The Berryville Community Improvement Committee wants to spread awareness of the businesses and activities that the town has to offer passersby who might otherwise cruise right through Clarke county on Route 7. The committee met on October 26th to discuss signage options for key intersections to perhaps capture traffic from the busy artery that now bypasses the town.
Assistant Town Manager/Planner Christy Dunkle spearheaded the research effort into the signage options and brought the information to the committee for discussion. VDOT strictly enforces control over signage on Virginia roadways and for tourism and wayfinding signage uses Virginia Logos (http://www.virginialogos.com) as a contractor for these installations. Christy Dunkle
presented the different types of signage available through the program and consensus settled around “Tourist Oriented Directional Signs” or TODS. This level of signage provides roadway users with directional guidance to business, service, and activity facilities available to them during their travels along highways.
The sign will accommodate up to four panels and each entity displayed would be charged an annual fee of $450. There is also a $100 application fee for each installation. Maintenance and upkeep is provided as part of the annual fees. Businesses and institutions that are interested in the signage would have to meet specific requirements in order to qualify. Requirements for each category include:
Establishments eligible for Category I;
- Shall be located within fifteen (15) miles of the intersection of a non-limited access state primary system highway where the initial TODS panel is to be located at the nearest primary intersection along the selected route.
- Shall have the name of the business prominently displayed on the premises in such a manner that it is readily visible to motorists from the public highway on which the facility is located.
- Shall be open a minimum of six (6) hours, five (5) days a week during at least a twelve (12) consecutive week period each year, except this requirement shall not apply to certain facilities such as arenas, auditoriums, civic centers, farmers markets, farm markets, wineries and flea markets.
- Shall be in continuous operation at least six (6) hours a day, five (5) days a week during its normal season or the normal operating season for the type of business.
- Shall be licensed and approved by the appropriate state and/or local agencies regulating the particular type of business or activity.
Establishments eligible for Category I;
- Shall be located within three (3) miles of the intersection of a non-limited access state primary or secondary system highway where the initial TODS panel is to be located.
- Shall meet the Specific Travel Services (LOGO) Signing Program – Category II criteria for their respective type of facility.
- Agree to be bumped in accordance with the Bumping Policy for a Category II facility. and must meet individual requirements as follows;
- Gas stations must: – Be open 12 hours per day 7 days per week to qualify. Provide fuel, oil, tire repair service or information on available tire repair service in area. Provide compressed air for tire inflation and free water for battery and radiator. Provide free drinking water and cups. Provide free restroom facilities with appropriate lock, sink for washing, flush toilet, tissue and sanitary towels or drying devices.
- Restaurants must: Be open 6 hours per day 6 days per week; Display valid permit from the State Board of Health in accordance with Section 35.1-18 of the Code of Virginia. Shall have a menu available. Shall have and keep in place easily accessible indoor seating at tables or counters to comfortably seat a minimum of 20 adult people.
- Lodging must: operate continuously 24 hours a day, 7 days per week; Possess valid permit to operate by the State Board of Health in accordance with Section 35.1-18 of the Code of Virginia Provide a minimum of 4 lodging rooms with off street parking for each room.
This type of signage would work for many businesses in Berryville but some facilities would need to adjust to the requirements if they wish to participate. Town Manager Keith Dalton pointed out that some business may be willing to make changes to meet the requirements if they are made aware of them and said, “Anything that pulls traffic off of the road is good for us .”
The committee is preparing a presentation for the town council to have signs installed in two locations. This would make a total of 8 spaces available for eligible entities. It was not discussed how the spaces would be allocated if there were more business interested than there were available spaces.
Inter-Town Direction Signage
Committee member Jay Arnold also brought up the idea of directional signage within the town. Referencing “paddle” signs that have been installed in the City of Winchester. These signs would provide broad information at key intersections to make drivers aware of, food, shopping, or activities.
The findings and recommendations will be presented at the November 9th Town Council meeting.