School Zone Sign Design Guidelines

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City Guidelines Regarding the Installation of “School Zone” Signs Traffic Services Division of the Department of Public Works

Governing Document Reference:

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD), 2009 or latest edition and the Overland Park Municipal Code (OPMC), Title 12 – Traffic, Chapter 12.04

MUTCD Requirements:

School Sign (S1-1) and Plaques

The School (S1-1) sign has the following four applications:
S1-1 Signs & S4-3P & S4-7P plaques.JPG
A. School Area - the S1-1 sign can be used to warn road users that they are approaching a school area that might include school buildings or grounds, a school crossing, or school related activity adjacent to the highway.
B. School Zone - the S1-1 sign can be used to identify the location of the beginning of a designated school zone.
C. School Advance Crossing - if combined with an AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque or an XX FEET (W16-2P or W16-2aP) plaque to comprise the School Advance Crossing assembly, the S1-1 sign can be used to warn road users that they are approaching a crossing where schoolchildren cross the roadway.
D. School Crossing - if combined with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque to comprise the School Crossing assembly, the S1-1 sign can be used to warn approaching road users of the location of a crossing where schoolchildren cross the roadway.

School Zone Sign (S1-1) and Plaques (S4-3P, S4-7P) and END SCHOOL ZONE Sign (S5-2)

If a school zone has been designated under State or local statute, a School (S1-1) sign shall be installed to identify the beginning point(s) of the designated school zone.
S5-2.JPG

A School Zone (S1-1) sign may be supplemented with a SCHOOL (S4-3P) plaque.

A School Zone (S1-1) sign may be supplemented with an ALL YEAR (S4-7P) plaque if the school operates on a 12-month schedule.

The downstream end of a designated school zone may be identified with an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign.

If a school zone is located on a cross street in close proximity to the intersection, a School Zone (S1-1) sign with a supplemental arrow (W16-5P or W16-6P) plaque may be installed on each approach of the street or highway to warn road users making a turn onto the cross street that they will encounter a school zone soon after making the turn.

School Advance Crossing Assembly

School Advance Crossing Assembly.JPG

The School Advance Crossing assembly shall consist of a School (S1-1) sign supplemented with an AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque or an XX FEET (W16-2P or W16-2aP) plaque.

A School Advance Crossing assembly shall be used in advance of the first School Crossing assembly that is encountered in each direction as traffic approaches a school crosswalk, except it may be omitted where a School Zone (S1-1) sign is installed to identify the beginning of a school zone in advance of the School Crossing assembly.

School Crossing Assembly

If used, the School Crossing assembly shall be installed at the school crossing or as close to it as possible, and shall consist of a School (S1-1) sign supplemented with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque to show the location of the crossing. The School Crossing assembly shall not be used at crossings other than those adjacent to schools and those on established school pedestrian routes. The School Crossing assembly shall not be installed on approaches controlled by a “Stop” or “Yield” sign.
School Crossing Assembly.JPG

School Speed Limit Assembly (S4-1P, S4-2P, S4-3P, S4-4P, S4-6P, S5-1) and END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT Sign (S5-3)

School Speed Limit Sign.JPG
School Speed Limit Assembly.JPG

A School Speed Limit assembly or a School Speed Limit (S5-1) sign shall be used to indicate the speed limit where a reduced school speed limit zone has been established based upon an engineering study or where a reduced school speed limit is specified for such areas by statute. The School Speed Limit assembly or School Speed Limit sign shall be placed at or as near as practical to the point where the reduced school speed limit zone begins.

If a reduced school speed limit zone has been established, a School (S1-1) sign shall be installed in advance of the first School Speed Limit sign assembly or S5-1 sign that is encountered in each direction as traffic approaches the reduced school speed limit zone according to the guidelines for advance placement of warning signs.

The downstream end of an authorized and posted reduced school speed limit zone shall be identified with an END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3) sign. However, if a reduced school speed limit zone ends at the same point as a higher fines zone, an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign may be used instead of a combination of an END HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-11) sign and an END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3) sign.

End School Zone Speed Limit Signs.JPG

A standard Speed Limit sign showing the speed limit for the section of highway that is downstream from the authorized and posted reduced school speed limit zone may be mounted on the same post above the END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3) sign or the END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign.

The beginning point of a reduced school speed limit zone should be at least 200 feet in advance of the school grounds, a school crossing, or other school related activities; however, this 200-foot distance should be increased if the reduced school speed limit is 30 mph or higher.

The School Speed Limit assembly shall consist of a top plaque (S4-3P) with the legend SCHOOL, a Speed Limit (R2-1) sign, and a bottom plaque (S4-1P, S4-2P, S4-4P, or S4-6P) indicating the specific periods of the day and/or days of the week that the special school speed limit is in effect.

A Speed Limit Sign Beacon also may be used, with a WHEN FLASHING legend, to identify the periods that the school speed limit is in effect

Reduced School Speed Limit Ahead Sign (S4-5, S4-5a)

Reduced School Speed Limit Ahead Signs.JPG

A Reduced School Speed Limit Ahead (S4-5, S4-5a) sign should be used to inform road users of a reduced speed zone where the speed limit is being reduced by more than 10 mph, or where engineering judgment indicates that advance notice would be appropriate.

If used, the Reduced School Speed Limit Ahead sign shall be followed by a School Speed Limit sign or a School Speed Limit assembly.

The speed limit displayed on the Reduced School Speed Limit Ahead sign shall be identical to the speed limit displayed on the subsequent School Speed Limit sign or School Speed Limit assembly.

City of Overland Park Guidelines for Installation:

The following criteria will be used for signing and marking school, pedestrian, bicycle, trail, and golf cart crossings:

Signing and Marking Guidelines for School, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Trail and Golf Cart Crossings
Traffic Signal Adjacent to Elementary or Middle School
Condition Sign with Ahead (W16-9p) Plaque Sign with Diagonal Down Arrow (W16-7p) Plaque High Visibility Crosswalk Markings Yield Line with R1-5 Signs if Multi-Lane Approach
No Crossing Guard Yes No1 No No
Crossing Guard Assigned Yes No1 No No
Stop & Yield Sign Adjacent to Elementary or Middle School
Condition Sign with Ahead (W16-9p) Plaque Sign with Diagonal Down Arrow (W16-7p) Plaque High Visibility Crosswalk Markings Yield Line if Multi-Lane Approach
No Crossing Guard Yes No No No
Crossing Guard Assigned Yes No No No
Mid-Block Crossings or Uncontrolled Through Movements
Condition Sign with Ahead (W16-9p) Plaque Sign with Diagonal Down Arrow (W16-7p) Plaque High Visibility Crosswalk Markings Yield Line if Multi-Lane Approach
Pedestrian or School Crossings Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trail Crossing on a Collector or Thoroughfare Street2 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trail Crossing on a Residential Street2 No Yes No No
Golf Cart Crossing No Yes No No

1Install countdown pedestrian signal head if not already present prior to removing down arrow sign.
2Does not need to meet volume criteria to be marked or signed.