadway geometry, and (3) problems that stem from inadequate driver recognition. A number of roadway users have confronted ambiguous, confusing or erroneous guide signs. Sometimes signs that seem to inform clearly, mislead people due to incorrect information, or drivers simply perceive the meaning of the sign differently. It is also possible that incorrect decisions are made by the motorists for reasons not the fault of the system. Some motorists may be uninformed about signing procedures. Additionally, more prevalent use of road maps may lead to better driver response at difficult interchanges, fewer missed exits, etc. A survey of the driver's understanding or perception of the meaning of guide signs was conducted. The survey responses indicate that motorists have greatest difficulty at interchanges with complex or unusual geometry. The signs usually contain too much information for the motorist to quickly comprehend. Associated with highway guide sign problems are the unique features of airport trailblazing. The problem, simply, is with airline clients who are unfamiliar with airport access routes, and lack adequate route information at major decision points on the way to the airport. Complaints have been received from various sources about trailblazer signs leading to airports that provide commercially scheduled flights in Texas. Accordingly, airport trailblazer signing for the major airports in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth were inventoried and analyzed. Surveys were conducted to identify the major problem areas for airports.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Research study title: Highway User Operational Information.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Texas, Austin

    Center for Transportation Research, 3208 Red River Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78705

    Texas Department of Transportation

    Transportation Planning Division, P.O. Box 5051
    Austin, TX  United States  78763
  • Authors:
    • Emhjellen, K
    • Euritt, M A
    • Govind, S
    • Walton, C M
    • Ward, W V
  • Publication Date: 1990-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 106 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00625033
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TX-91+957-2F, Res Rept 957-2F, CTR 2/3-18-90/0-957-2F
  • Contract Numbers: Study 2/3-18-90/0-957
  • Created Date: Oct 5 1993 12:00AM