California Department of Transportation

Project Development Workflow Tasks (PDWT)

Part 3 - Identify Project Need and Project Initiation Document

II. Project Initiation Document

B. Develop Initial Alternatives (150.10) - Develop Concept Alternatives (WBS 150.10.15)

P51. Request Signs and Striping Review & Estimate

The existing signing and markings on all roadway projects should be reviewed during the development of the project; however, certain types of projects should be reviewed during the PID phase. The project engineer should obtain a preliminary signs and markings review, recommendations, and cost estimate from the District Traffic Design Branch. Old signs and sign structures may need to be upgraded. Addition of new signs and sign structures may be advisable. New freeways and projects involving sign structures will have significant cost items for signing and markings, thus the project engineer should account for these items within the PID cost estimates. Specific changes to signing and marking that are significant to the project’s scope of work should be discussed within the PDT.

Determination of the particular signs or markings to be applied to a specific condition shall ordinarily be made in accordance with the criteria set forth in the Traffic Manual and as governed by the California Vehicle Code. However, engineering judgment is essential to the proper use of signs and markings, as with other traffic control devices. Traffic engineering studies may indicate that signs and markings may be unnecessary at certain locations, and conversely, additional or upgraded signs and markings may be advisable. The project engineer should rely upon the Department’s experts on signing and markings. The project engineer must not alter speed limits or regulatory signing without approval of the District Traffic Engineer.

Chapter 4 of the Traffic Manual prescribes standards for signing within the right-of-way for all classes of public highways. Standards for warning signs are detailed in Section 4-02, "Warning Signs." Regulatory signs may be found in Section 4-03, "Regulatory Signs," and Guide signs in Section 4-04, "Guide Signs." Construction signs are detailed in Chapter 5, and Markings are detailed in Chapter 6. In addition, California Vehicle Code (CVC) sections pertaining to signing on highways are referenced in the Traffic Manual.

For all freeway projects with on/off-ramps within the project limits the project engineer should attempt to comply with the Interchange Exist Numbering Policy Directive 02-04. For projects, the project engineer should have sign vertical clearance checked for conformance with the Sign vertical Clearance Policy 03-00.


Traffic Manual

California Vehicle Code

Uniform Sign Chart

Sign Specifications

California Numbered Exit Uniform System (Cal-NexUS) website

Traffic Operations Policy Directive 02-04, (“Interchange Exit Numbering Policy”, July 31, 2002)

Traffic Operation Program Directive 03-00, (Vertical Clearance Sign Policy for State Highway Structures”, August 25, 2000)


Return to Table of Contents

If you have any questions about the Project Development Procedures Manual send e-mail

This page last updated October 20, 2010