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Comments regarding proposed Cobb County Sign Ordinance changes. Provided by Scenic Georgia, Inc. Safety Issues. Sec. 134-318.1 …Electronic Signs must be properly regulated to insure they do not constitute a traffic hazard…

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comments regarding proposed cobb county sign ordinance changes

Comments regarding proposed Cobb County Sign Ordinance changes

Provided by Scenic Georgia, Inc.

safety issues
Safety Issues
  • Sec. 134-318.1 …Electronic Signs must be properly regulated to insure they do not constitute a traffic hazard…
  • Recent report from the Highways Subcommittee on Traffic Operations (SCOTE) of the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recommendations are in conflict with proposed changes.
  • Sec. 134-318.1 …Electronic Signs must be properly regulated to insure they do not …negatively impact the aesthetics of Cobb County…
  • Sec 134-313(o)(3) Prohibits electronic signs on scenic highways – This recognizes that electronic signs impact the aesthetics
reduction in number
Reduction in Number
  • Industry can remove small, relatively unobtrusive, non-producing signs in exchange for one large, very obtrusive sign.
  • Proposed ordinance does not recognize disparity if value of the signs removed and permitted. Realistic market valuation would result in more signs being removed
off site vs on site
Off-site vs On-site
  • Proposed ordinance sets up likely litigation because of different treatment
    • Brightness
    • Sign duration
    • On-site businesses are being discriminated
    • Ordinance assures that off-site will always be the brightest object around
  • Allows industry to do the monitoring and certification
  • No maximum brightness specified
  • On-site discriminated against
  • AASHTO recommendations in conflict with proposed ordinance
on site issues
On-site Issues
  • No separation possible
  • Driver exposed to multiple changes from different businesses
  • On-site businesses discriminated
  • AASHTO recognizes that on-site digital signs can be more distracting than off-site
off site
  • 5,000 ft radial separation rather than on same side
  • Sign duration tied to speed limit of highway and visible distance
    • One change at speed limit. 60 mph, visible for 5000 feet = 60 seconds duration
aashto recommendations
AASHTO Recommendations
  • Keyed to ‘distraction’ element
    • Distractions greater than 2 seconds accepted as dangerous
    • Limit text/images
    • No sequential messages
    • Instant transition
    • 5000 ft separation
    • No interactive components/phone numbers, etc
aashto recommendations cont d
AASHTO Recommendations Cont’d
  • Brightness still under review
    • Concern over traffic control devices
    • Measurement criteria
      • Measure at maximum intensity, i.e. white
      • Maximum should be stated
        • Varies with surrounding characteristics
    • .3 fc above ambient level is OAAA recommendation.
  • Only one DBB visible to a driver at a time
  • Annual operating permits should be considered
  • Proximity to traffic control devices and signs avoided
aashto recommendation cont d
AASHTO Recommendation Cont’d
  • On-site DBB
    • “From the traffic safety perspective, it is possible that the risk of driver inattention and distraction is higher for some on-premise signs than for some DBBs, because on-premise signs may be larger and closer to the road, mounted at elevations closer to the approaching driver’s eye level, and placed at angles that may require excessive head movements.”
    • “Strictly from the perspective of driver safety, agencies might want to consider restrictions for on-premise sign operations at least as rigorous as those for billboards, as well as restrictions on size, height, proximity to the right-of-way, and angular placement with regard to the oncoming driver’s line of sight. Of all of the guidelines proposed in this report for DBBs, there may well be an equal or greater need to consider similar controls for on-premise signs.”
new technology
New Technology
  • Billboard Audio and Other Stimuli
  • Digital Billboards on Moving Vehicles
  • “Personalized” And Interactive Billboards
  • DBB Hacking
litigation potentials
Litigation Potentials
  • Current FHWA studies might establish safety concerns of 10 second duration.
    • Lamar has indicated they will consider a requirement for longer duration on existing permits as a ‘taking’
  • Accident documented to be caused by DBB distraction. Who is liable?
  • On-site vs off-site differences create perceived business advantage to off-site advertisers
unexpected costs potential
Unexpected costs potential
  • Removal of DBB would be based on market value – not cost value
    • Greatly exceeds market value of removed billboards
  • Measurement verification by qualified engineers for complaint resolution
possible actions
Possible Actions
  • Separate sign consideration from remainder of draft ordinance for clarity on voting
  • Moratorium or ban on DBB until technical issues are resolved by FHWA studies
  • Revise the swap down based on value of billboards rather than size of face
  • Review existing studies and recommendations contained in AASHTO report