No person may erect, cause to be erected, permit to be erected, or maintain any advertising, warning, route, guide, information, or regulatory sign or signal within the limits of any highway except as authorized in s. Trans 200.02
No person may place or maintain nor may any public authority permit upon any highway any official traffic control device bearing thereon any commercial advertising except as authorized in s. Trans 200.06
. (See ss. 346.41
No local authority shall place or maintain any stop sign or traffic control signal which stops or regulates the movement of traffic on or entering the state trunk highway system or the urban extensions of the marked routes thereof, designated by the statutes as connecting highways, without the approval of the department.
Trans 200.04 History
1-2-56; am. (1), Register, June, 1959, No. 42
, eff. 7-1-59; renum. from Hy 10.04 and am., Register, July, 1980, No. 295
, eff. 8-1-80; am. (1) and (2), Register, March, 1984, No. 339
, eff. 4-1-84.
Warning signs for underground transmission lines. Trans 200.05(1)(1)
Subject to the conditions set forth in this chapter and in compliance with the provisions of s. 86.16
, Stats., the department may grant permits to public utility companies and cooperatives to erect on highway right of way signs giving notice of the presence of underground conduit, cables or pipe for the transmission of electric power, communications or liquid or gaseous fuels.
When warning signs are permitted in accordance with this chapter, they shall be placed on highway right of way within 2 feet of the fence or right of way line in such a manner that the face of the sign roughly parallels the highway centerline and shall be so adjusted as to height that they will in no way impair vision at intersections, curves, railroad crossings or private entrances. Signs may be erected at the following prescribed locations:
On one or both sides of a public highway or railroad right of way which the underground transmission line crosses.
On one or both sides of a stream wider than 50 feet. In the case of navigable streams or channels, additional signs may be permitted in the stream at such locations approved by the authority having control of navigation.
At such intermediate points that signs will be located at intervals of approximately one-half mile.
At such other points as may be specifically authorized upon a determination that such additional signs are necessary to reduce the likelihood of damage to the transmission lines.
The signs shall be rectangular in shape and not larger than 24‶x 18‶ when mounted horizontally or not larger than 12‶ x 18‶ when mounted vertically. Roof-type aerial markers shall not exceed 24‶ x 18‶measured on the plane connecting the 4 lower corners of the marker with a maximum vertical dimension of 8‶. Adequate contrasting color combinations for signs may be selected at the discretion of the utility, except that the following 2-color combinations are specifically prohibited:
White on red (except where specifically required by other legal authority).
In addition to the warning message, the signs may include an arrow or arrows indicating the general direction taken by the transmission line. The arrow signs may also be separate from the warning sign, in which case they shall be not greater than 4‶ x 12‶ in size. The warning signs may carry the name, address, and telephone number of the company owning the transmission line, provided that such lettering shall not exceed one inch in vertical height. The word "Danger" shall generally be avoided unless specifically required by statute or other legal authority. No advertising will be permitted except that the signs may carry the company symbol provided that such symbol is restricted in size to a minimum of one inch and a maximum of 20% of the vertical height of the sign. Such restrictions shall apply to both horizontal and vertical dimensions of the symbol.
All signs and their supports shall be erected, maintained, and replaced as necessary by the company owning them. They shall be moved by the company at its own expense upon request from the authority maintaining the highway.
In accepting permission to erect signs of the type provided for in this chapter, the company (or cooperative) agrees that such permission in no way constitutes assumption by the highway maintaining authority of any liability for any damage to the transmission line resulting from work performed by or for said highway authority.
The regulations of this chapter shall not be retroactive but shall apply to all sign installations made subsequent to the date of adoption of this chapter, and shall also apply to any replacement of existing signs made after said date.
Special cases where application of this general policy is deemed impractical, inadequate or unreasonable shall be subject to special study and individual decision by the department as to disposition.
Trans 200.05 History
Cr. Register, June, 1959, No. 42
, eff. 7-1-59; renum. from Hy 19.05 and am.(1) and (8), Register, July, 1980, No. 295
, eff. 8-1-80.
Warning signs for utility work areas.
The first advance warning sign and the "END UTILITY WORK" sign shall be placed in accordance with the Wisconsin manual on uniform traffic control devices, the department's utility accommodation policy, or any other work zone traffic control guidance that has been accepted for regular use by the department with respect to the state trunk highway system, or a county, town, or municipality with respect to highways under their jurisdiction.
Trans 200.055 Note
Authority for the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is found at s. 84.02 (4) (e)
, Stats. Section 227.01 (13) (d)
, Stats., also states that the Department is exempt from rulemaking with regard to use of highways that is made known to the public by means of signs or signals. A copy of the Department's Utility Accommodation Policy may be obtained, without cost, by writing to the Division of Transportation Infrastructure Development, Bureau of Highway Operations, P. O. Box 7986, Room 501, Madison, WI 53707-7986.
Trans 200.055 History
Cr. Register, March, 1999, No. 519
, eff. 4-1-99.
Specific information and business signs. Trans 200.06(1)(1)
The department may authorize the erection and maintenance of business signs on specific information signs in accordance with s. 86.195
, Stats., subject to the following restrictions:
No business sign may be erected or maintained for any business that has a guidance sign under s. Trans 200.03
on the same highway unless the guidance sign is removed before the business sign is erected.
When a business sign is erected, any existing motorist service signs for the same services at the same intersection in the same direction shall be removed.
Any person permitted to have a business sign shall provide any supplemental signing deemed necessary to guide traffic to the motorist service. Supplemental signing includes ramp signing or other lawful signing.
No business sign may be erected or maintained on an exit ramp sign without a corresponding business sign on the specific information sign along the main roadway. A business sign may be erected and maintained on a specific information sign along the main roadway without a corresponding business sign on an exit ramp sign unless deemed necessary by the department to guide traffic to the motorist service.
No business sign may be erected or maintained on a freeway for a business that is reached by any other freeway. No business sign may be erected or maintained on an expressway for a business that is reached by any other expressway or by any freeway. No business sign may be erected or maintained on a conventional highway for a business that is reached by any other conventional state trunk highway or by any expressway or freeway. The department may allow exceptions to the restrictions in this paragraph when it deems it necessary to provide motorists with service information.
No business sign may be erected or maintained at a location where there is an intersection or interchange on the same highway between the sign location and the intersection or interchange at which the business to which the sign applies is located. This paragraph does not apply to double-exit interchanges.
No business sign may be erected or maintained at less than normal spacing in order to accommodate the sign between 2 successive intersections or interchanges. This paragraph does not apply to double-exit interchanges.
When there are more business signs requested than the number that may be permitted, the businesses with existing permitted signs shall have priority; then the businesses that are nearest the through federal-aid primary or secondary highway shall have next priority. At double-exit interchanges, the distance shall be measured separately for each pair of double exits, and the shorter distance shall determine priority.
Any business sign for a motorist service operated on a seasonal basis shall be removed or covered during off seasons.
No business sign, brand, symbol, trademark or any other message may be erected or maintained that resembles any official traffic control device or railroad sign or signal.
No business sign may be erected or maintained that does not meet the department's specifications.
No business sign may be erected or maintained that has an objectionable appearance as determined by the department due to vandalism, fading, deterioration or other causes.
No business sign may be erected or maintained for a motorist service that does not fulfill the service requirements of s. 86.195 (3)
No business sign may be erected or maintained by any applicant for the sign.
No business sign may be erected or maintained that fails to conform with s. 86.19
, Stats., or rules interpreting and implementing these statutes, as determined by the department.
No business sign may be erected or maintained that fails to conform with Wisconsin statutes or federal statutes.
No business sign may be erected or maintained in violation of an order of the department or any court of competent jurisdiction.
No business sign may be erected or maintained for any business that fails to conform with all applicable laws concerning the provisions of public accommodations without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation or national origin.
Sign removal shall not be stayed by filing any appeal of the department's decision or order to remove a sign.
Sign removal shall not affect a sign requestor's liability for any unpaid fees, interest and costs of collection as determined by the department.
(2) Services permitted.
The motorist services for which the department may authorize the erection and maintenance of business signs on specific information signs within a highway are limited to "GAS," "FOOD," "LODGING," "CAMPING" or "ATTRACTION" in accordance with s. 86.195 (3)
Trans 200.06 Note
The 36 highway segments currently (2005-06) designated as eligible for these signs are shown on the map in ch. Trans 200 Appendix A
(2g) General requirements for "attraction" eligibility.
To qualify for display on a specific information sign as an "ATTRACTION," a business shall meet the following criteria:
Have the primary purpose of providing amusement, historical, cultural or leisure activities to the public.
Provide adequate parking to accommodate normal traffic volumes for the facility.
Not be identified on any supplemental signing under sub. (1) (f)
or guidance sign on the same route as the specific information sign.
Be located within 3 miles of the interchange and have adequate signage to direct motorists to their location after exiting the highway. If no business, facility, or activity in the category of "ATTRACTION" is available or chooses to participate in the specific information sign program within the 3-mile limit, the limit may be extended to a maximum distance of not more than 5 miles from the highway, unless the distance limit for the category of "ATTRACTION" is increased by a statutory enactment of the Wisconsin Legislature that is consistent with federal law.
Comply with laws concerning the provisions of public accommodations without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, or national origin, and laws concerning the licensing and approval of service facilities.
Have adequate supplemental signage under sub. (1) (f)
to direct motorists to their location after exiting the highway.
Trans 200.06 Note
The 3 to 5-mile distance to services limitation in par. (2g) (e) is required by s. 86.195 (5) (a)
, Stats. (2005-06). The public accommodations requirement in par. (2g) (f) is required by Section 2F.01 of the 2003 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Rev. 1 included) that reads: "Eligible service facilities shall comply with laws concerning the provisions of public accommodations without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, or national origin, and laws concerning the licensing and approval of service facilities."
(2r) Advisory council.
The advisory council appointed by the department under ss. 15.04 (1) (c)
, Stats., for the tourist-oriented directional sign program under s. Trans 200.08 (3)
shall also serve as the advisory council to review applications for the display of business signs on specific information signs in the "ATTRACTION" category. The department shall make the final decision on applications. The department may act on any application not acted upon by the advisory council within 60 days of forwarding of the application to the council. Members of the advisory council will not be compensated for their services or reimbursed for their expenses, except the department may reimburse private citizen members in hardship cases for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
Amusement, historical, cultural or leisure activities.
In making its recommendations regarding whether an applicant's business qualifies as an "ATTRACTION," the advisory council may consider the following non-exclusive list of business facilities that presumptively provide amusement, historical, cultural or leisure activities to the public:
Agri-tourism businesses such as breweries, gardens, cheese factories, vineyards, and wineries.
Aquariums, wildlife facilities, wildlife preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and zoo facilities.
Cultural, historic or scientific sites, galleries, halls of fame, museums, and performing arts facilities.
Nature or scenic areas such as beaches, gorges, nature facilities, nature preserves, nature sanctuaries, observation points, observation towers, parks, scenic areas, trails, lakes, waterfalls, waterways, and bluffs.
Recreation facilities such as amusement parks, casinos, racetracks, speedways, and theme parks.
Religious sites or shrines. Religious sites or shrines, typically not including cathedrals, churches, chapels, synagogues, temples, or mosques, and only when the site or shrine is readily recognized regionally.
Scenic rides or sightseeing tours such as balloon, boat, helicopter, lift, airplane, train, and trolley rides are more likely to qualify in more rural less densely populated areas or where there is a large selection of such activities in one place.
Shopping mall, or downtown/business area only if it has a readily regionally recognized and dominant attraction and regionally well-known identifying logo for the mall or downtown/business area and is not better identified by alternative directional signing.
In making its recommendations regarding whether an applicant's business qualifies as an "ATTRACTION," the advisory council may consider the following factors to determine whether a business facility has the primary purpose of providing one or more of the above qualifying activities to the public:
In making its recommendations regarding whether an applicant's business qualifies as an "ATTRACTION," the advisory council may recognize or consider the following in determining whether a business facility has regional significance:
Regional significance generally is demonstrated by a market presence or significant public awareness of the attraction beyond the local community. While the concept of regional significance is consistent around the state, the significance of a given attraction should be considered relative to other attractions in the area. Areas of the state that are more heavily tourism oriented and those areas that are more rural and less densely populated may result in different determinations of regional significance.
Regionally significant attractions are more likely to be pre-planned ultimate destinations than convenience stops.
Annual attendance, typically over 5,000 at minimum, size of geographic market, percent of customers or visitors from beyond 50-mile radius, existence and size of a regional advertising budget, the number of parking spaces, accommodations to handle large groups such as transit or tour bus facilities, the number of seats in performing arts facilities, the percentage of out-of-state plates, the number of hours and days of continuous operations, the availability and number or tours, and the expected contribution to the success of regional tourism may also be considered indicators of regional significance.
Changeable electronic signs.
Due to spacing requirements, geographic and other limitations on the number of "ATTRACTION" category sign opportunities that may be available, the department may allow changeable electronic sign technology for the specific information sign program to the extent permitted by federal laws and regulations, and subject to the ability to meet contractual and cost provisions acceptable to the department. Changeable electronic signs may serve to make the limited number of spaces available to more "ATTRACTIONS" and other permitted categories.
Permissive alternative recommendations when appropriate.
If the advisory council recommends against allowing an "ATTRACTION" category sign to an applicant, the council may recommend:
Alternative signing under the tourist-oriented directional sign program under s. 86.196
, Stats., and s. Trans 200.08
when appropriate on any highway, other than those designated by the state for the specific information sign program.
Alternative directional or destination guide signs authorized by the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 2003 Edition, Revision 1, including Sections 2H.08 and 2H.09 and some parts of Sections 2D and 2E as adopted by the department pursuant to s. 84.02 (4) (e)
, Stats., when appropriate, with further explanations and guidance provided in the department's traffic guidelines manual. Section Trans 200.03
is an additional source of direction for guidance signing.
Trans 200.06 Note
Chapter Trans 200 Appendix B
is an illustration of a Specific Information Sign and associated business sign. Chapter Trans 200 Appendix C
is an illustration of a Tourist-Oriented Directional Sign. Chapter Trans 200 Appendix D
is an illustration of other directional or guidance signs generally known as Traffic Generator Signs.
The department shall provide forms for business sign applications at region offices. Completed applications shall be submitted to the region office for the region where the sign is to be located. Each applicant shall provide all information required on the department's application form. If the application for the sign is denied, the application fee shall be returned.
In lieu of or in addition to the form and procedure in subd. 1.
, the department may enter into a contract that specifies alternative application forms with a private contractor.
Each applicant shall indicate on its application whether its business is seasonal and the closing and opening dates of the business if seasonal. The applicant shall give assurance to the department that it will provide prior notification to the region office of the region in which the sign is to be located of any change in seasonal dates.
Each applicant shall state on its application that it shall furnish the department's contractor the brand, symbol or trademark or business sign meeting the department's specifications for the business sign.