Missouri Highway Commission Rule Change Could Compromise Outdoor Signage

On average, more than 95% of Americans say they are regularly reached by mobile ads like car wraps and outdoor advertisements like signs and billboards.

However, under the Missouri Highway Commission’s new rules for road signs, many of the state’s landmarks and tourist destinations could be left with inadequate signage, leaving passerby to, well, pass them by.

According to a December 29 Lake News Online article, the Missouri Department of Transportation intends to revise all traffic generator signs in its new rules. Under the new rule, the number of tourist-oriented traffic generator signs would decrease, and signs for colleges, state- and federally-owned sites and a few other sites would see their signage increase.

In order to hold onto its signage, a tourist attraction must generate enough visitors to justify a Tourist Oriented Directional Sign — or it must be owned by the state. Some tourist attractions fail to meet either of these standards, and are thus at risk for losing visitors when they lose their signs.

One example of a tourist destination at risk of losing its signage is Bridal Cave, whose traffic generator sign doesn’t generate enough visits to be covered under the Highway Commission’s new rule. With this sign removed, however, tourist traffic to Bridal Cave would be even less than it is already.

“Removing these signs has the potential to impact attendance to the point Bridal Cave would no longer be a viable attraction at Lake of the Ozarks,” Steve Thompson, general manager at Bridal Cave, told Lake News Online.

The rule is currently undergoing a 30-day review period that ends on January 15, however, meaning there’s still hope for Bridal Cave. The Highway Commission and Department of Transportation are both seeking comments and opinions from the public that will help them decide whether or not to keep the new regulations in place.

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