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SIGN MOCK-UP PHOTOS
Q1: Will the signs have the ability to be dimmed?
A1: Yes - The proposed signs have variable brightness settings to allow for full visibility in the daylight and the option to dim at night. The Town will consider turning the signs off during non-peak visitation periods.
Q2: Will the signs be used year-round or just the busy time of year?
A2: The signs will likely be used year-round. The need for off-peak visitation useage will be evaluated.
Q3: Will these signs have flashing messages/images?
A3: No. The proposed electronic message signs are not the common marketing signs with bright, animated displays often used to promote businesses and events. Instead, these are traffic management information signs which will be situated in the CDOT rights of way on Highways 34 and 36. The display messaging must follow the requirements of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which limits the messaging to:
A. Incident management and route diversion
B. Warning of adverse weather conditions
C. Special event applications associated with traffic control or conditions
D. Control at crossing situations
E. Lane, ramp, and roadway control
F. Travel times
G. Warning situations
H. Traffic regulations
I. Speed Control
J. Destination guidance
K. Safety Messages
L. Transportation-related messages
The MUTCD prohibits advertising, animation, rapid flashing, dissolving, exploding, scrolling, or other dynamic elements on these traffic management signs.
Q4: I'm a seasonal visitor, but this looks hideous, like something at a metropolitan airport. Surely there's a better way?
A4: The Public Works Department tries hard to find the magic balance between form and function on our projects. In this case, the priority for the available funding is to maximize the messaging effectiveness. Thus the installations will be more utilitarian than decorative. CDOT requires break-away posts for all large signs in their right of way unless the sign is protected with guard rail. The Public Works Department would support adding guard rail and beautiful masonry bases to the signs if additional funds are provided. At present, available current funding covers only the design, construction, and communication components for three basic sign installations.
Q5: How about a sign to let people know what events are happening at the Fairgrounds? Wasn't that turned down when building MPEC?
A5:The proposed electronic message signs have specific use parameters as outlined in the grant funding process. The potential location of the three signs reside within CDOT's jurisdiction (Hwys 34 & 36) and must adhere to highway sign regulations.
Q6: Where is the money coming from for this project?
A6: The Town applied for, and received, $136,000 from two Congestion Management/Air Quality (CMAQ) grants from CDOT. The local match of $50,000 comes from Town sales tax proceeds. The total project budget is $186,000 for three new digital message signs.
Q7: How were the proposed sign locations determined?
A7: The electrical demand for the signs is too great to be reasonably served with solar power. Consequently, the locations need to be reasonably close to existing electrical service. Additionally, adequate sight distance in advance of the sign is an important consideration.
The Town issued an Invitation to Bid for the installation of the digital message signs which closed on June 5. One bid was received which exceeded the budgeted funds. Moving forward, the Town will revise the scope and schedule and issue a second Invitation to Bid in late June.
Electronic Message Sign Location Map
The Town of Estes Park has received grants totaling approximately $136,000 through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program by the Upper Front Range Regional Planning Commission and the Colorado Department of Transportation. With a $50,000 local match from the Town, the grants will fund the installation of four permanent electronic messaging signs on U.S. 34 and U.S. 36 to encourage motorists to take advantage of peripheral parking areas and shuttles before continuing through downtown Estes Park. The project enhances the Town of Estes Park's efforts, in collaboration with Rocky Mountain National Park, to encourage use of transit while reducing congestion and emissions.
A member of the executive committee of the Upper Front Range Regional Planning Commission, Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly was pleased by the awards. Donnelly commented, "As your elected representative, I'm very glad to see the Town of Estes Park has been awarded this grant. These funds will help lessen vehicle presence and congestion by directing visitors where to park, while encouraging greater use of the shuttles. It'll help enhance an already great visitor experience in Estes Park."
Also funded in part by a CMAQ grant, the Town built a park-n-ride lot with a sheltered shuttle stop at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park in 2011. Since that time, static signage used to promote the lot and its shuttle access has been insufficient to encourage consistent, significant use by visitors. CMAQ funds will also help the Town build a new transit facility/parking structure, expected to be complete by July of 2017. The structure will be located off U.S. 36, across the Big Thompson River from the Estes Park Visitor Center, which serves as the hub for the Town's free shuttles and the national park's hiker shuttle. The new electronic signs will allow flexible messaging to encourage visitors to park at these two facilities and use shuttles prior to reaching Estes Park's downtown.
Future updates regarding these signs will be posted to this page as they become available. For more information, please contact the Town of Estes Park Public Works Department at 970-577-3587.