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Where are custom traffic signs used?

Customized traffic sign
This customized traffic sign is located in Omaha, Nebraska. No, seriously, it’s in New Zealand.

Despite the fact that traffic signs have been broadly standardized under the MUTCD, some customization is still possible, including company branding and logos.

What’s more, MUTCD signs doesn't cover every situation, like directing traffic in gated communities, unusual animal crossing, or signs requiring discrete and unusual quantities (like a sign that says "weight limit 14 tons" or "next 200 ft"). Customized traffic signs can also warn drivers of community-specific features or hazards without taking a one-size-fits-all approach that can leave people guessing. The difference between a 4% and 7% grade can make a gigantic difference to a truck driver, so traffic signs must be customizable to some degree to account for local conditions.

Gated communities often have their own distinctive design aesthetics, and so subdivisions and small, private neighborhoods make heavy use of customized signage on their land. Essentials like stop signs and speed limit signs still need to follow the style adopted by the states in which the communities reside, but there's far more design latitude for street signs, "slow down" warnings, children at play signs, and signs that inform drivers of parking rules, as well as the panoply of other signs that these neighborhoods tend to use (like pool signs and so forth).

Stop signs can be customized, too, to some extent, as long as it's red-and-white and octagonal – you may want to explain why drivers need to stop in an unusual place ("stop: hidden driveway ahead") or to advise them of hidden dangers ("stop: dangerous ice").

Parking signs are among the most commonly customized, and since these are generally erected by landowners and proprietors to safeguard the convenience of people who routinely use the property, most states allow for more latitude in designing no parking signs. (The most important guideline is to account for ADA guidelines for disabled parking; beyond that, penalties may be more difficult to legally enforce if the sign isn't clearly worded or readily visible, but in most states you can forbid parking any way you want.)

 
 
 
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