TO:                  Mayor and Town Council


FROM:            W. Calvin Horton, Town Manager


SUBJECT:      Report on Developing Public Information Sign Program and Improving Street Name and Directional/Informational Signs


DATE:            June 26, 2006



This report responds to the following petitions:

  1. Petition by the Council Committee on Communications for a public information signage program for “District Delineation” and “Capital Improvement Projects”.
  2. Petition by the Transportation Board for improving “street name” and “directional/informational” signs.


The attached resolution authorizes the Town Manager to:




Public Information Signage Program


At its April 10, 2006 meeting, the Council received and referred a petition from the Council Committee on Communications requesting that the Town develop and implement a public information signage program for “District Delineation” and “Capital Improvement Projects.”  The petition also requested that the program be implemented in calendar year 2006.  A copy of the petition is provided in Attachment 1.


The Town Public Information Officer and the Engineering Department staff developed several sign designs for the “District Delineation” and “Capital Improvement Projects.”Some examples of the sign designs are provided in Attachment 2.  We will work with the relevant departments to finalize the exact design details of the signs, location, and number of signs.


Proposed District Delineation signs include Watershed Protection District, Rural Buffer, Neighborhood Conservation District, and Town Limits.


Capital Improvement Program project signs include projects related to major building construction or renovation, greenways, streetscape, sidewalk construction, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and traffic calming measures.  The size of signs will vary based on location and purpose.


Street Name Signs and Directional Signs


At its January 10, 2005 meeting, the Town Council received and referred a petition from the Transportation Board requesting improving street name signs and directional/informational signs in the town.  A copy of the petition is provided in Attachment 3.


Subsequently, the Transportation Board appointed two members to work with the Town staff to develop and implement a comprehensive street name and directional/informational sign program.


The Engineering staff worked closely with the Transportation Board members and the Chamber of Commerce to develop a plan for improving the street name and directional/informational signs.


The plan includes the following elements:


1. Street Name Signs: 

The Town’s current street name sign program consists of different standards based on the street “type,” such as residential streets, and arterials.  Examples of the current standards of the street name signs are provided in Attachment 4.  We recommend that the Town continue the current standards for street name signs with the exception of adding the Town logo to the sign.  We have started installing street name signs with the Town logo as presented in Attachment 4.


2. Advance Street Name Signs:

We recommend that advance street name signs be installed on approaches to signalized intersections on major arterials.  We recently received State approval for installing these signs, and if approved by the Council, the Town will install and maintain the signs.  These signs are currently installed on major arterials in Cary and Raleigh and have proven to be valuable in providing information to visitors.  Examples of the advance street name signs are provided in Attachment 5.


3. Directional and Informational Signs:

The Town recently installed “downtown and visitors center” signs on several key locations on major arterials and in downtown.


We met with several representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and discussed directional and informational signs in the downtown. The Town staff is currently working on developing a comprehensive directional/informational/tourist sign plan specifically concentrated on the downtown.  The signs will cover a wide range of locations in the downtown including parking lots and tourist destinations. We expect to complete the plan by August 2006, at which time we will start installing the signs.




No new funds are required.  Approximately $35,000 is available from salary savings in the Traffic Division budget which can be used for purchasing the signs.  In addition, we recommend that signs related to new Community Improvement projects be funded from the appropriate improvement project.




We recommend the following implementation schedule:


Delineation District Delineation and Advance Street Name signs

July 2006: Develop designs and identify the locations for signs

August-September 2006: Manufacture the Signs

October 2006 – February 2007:  Install the Signs


Downtown Directional/Informational Signs

July-August 2006: Develop a comprehensive sign plan

September-October 2006: Manufacture the Signs

November 2006 – January 2007:  Install the Signs


Signs for the Bond Referendum Projects and Capital Improvements Program will be implemented starting in August 2006.




That the Council adopt the attached resolution that would authorize the Town Manager to:



  1. Petition from the Council Committee on Communications (p. 5).
  2. Examples of Sign Designs for District Delineation and Bond Referendum Projects (p. 6).
  3. Petition from the Transportation Board (p. 8).
  4. Examples of Street Name Signs (p. 10).
  5. Examples of Advance Street Name Signs (p. 11).