How do the highway food and gas signs work?

You know the ones; they are blue and they tell you what your dinning options are at any given exit… do you have to pay money to get on this sign? Is it more to be at the top of the sign than at the bottom? How much does it cost?

Short answers:

  1. Yes, businesses pay to advertise on these signs
  2. Not a clue about pricing

Longer answer:
IIRC, these blue traveler information signs are found on and just before interstate exits. In Georgia the signs just prior to the exit indicate restaurants, gas stations, and lodging places on that particular exit. The signs on the exit ramp itself list the businesses again, along with which direction to turn and how far off the interstate the business is located (x. “Waffle House --> .2 mile” or “Shell <-- 1 mile”). IIRC, these informational sign programs are managed by the states, though I have not been able to locate any information about them on the Georgia DOT website. The program is generally overseen by a private company under license from the state. Businesses which wish to advertise on the signs contract with the private company which, in turn, erects and maintains the signs. The state gets a cut of the revenue.

I’ll try to find more detail.

Aha! Eureka! Voila! Etc.!

These are called logo signs and are managed by each state, usually within the Department of Transportation, so rates and regulations will vary. Google “logo signs”, or go to your state DOT website and search “logo sign” or “logo sign program”. The Georgia DOT site give very little info about the program except that it is licensed to a company called Georgia Logos, LLC. To get more info you have to call the company directly. Here is the Oregon logo sign site with lots of info including rates:

My brother used to work at a hotel that was visible from an exit on the Ohio Turnpike. There was some stipulation that kept them from getting on the sign. I wish I could remember exactly, but I think it was along the lines of the hotel not being exactly on the road that intersected the turnpike - it was on an access road 20 feet away :frowning:

What some state DOT people in Minnesota (Mn/DOT) told me a few years ago is that they were supposed to be used as a substitute for highway billboards. Install these and you will get less unsightly billboards. Part of overall highway beautification. Billboard companies (and their lobbyists) complained enough that they have instead become a supplement to billboards. The number of roadside billboards was not reduced and we have the added blue informational logo signs.

I know the companies have to pay for the manufacture and installation of the logo sign panels, but I don’t know for sure if they are maintained by Mn/DOT personnel or privately maintained in our area.

In a lot of places, they have displaced billboards. Existing billboards, of course, are grandfathered in.

If you’re in Arizona and it’s dark, don’t trust the gaddamn signs. I spent a friggin’ hour and half trying to get a motel following those damn things. Motel, this exit. So I take the exit. The motel, turn right. Road is completely empty and dark. There’s no business there at all. Where the hell is the motel? If it weren’t for having the Grand Canyon there, I’d want to say nasty things to a state with such stupid administration.