Integrated Directional Sign Program FAQs
What is the Integrated Directional Signing Program (IDSP)?
It's a way to give Virginia’s motorist-service businesses, attractions, tourist destinations and other points of interest a single contact for placing their site on a sign along a state-maintained highway.
What types of road signs are included in the IDSP?
There are four main types:
- Travel-Services (Logo) Signs
- Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs (TODS)
- Supplemental Guide Signs (SGS)
- General Motorist Service Signs (GMSS)
- Historical markers
What public involvement took place?
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) established the Statewide Directional Signing Advisory Committee to participate in the program development process.
Committee members represent petroleum, food, lodging, camping, tourism, truck stops, trucking and agribusiness industries, local governments, the AAA and AARP.
The committee’s role is to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are represented. Committee members help convey information about the program to the groups they represent.
The Statewide Directional Signing Advisory Committee reviewed the draft revised fees, participation criteria and bumping policy recommendations on July 13, 2004. The recommendations were presented to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on July 15, 2004.
Final comments about them were received July 20 through Aug.18, 2004. The CTB voted on the programs’ fees, criteria and bumping policy on Sept.16, 2004.
Chapter 491 of the Virginia Acts of Assembly – 2005 Session (Senate Bill 813) – directs VDOT to review its Logo Sign Program’s fee structure to ensure the program is not used to generate excess revenue beyond a 10 percent margin to operate the IDSP. VDOT proposed reduced fees.
It also considered options in the gas facilities’ categories to give priority to those facilities providing gas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
VDOT received 830 comments about the proposed changes and options during the comment period that ended June 6, 2005. The CTB approved VDOT's recommendations on June 16, 2005.
Are the criteria for participating in the IDSP the same for each program?
Each program has specific criteria.
Can one business bump another off a sign?
There is a bumping policy for gas, food and lodging businesses in the Logo and TODS programs.
How much does it cost to be on a sign?
There are different fee structures for the Logo, TODS and Supplemental Guide Signs programs. There is no fee for the General Motorist Service signs.
How were the fees determined?
Fee structures in other states were researched. Market value was considered, as was traffic volume.
VDOT also analyzed the total funds needed to operate the IDSP yet not exceed the 10 percent cap required by Chapter 491 of the Virginia Acts of Assembly – 2005 Session (Senate Bill 813).
The reduced Logo fee structure approved by the CTB stays under the 10 percent cap.
How do fees affect supplemental guide signs?
The fee structure exempts nonprofit and governmental entities from paying annual fees. These entities are required to pay the cost to fabricate, install, maintain and replace the signs.
Other entities are required to pay an annual fee.
Is regular maintenance required on all signs?
Yes. Signs must be checked for their reflectivity, bolt torque and general condition.
What about existing supplemental guide signs grandfathered into the program?
All Supplemental Guide Signs in place as of Sept. 15, 2004, (prior to the approval of a new fee structure), were grandfathered into the program and may be repaired or replaced as necessary.
However, if the facility closes, relocates, or fails to comply with the criteria under which it originally qualified, the signs will be removed.
Are bed and breakfast facilities included in any of these programs?
Bed and breakfasts are listed as acceptable retail tourism sites for TODS Category I.
Who handles the IDSP?
Directional Signing Program LLC (DSP) is the VDOT IDSP contractor. They can be contacted at 1-888-282-4377 or https://vaidsp.com/.
How will current participants be informed if the CTB approves changes to the IDSP’s fees or facilities’ criteria?
The VDOT/IDSP contractor will notify IDSP participants.
What determines the size, number, color and placement of the signs?
Federal requirements for signs are in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). VDOT’s directional signing programs were developed in accordance with the MUTCD.
Do customers have to use the IDSP Contractor to fabricate and/or install Supplemental Guide Signs?
No. Although DSP is prepared to assist with the fabrication and construction of requested Supplemental Guide Signs, any customer wishing to participate in the SGS Program may choose to use a third party contractor to fabricate and/or install the requested signs.
Contact with DSP at 1-888-282-4377 is necessary prior to initiating the use of third party vendors to fabricate and/or install signs.
What are the general guidelines if a third party contractor is used to fabricate and/or install Supplemental Guide Signs?
The general guidelines include the following. Contact DSP for additional guidance.
- Sign designs must be submitted to DSP to be approved by VDOT. Fabrication of signs must be in accordance to VDOT specifications and utilize only materials approved by VDOT.
- Any modification of the site plans approved by VDOT must be submitted to DSP and reapproved by VDOT.
- A VDOT construction permit is required to work on any right of way owned by VDOT.
- The entities constructing the structures and signs must follow all VDOT safety policies for setting up work area protection, including the completion of any safety certification courses.
- Signs must be installed on the appropriate type of structures meeting all VDOT specifications.
- The construction of the structures and signs must be completed with a VDOT inspector on site (The requesting party may be responsible for the cost associated with having an inspector on site).
- The entities installing the structures and signs must be bonded in the amount of $20,000.