Why the OTE Highway Sign Program works
On a recent Turkey Day road trip to visit relatives, I discovered that once you’ve crossed over the border of Southern Oregon, finding essential services such as gas, lodging or food becomes much more difficult.
We found only a few precious highway logo signs located in California—those big blue and white signs that help tell you what businesses are located at the next exit—and once you’ve passed those located in the northern part of the state, they disappear altogether.
On long road trips, I’m keenly aware that safety breaks are a necessity rather than an inconvenience that delays a journey. After all, we want to arrive alive right? So navigating to a coffee shop or a gas station (or a rest area) is actually part of what we do to keep safe—ensuring that we have adequate fuel for both vehicle and the mind.
To be fair to our sister states, I do own a smart phone loaded with various apps that allow me to locate an upcoming Starbucks or locally owned cafe. But what if I was traveling alone and didn’t have the luxury of searching the 4G network? Or what about when the app proves contrary and I’m reduced to muttering under my breath when it displays a store four miles back instead of ahead. Sometimes apps just don’t cut the mustard for travel information on the go.
About the only way to determine where a business is located outside Oregon is to keep searching for a sky-bound neon sign atop a 50-foot steel pole. Even then it’s a major miracle if the exit is the right one to steer you to coffee salvation.
On our way back up I-5, I was overjoyed to see Oregon’s familiar blue highway signs. I truly believe they’re a sound investment for OTE’s permit-holders. It’s super easy to follow them and find local businesses. When exiting the freeway, I use the advance ramp signs to know which direction I should turn at the end of the ramp. I’m also informed of how far the business is actually located from the exit.
Sometimes a low-tech approach is actually the most cost-effective way to ensure safety and satisfaction. With an Oregon highway business sign, there’s no diverting attention from what’s happening on the highway—and searching desperately for a place to stop when exhausted.
If you would like more information about Oregon Travel Experience highway signs, connect with our FAQs web page or contact us. We would love to hear from you about your own road trips and how you find what you’re looking for on the highways.