What is a Highway Mileage Sign?

What are Road Signs? When did People start using Road Signs? What is a Highway Mileage Sign? What are Mile Marker Signs for Races? What are Custom Directional Mileage Signs?
what is a highway mileage sign
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Road signs have been around us since the 1900s. After that, various types of road signs and traffic safety signs were introduced to make driving safer for everyone. One such sign is the highway mileage sign. But have you heard of custom directional mileage signs, and destination and mileage signs? Well, you will get to know everything here. By the way, you may have seen 5k mile marker signs and the mile marker signs for races. Haven’t you? Let’s start and learn about all these signs and their significance.

1. What are Road Signs?

The signs that are planted on the roadside or above the roads (on a board) to provide necessary information to the drivers and road users are termed road signs or traffic signs. Signs provide information about what you are allowed to do, what is not allowed, and which direction takes you to which place. For example, Queensland – 105 miles or Texas – 200 miles. (See What is a Flight of Stairs?)

2. When did People start using Road Signs?

Road signs are in use for a long time to help travelers, there is evidence of milestones that provide distance and direction to travelers in the olden days. The old signs were either present in stone columns called milestones or by wood. The first Traffic Regulation Act in Europe was established by King Peter II of Portugal in 1686. (See How do Toll Roads Work?)

3. What are the Types of Road Signs?

highway mileage sign 4
Photo by Sangga Rima Roman Selia on Unsplash

There are different types of road signs across the world, but the important categories are the same everywhere. Take a look at the top 3 important categories of road signs.

  • Danger or Warning Signs – They show warnings about some disturbances ahead on the road, and they are triangular. For example, steep descent, crossroads, major road, t-road, men at work, etc.
  • Informatory Signs – They are rectangular and provide information. For example, parking, hospital, gas, repairs, highway mileage sign, etc.
  • Regulatory Signs or Mandatory Signs – These signs are put up to show rules and regulations to be followed while driving. They are mostly circular. For example, no entry, trucks prohibited, stop signs, etc. (See 15 Heart Icon Symbol Meaning and Uses)

4. What is a Highway Mileage Sign?

The sign that shows the distance of the cities located at the end of the highway or adjacent to that highway is known as the highway mileage sign. It has the destination information of the next major city along with the distance. These signs are placed on interstate highways, primary highways, and freeways. (See Highway Toll System)

5. How Distance is Measured for the Destination and Mileage Signs?

highway mileage sign 3
Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) states that the destination and mileage signs displayed on the highways (example: Whitby 9, Madison 27), are given after measuring the distance to a prominent building or the next major intersection. This point is selected at the geographical center of the municipality of that place. The Federal Highway Administration published a manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that lists the procedures to be followed. Must read about the 5 Pound Sign Phone Symbol Facts.

6. Are the Distances Measured from the Location of the Post Office?

Yes, this probably happened in the olden days in the US and New Zealand before the invention of modern technologies and other procedures. Post offices were considered the center point of the city and their location was used to measure the distance and displayed on the highway mileage sign. However, the time has changed, and this is not in use. Nowadays, the Department of Transportation (DOT) uses the Geographic Information System (GIS) and Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) to determine the center point and calculate the distance between two cities from the nearest major intersection. (See 8 Facts about Cracks in Sidewalk)

7. What are Mile Marker Signs for Races?

In races, the authorities mark each mile and represent it with mile marker signs. There are different types of mile markers because they make a huge difference in the game. The mile marker signs for races are made and set up in a way to make them easily portable and easy to see. 

8. What is the Meaning of 5k Mile Marker Signs?

highway mileage sign 2
Photo by Capstone Events on Unsplash

Such signs are used in races to tell the destination and distance of the race. Here the letter K refers to kilometers which means 5k mile marker signs are for 5 kilometers (3.10 miles) races. Beginners use this sign to run 5 kilometers at the beginning of their practice. It is the shortest distance considered for roadrunners and marathon runners. (See What is Marathon Distance?)

9. What are the Types of Race Mile Markers?

Different types of mile markers are printed and prepared as per the requirements of the budget, race, and racecourse. After learning about the highway mileage sign, now you will know about the types of race mile markers.

  • A-frames – These are small signs placed on the roadside with the mile written in a large font using bright race-branded colors. They are lightweight, portable, and can be made in any shape and size.
  • Street Graphic Signs – These signs are made on the road. The motive of doing so is to motivate the runners that only a few or so miles are remaining. Also, the logos of sponsors can be included around the mile marker.
  • Wind Flags – They are large and tall mile markers with miles written on the top in bold, big fonts. They are fixed on wind poles and their movement in wind makes it easy for runners to see them even from a distance (See 5 Types of Road Construction)

10. What are Custom Directional Mileage Signs?

These signs are not officially set up by the authorities. People put these signs outside their houses or in their gardens. It is to tell the distance from a place to their personal landmark. People put these custom directional mileage signs on a store nearby or nearby house after the permission of the owner. You can make and use them inside your house as well to tell the direction to the kitchen, washroom, your room, etc if you have a large house. (See What are the symbols of home?)

11. Where can you get Custom-Made Signs?

A mileage directional sign: highway mileage sign 1
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Various websites offer several types of custom-made signs. Different signs can be made from different materials and have different captions written on them. You can also get personalized signs from websites. You can let the artist make custom signs and put them up indoors, outdoors, or on the lawn.

So, among the various highway mileage sign that you come across on highways, you can now understand the destination and mileage signs in a better way. Also, the mile marker signs for races and the 5k mile marker signs are available in different styles. And, if you want to have these signs as per your preferences, you can make custom directional mileage signs. (See Road Construction Process)

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