Beach Access and Park Issues
April 28, 2009

Park Service installs new signs at ORV ramps

By IRENE NOLAN



When you drive out to the beach, you will notice new signs at all the ORV ramps.

The National Park Service began installing the signs on April 21.

According to Hatteras district ranger John McCutcheon, the new signs are installed at Ramps 43, 44, 49, and 55.  Installation at Ocracoke ramps is underway, and by mid-week, park crews will be installing the signs from Ramp 38 south of Avon north through Bodie Island.

The signs at each ramp include three panels.  The first denotes the ramp number in large numerals.  The second one details driving information, such as night driving regulations, speed limits, and recommended tire pressure. The third panel has beach regulations, including information on pets, beach fires, alcoholic beverages, and the prohibition on fireworks and driving on the dunes.

“I call it streamlining,” says McCutcheon, who serves on the park’s sign committee.

The attractive new signs, he says, get rid of the clutter of the old signs at the ramps and pull the information together at a glance for beach drivers.

McCutcheon says the discussion about the need for improved signage at the ramps began in 2006.

While the Park Service was working through changes on the signs, a court-ordered consent decree, signed by a federal judge last April 30, mandated “new signage aimed at more clearly communicating applicable regulations.”

The new signs meet the Park Service obligation under the consent decree.  The Park Service says the total cost of the ramp signs was $19,500.

McCutcheon says Phase Two of the signage project will include signs in all of the seashore’s eight villages, indicating that visitors are exiting the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

He says the park hopes that all ramp signs and the signs for exiting the seashore will be in place by Memorial Day weekend.

Next, on the agenda, he says, will be signs for pedestrians at all of the walkovers on the seashore.

For more information regarding ORV beach access, visit the park’s Off-Road Vehicle Information webpage at:
http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/off-road-vehicle-use.htm



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