By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Warning neighborhood motorists to watch out for children will become a pricey venture if jurisdictions get their signs from Virginia Department of Transportation.
David Clarke, area resident maintenance manager for VDOT, told Pulaski County Board of Supervisors that it will now cost the county $800 per instance to purchase “Watch for Children” signs through the state transportation agency.
In response, Massie District Supervisor Andy McCready commented that the signs “must be gold plated.”
But buying the signs from VDOT doesn’t eliminate the county from having any further responsibility. Clarke pointed out the county has to also install and maintain the signs.
Luckily, there is an alternative. It seems the county can purchase the signs from other vendors as long as they meet VDOT requirements.
County Administrator Pete Huber said he would look for a source for qualifying signs.
According to VDOT regulations that became effective last July, counties and towns can undertake installation of “Watch for Children” signs by entering into an agreement with the commissioner of VDOT specifying the location of the signs.
The guidelines specifically prohibit VDOT funds from being used to purchase, install or maintain the signs and also prohibit VDOT from installing them. The signs can only be installed at major entry points to a subdivision or residential development and only on streets where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.
New “Watch for Children” signs must be green rather than yellow, as in the past, but VDOT will continue to maintain the existing yellow signs, according to the guidelines.