The Arkansas State Highway Commission is authorized by Ark. Code
(1994), and the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic
Control Devices to promulgate rules, and regulations governing Tourist-Oriented
Directional Signing (TODS) within the rights-of-way of state highways.
These regulations provide for the installation and administration
of TODS for qualified activities or sites of reasonable interest to the
traveling public not residing in the immediate area of the business or
State Highway. For the purpose of these regulations,
means the National Highway System and the 5,250 miles of state highways subject
to Federal and State Highway Beautification Acts as of June 1, 1991. This
definition does not include the interstate or freeway highway systems, both of
which are eligible for the Logo Signing Program.
Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs. Hereafter
referred to as TODS, are official signs that are located within the
right-of-way of a state highway giving specific information regarding
activities or sites of reasonable interest to the traveling public not residing
in the immediate area of the business or activity.
Rural. Refers to those areas not in the corporate limits of a
city or town.
Trailblazer Sign. A sign that must be installed at
an intersection where the motorist must change directions in order to reach the
Activities or Sites of Reasonable Interest
The activity or site must be of reasonable interest to the
traveling public not residing in the immediate area of the business or activity
to qualify for the TODS Program. Any one of the following may qualify the
activity or site.
Motorist Service. It offers a motorist service such
as gas, food, lodging camping, or motor vehicle service or repair.
Tourist Attraction. It is of reasonable interest to
tourists as a historic, cultural, scientific, educational, or entertainment
site, or as a site of natural scenic beauty or naturally suited for outdoor
Commercial Interest. It is of reasonable commercial
interest to the traveling public not residing in the immediate area of the
business or activity.
Seasonal Agricultural Interest. It offers fresh,
locally produced, seasonal agricultural products of reasonable interest to the
traveling public not residing in the immediate area of the business or
An individual activity or site of reasonable interest must meet
the following general requirements to qualify for TODS. The Department may
require applicants to prove that they comply with the requirements of this
A. With the exception of
motorist services activities, the activity or site (including seasonal
agricultural products) must reasonably derive the major portion of income or
visitors during the normal business season from motorists not residing in the
immediate area of the business or activity.
B. The activity or site shall be open to the
general public during regular and reasonable hours and not by appointment or
C. The activity
shall be conducted in an appropriate building or area. It shall not be
conducted in a building used as a residence unless the activity is a motorist
service lodging facility (hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, etc.).
D. The activity or site shall be located in a
rural area not within the corporate limits of a city or town, except for Scenic
E. With the exception of
those instances where the Department determines that operational safety
requires an advance sign, an activity shall not qualify for a TODS unless the
activity or its on-premise signing and driveway entrance are not readily
visible from the state highway.
An activity or site will not qualify for TODS if the activity or site is
identified by a Department directional sign that is within the right-of-way, if
the activity or site is advertised by an off-premise sign that is illegal as
defined by the Arkansas Highway Beautification Act, or if the activity or site
is advertised by an off-premise sign that is visible from the location of the
G. The activity or
site shall comply with all applicable laws concerning public accommodations
without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, or
disability, and shall comply with all applicable health and sanitation laws and
must possess any required local permits or licenses.
H. The activity or site must be located
within fifteen (15) miles of the state highway.
In addition to the general requirements, an individual activity
or site of reasonable interest must meet the following requirements to qualify
for the TODS Program.
Motorist Service. An activity providing a motorist
service must be open a minimum of eight (8) hours a day, five (5) days a week
(one of which is Saturday), and six (6) months a year.
Tourist Attraction. A tourist attraction must be
open a minimum of four (4) hours a day, five (5) days a week (one of which is
Saturday), and six (6) months a year.
Commercial Interest. A commercial activity not
covered by the above paragraphs must be open a minimum of eight (8) hours a
day, five (5) days a week (one of which is Saturday), and six (6) months a
Seasonal Agricultural Interest. An agricultural
business activity must be open a minimum of eight (8) hours a day, five (5)
days a week (one of which is Saturday) during the normal seasonal
A TODS sign shall not be erected until the activity or site has
been approved for a TODS Signing Permit in accordance with these regulations,
and the Department has received payment of all fees due.
A. A TODS sign shall be covered or removed by
the Department if the activity or site ceases to qualify for a period of seven
B. In the event the
qualifying business changes ownership, the Department is to be notified in
C. The Department shall
cover or remove a TODS sign for a seasonal activity when the activity is closed
during the off-season period, unless the TODS sign displays the period of
operation. A fee will be assessed by the Department if the sign is covered or
D. If needed, adequate
trailblazing signs shall be provided on local roads and streets to guide
motorists from the state highway to the activity or site. Trailblazer signs on
local roads and streets must be approved by the Department and be in place
prior to the installation of the TODS signs. The applicant will be responsible
for obtaining the trailblazer signs and any necessary permits from local
officials, and for the installation of the signs. Any trailblazer signs
required on state highway rights-of-way will be authorized in the TODS Signing
Permit, purchased by the applicant, and installed by the Department or its
Design of TODS Signs
TODS signs shall be provided by the applicant and will be
installed on a metal post structure furnished and erected by the Department or
its authorized contractor. A maximum of four (4) TODS signs shall be installed
on a single structure.
A. TODS signs
shall be 72 inches wide by 18 inches high with reflective blue background and
reflective white legend, borders, and directional arrows. The TODS signs must
be professionally fabricated with reflective sheeting on an aluminum panel, and
must comply with Department specifications to be furnished to each applicant.
Logos may be reproduced in the colors desired by the applicant. Recreation or
service symbols shall be reflective white.
B. The TODS signs will contain space for two
(2) lines of legend in six (6) inch letters, a directional arrow, and distance
to the activity. Lettering will be in accordance with Department specifications
except when the style of lettering for a business name is a trademark. In all
cases, the lettering shall be reflective white. The legend will be the activity
name only; however, appropriate service or recreational symbols and logos may
be used if reduced to appropriate size. Promotional advertising and symbols or
logos resembling official highway signs or traffic control devices are
C. When approved
symbols and logos are used, they shall not exceed the height or the two lines
or word legend. If used with a word legend, the symbol or logos will be placed
to the left of the word legend. Times of operation may be displayed on the TODS
sign if deemed necessary by the Department for the convenience of the motorist.
When times of operation are displayed, they must be incorporated in the two
lines of legend.
TODS Sign Installation
TODS signs normally will be installed in rural areas a minimum of
200 feet in advance of the intersection while maintaining a minimum of 200 feet
between TODS signs and other official traffic control devices.
A. No more than two (2) TODS sign structures
(one for activities to the left; one for activities to the right) should be
installed at any intersection approach. One additional sign structure may be
installed if needed to accommodate TODS for activities in the ahead
B. The right turn TODS
structure shall be the closest to the intersection with the left turn TODS
structure being the farthest in advance of the intersection.
C. The advance TODS sign " 1/2 mile" or "Next
Right (or Left)" will not normally be used unless the Department determines
that it is needed for highway safety purposes.
D. Where the number of activities to be
signed is four (4) or less at any one intersection, the TODS signs for right or
left activities may be combined on one TODS sign structure. On a combination
structure, the TODS signs will be arranged with the left arrows at the top and
the right arrows below.
clearance for TODS signs shall be equal to or greater than the other guide
signs at the intersection.
The Department's Beautification Section of the Environmental
Division will be responsible for the administration and fee collection for the
TODS Signing Program. The Beautification Section will provide application
forms, rules and regulations, fee schedules, and design and specification
standards to all interested parties. Applications will be submitted
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation
P.O. Box 2261
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203
Telephone Number: (501) 569-2088
Installation. The Department
or authorized contractor will be responsible for the erection and maintenance
of the TODS sign structures.
Cost. TODS signs shall be furnished to the Department in accordance with
Department specifications. The TODS signs shall be furnished by the businesses
or activities at no cost to the Department. The Department will provide
information to applicants pertaining to sign companies that manufacture TODS
Upon notice from the Department, businesses or activities will provide new TODS
signs to replace signs which become faded, damaged, destroyed or otherwise need
replacement as determined by the Department. The replacement signs will be
provided at no cost to the Department.
Selection of eligible businesses,
activities, or sites. The Department will notify potential qualifying
tourist-oriented activities in writing and/or by public notice in a newspaper
of general circulation within the county where the TODS intersections are
located. If there is not enough space on TODS sign structures to accommodate
all businesses, activities, or sites that desire to display signs, those
businesses, activities, or sites closest to the particular intersection will be
selected. If subsequently, a business, activity, or site exists or is
constructed closer to the intersection then the one being displayed on the TODS
sign structure, the business, activity, or site on the TODS sign structure may
continue to display until such time as they no longer desire to do so or fail
to pay any applicable fees.
It is intended that the TODS Signing Program shall be
self-sustaining. Fees assessed by the Department shall be reviewed periodically
to determine their relationship to the cost of operation. Fees may be increased
or decreased by the Department as required to assure the program is
Fee. An application fee of $25.00 per intersection per
business, activity, or site shall be submitted with each application for a TODS
Upon approval of the TODS Signing Permit, the
applicant will be billed for the initial installation fee of $50.00 per
TODS sign and per trailblazer sign to be installed on state highway
The initial installation fees will be payable within ten (10)
days of the permit date.
Annual Fees. Annual maintenance/administration fees of
$50.00 per TODS sign and per trailblazer sign on state highway
rights-of-way will be payable in July of each year beginning with the
first July of the year following the TODS Signing Permit date.
1. The fee to be assessed for the removal or
covering, including seasonal removal or covering, of TODS signs and trailblazer
signs on state highway rights-of-way is $50.00 per sign.
2. The fee to be assessed for the replacement
installation of TODS signs and trailblazer signs on state highway rights-of-way
is $50.00 per sign.
Refunds. Application fees
will be refunded when applications cannot be approved by the Department. After
TODS permits have been issued, application and installation fees will not be
refunded. Annual maintenance/administrative fees will not be refunded unless
TODS signs are required to be removed because of highway construction or
maintenance work. In such cases, refunds will be calculated based on the number
of full months the signs were down.