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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tourist Oriented Directional (TOD) Signs - NYS Scenic Byways Sign Manual Now Online

If you are the following type of business and within 5 miles of a primary highway, for an annual fee of $50 you may use the following signage to draw customers to your business.

"TODS may also include advertising of services, activities, arts, crafts or products that are commonly accepted to be of specific regional interest to travelers." Section 3.13/p. 26 of the online pdf of the NYS Scenic Byways Sign Manual at http://www.dot.state.ny.us/pubs/publist.html

Mary Vanouse, Assistant Director, City of Oswego Community Development, after questions regarding TOD signage came up during Nadia's Oswego Best Practices workshop, asked Steve Roof from NYS DOT the following question. "I am looking for information on the blue & white (outside the Adirondack and Catskill Park they are blue and white and inside the Parks they are brown and white) tourism commercial signs located on state highways. Please send me information or a web link so that members of our ONE Network can learn how to develop signage for their businesses. Thanks!"

Here is Steve's reply:

"The blue & white signs you refer to are the TOD (Tourist Oriented Directional) signs. Eligibility for the program is limited to business which can reasonably be said to cater to the tourist or traveling public. Restaurants, motels, tourist attractions, etc. The program is further limited to businesses which are not on a "primary" highway. Primary highways are state roads which are identified as part of the National Highway System. Not all state roads qualify for TOD signing.

Scenic byways such as the Seaway Trail (portions of Route 104, 104B and Route 3 in Oswego) and Route 13 are very restrictive for signing purposes but TOD signs are available to eligible businesses.

Businsses which are already located on a primary route are not eligible for TOD signing.

Primary Routes in Oswego County include: Route 104, Route 3, Route 49, Route 48 (south of Fulton) and Route 13 (in Williamstown only). I will send you a map showing the eligible routes in the mail.

TOD signs cannot be placed within urban areas; http://www.dot.state.ny.us/ttss/uab/index.html

The initial sign can be no more than 5 miles from the business. As part of the TOD permit the business must provide followup signing (trailblazers) at each subsequent intersection (with permission from the appropriate local government entity), off the primary system, where the traveler is required to make a turn.

The current annual fee is $50, which is limited to the initial sign (in each direction). If a business has a sign facing both directions the maximum fee is $100 annually no matter how many followup (trailblazer) signs are required.

The applicant is responsible for all costs associated with manufacture and installation of the signs, and the signs must be made according to the specification sheets (attached). If the primary road is more than two lanes a larger sign format may be available. Any required maintenance or repair whether required as a result of natural causes, accident or vandalism is the responsibility of the permittee. Any illegal signs the applicant may have must be removed as a condition of the permit approval.

Location of the signs, for new installations, must be approved by 4 separate DOT departments: Real Estate, Traffic & Safety, Maintenance and the Regional Resident Engineer. This process can take up to two months from the time the application is received by our office.

The business is limited to two lines of white text on a blue background, unless they have a federally registered trademark (ie., McDonalds).

If the business is seasonal the sign(s) must be covered within 3 business days of the closing.

For additional information you may go to http://www.dot.state.ny.us/red/sign_program.html." Includes link to NYSDOT regional real estate offices where applications for TODs should be made. Thanks to Mary and Steve for taking the time to provide this information. Steve had also attached to the email a copy of the standard TOD sign application.

The NYS Scenic Byways Sign Manual is posted at http://www.dot.state.ny.us/pubs/publist.html. Includes sign specifications for TOD signage on page 26/section 3.13. ANCA press release, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Feb. 8, 2006. p.3


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