- Report Published -
|Integrated Directional Sign Program|
|Commonwealth Transportation Board|
|Chapter 491 Enactment Clause 3. (Regular Session, 2005)|
|Chapter 491 of the 2005 Virginia Acts of Assembly (see Appendix A) directed the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to establish reasonable fees for the IDSP and report to the General Assembly. The fees shall be used solely to defray the actual costs of supervising and administering the signage program with a reasonable margin, not to exceed ten percent. The IDSP contains four subprograms: 1) Specific Travel Services Signing (Logo), 2) Tourist Oriented Directional Signing (TODS), 3) Supplemental Guide Signing, and 4) General Motorist Service signing (GMS), as well as several Special Programs. These Special Programs include trails, wayfinding, watershed, and Scenic River signing. A private contractor, Virginia Logos (VL), currently administers the IDSP program.|
Following a 30-day public comment period (see Appendix B for a summary of comments), the CTB adopted a reduced fee structure on June 16, 2005 (see Appendix C). A copy of the CTB resolution authorizing the new fee structure is included with this report (see Appendix D). Annual fees for participants in the Logo program were reduced from $900 to $800 for locations with traffic volumes under 40,000 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) and from $1,250 to with $1,000 for locations with high traffic volumes (40,000 AADT or more). There were no changes in the other fees associated with the IDSP.
To calculate a fee structure that would generate a margin of no more than ten percent, expenses related only to the IDSP were used. Such expenses include the fee paid to Virginia Logos for administering the program, administrative costs incurred by VDOT's Central Office and District staff, costs incurred for special studies related to the program, such as the Full Service Food Logo experiment, and special applications, such as the maintenance budget for GMS signs. With the reduced fee structure, the forecasted revenue in FY06 is $4,490,850, while expenses are expected to be $4,325,510. This produces an expected margin of $165,340 or four percent.
Because of fluctuations in participation, the annual revenue is subject to increase to a point that, in subsequent years, the margin may exceed ten percent. This will require annual reviews and possible fee adjustments as needed to stay below the ten percent margin. Funds related to the IDSP will be deposited in a specific account for this program.
Chapter 491 of the 2005 Virginia Acts of Assembly also directed the Department of Transportation to review a change in the operation hours of Gas Category I establishments from 16 hours per day to 24 hours per day. As part of a 30-day public comment period, the need for giving some priority to gas participants who are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week was broached. Of the 832 comments received, 813 suggested that some type of priority for a 24-hour operation would be beneficial to the traveling public.
The CTB recognized the benefit of a 24/7-gas operation. Its June 16, 2005 resolution adopted criteria that reserved two spaces on the gas motherboard for 24/7 gas operations. The recommendation can be found on page 4 of the IDSP "Participation Criteria" document. The complete Logo Program regulations and criteria can be found on the VDOT web site at http://www.virginiadot.oriz/infoservice/sign-programs.asp.
Chapter 491 of the 2005 Virginia Acts of Assembly further directed the Department of Transportation to review the feasibility and desirability of auctioning certain travel services (Logo) signs for which there are more businesses interested in locating on the sign (motherboard) than there is space to accommodate. Currently, Federal regulations permit a maximum of six logo panels on a motherboard and no more than four motherboards between interchanges for the categories of gas, food, lodging, and camping/attractions. Various experiments are underway nationwide that may result in changes to these criteria. One such experiment in Virginia related to Full Service Food is testing the impact of placing a food logo on a motherboard that is not specifically designated for food.
Our report titled "Proposed Implementation of an Auctioning System for Saturated Interchanges in the Virginia Specific Travel Services (Logo) Program," prepared by Virginia Logos, is included in this report (see Appendix E). This report briefly commented on the following:
1 Identifying the number of saturated interchanges;
2. Comparing the participation cost for the Virginia Logo Program to other types of outdoor advertising;
3. Investigating the legality of auctioning spaces on the Logo program, including identifying what will be needed from the Federal Highway Administration;
4. Determining the legislative implications of the proposed change;
5. Reporting on South Carolina's system of auctioning;
6. Listing the options for conducting the auction and analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of such an auction, including possible fee reductions at sites not auctioned if auctioning is put in place;
7. Analyzing the impact of the auction on various types of businesses;
8. Researching what other types of auctioning is occurring in the state government of Virginia; and
9. Providing revenue estimates for auctioning.
The report provided a review of some basic questions dealing with auctioning logo spaces on the "motherboard". The report includes information about a variety of advertising fees; however, it is not possible to estimate revenues that would be generated by an auctioning of the logo spaces. Should auctioning be pursued, a more in-depth revenue analysis should be undertaken.
Currently, South Carolina is the only state Department of Transportation that is considering the adoption of an auction process, but they have not scheduled the implementation of their draft proposal at this time.
Auctioning clearly has the capability to generate additional revenue for the IDSP or other transportation programs. Should the General Assembly desire to change its current policy and adopt auctioning to generate greater revenue, a legislative change would be required.
A. Chapter 491
B. Summary of 832 Public Comments
C. IDSP Program Fees
D. IDSP CTB Resolution - June 16, 2005
E. Logo Auctioning Report - June 2005