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Can Multiple Traffic Signs Be Mounted on the Same Post?

Thursday November 07, 2019

Traffic control devices, also known simply as traffic signs, play an important role in transportation infrastructures by guiding motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to their destination. Because of their importance, there are laws regulating the design and usage of traffic signs in the United States. Municipalities must use caution when installing new traffic signs to ensure they comply with the laws. In this post, we're going to reveal whether multiple traffic signs can be mounted on the same post.

According to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), traffic signs should typically be individually installed on separate posts. In other words, municipalities shouldn't mount two or more traffic signs on the same post. With that said, the MUTCD lists four exceptions in which it's acceptable to mount multiple traffic signs on the same post.

#1) When the Signs Supplement Each Other

If two traffic signs supplement each other, they can be mounted on the same post. The two signs, for instance, must offer similar types of information. According to the MUTCD, it's okay to mount multiple signs on the same post if they supplement each other in this manner.

#2) Route or Directional Signs

The MUTCD allows the mounting of multiple route or directional signs on the same post. Rather than installing two directional signs -- one for east and another for west directions -- on two different posts, municipalities can install them together on a single post.

#3) Non-Conflicting Regulatory Signs

Municipalities can also mount multiple regulatory signs on the same post, assuming they don't conflict with each other. Regulatory signs, of course, are used to convey traffic laws or other traffic regulations. Common examples of regulatory signs include one way, stop, yield, wrong way, no left turn and no right turn.

#4) Street Name Signs With Stop or Yield

Finally, a street name sign can be mounted on the same pole as a stop or yield sign. Streets, of course, start at intersections or junctions where stop signs and yield are frequently used. Therefore, it makes sense for the MUTCD to allow the mounting of street name signs on the same pole as a stop or yield sign. Requiring different posts for street name signs and stop and yield signs wouldn't just consume unnecessary resources; it would likely result in more collisions because motorists will be focused on the street name sign while overlooking the stop or yield sign.

Aside from these four exceptions, the MUTCD states that traffic signs should be installed individually on separate posts.


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