Kentucky Tourism
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Tourism Signage

There are five basic types of official guide sign programs available to businesses that provide services to motorists or are an attraction, historic site or recreational area. Check these five programs to see for which ones you qualify and what the process is to apply.

Limited Supplemental Guide Signs

Limited Supplemental Guide Signs are official guide signs approaching interchanges on interstates, parkways and other fully controlled access highways. The signs are for historic sites, cultural, recreational or entertainment facilities or areas of natural phenomenon or scenic beauty.

Criteria to Qualify

In cities with less than 100,000 population, annual visitation at attraction must be 10,000 or greater than average daily traffic count at the attraction's interchange.

In cities with a population over 100,000, annual visitation at attraction must be 75,000 or greater than average daily traffic count at the attraction's interchange.

Historic sites must have annual attendance of 5,000. An historic site must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Attractions and historic sites must be located within 50 miles of the interchange.

At least one-third of attraction's visitors must come from beyond 20 miles of the attraction or historic site.

Trailblazing Signs

If the tourist attraction is not visible from the interchange, trailblazing signs must be installed at locations where a turn is required once motorist is off the interstate. Trailblazing may be in the form of Cultural and Recreational Guide Signs, Tourist Oriented Directional Signs, or legal billboards.

Available Interchanges

Federal Highway Administration rules and regulations set limit of two panels with two supplemental messages each per direction at an interchange. Many of our interchanges across the state are at the limit and will not be eligible for additional messages.

Priority

The Kentucky statutes and regulations establish a priority system for granting signage, based primarily on higher attendance and proximity to the interstate when there are more applicants than available space at a particular interchange.

Cost of Limited Supplemental Signs

The cost is a non-refundable $200 application fee per signage request and $500 per year for 10 years or cost of sign amortized over 10 years, whichever is less.

Application for Signage Contact:

Steve Spradlin
Transportation Cabinet
Division of Traffic
502-564-4556

Application for Signage

See KRS 177.076-078 and 603 KAR 4:050 for the statutes and regulations governing Limited Supplemental Guide Signs.

Post Interchange Guide Signs

Post Interchange Guide Signs program is a new experimental pilot project approved in Kentucky by the Federal Highway Administration. Tourist attractions and historic sites that have a Limited Supplemental Guide sign at their interchange on certain interstates or parkways are eligible to apply for these signs, which will be placed miles in advance of the interchange to give a motorist notice of an upcoming attraction.

Available Interchanges

Under the agreement with the Federal Highway Administration, attractions with a Limited Supplemental Guide Sign on the following interstates can apply to be listed on two Post Interchange signs in each direction from the attraction, for a total of four. Signs will be placed at approximately 10 and 20 miles from the attraction.

I-24
I-64
I-65
I-71
I-75

Parkways

Attractions on the following parkways may apply to be listed on one Post Interchange Guide sign in each direction; within ten miles of the attraction's interchange.

Wendell H. Ford WK Parkway
Hal Rogers Parkway
Martha L. Collins Bluegrass Parkway
Natcher Parkway
Mountain Parkway
Cumberland Parkway
Pennyrile Parkway
Purchase Parkway
Audubon Parkway
New Circle Road
Wendell Ford (Owensboro) Bypass

Control Sites

One of the requirements of the state's agreement with the Federal Highway Administration is that the following urban interstate loops be considered "control sites" that will not participate in the Post Interchange Guide Sign experimental program. These control sites are:

I-264
I-265
I-275
I-471

Post Interchange Guide Signs are modeled after advance signs for cities. Up to three attractions may be listed on each guide sign. Across from the name of the attraction will either be mileage to the attraction's interchange or the exit number.

Cost/Financial Assistance

The cost of Post Interchange Guide Signs will be the responsibility of the applicant.

Contact:

Steve Spradlin
Transportation Cabinet
Division of Traffic
502-564-4556

Logos

Gas, food, lodging and camping are the four logo groups that have been eligible for years to have their logo placed on blue background panels on interstates and parkways. A few years ago Kentucky was given permission by the Federal Highway Administration to allow a "fifth legend" logo for tourist activities.

There is an annual fee for these logos. A private company, Kentucky Logo, Inc., has a contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to install and maintain logo signs. Financial assistance is available to assist public, non-profit attractions with 50% of the cost to participate in the Fifth Legend logo program.

For more information or to request an application, contact Kentucky Logo, Inc., at (502) 227-0802. The state regulations for the logo program, 603 KAR 4:035, provides additional information and criteria to qualify for a logo.

Cultural and Recreational Supplemental Guide Signs

This is a signage program for intersections on state routes and city streets. A public or private cultural, historical, recreational, agricultural, educational or entertainment activity or attraction of interest to the traveling public are eligible to be listed on these signs. Communities are required to develop a community-wide signage program.

Criteria to Qualify

Be open a minimum of eight hours a day, five days a week, one of which is a weekend;

Be within 15 miles of the intersection;

If an historic site, be listed on or have made application to be listed on the "National Register of Historic Places"; and

Be either an annual or seasonal activity.

Signage Design

Signs have white lettering on a brown background panel;

Shape and size of sign is set by regulation;

There may be up to four attractions listed on each panel;

Community logo is permitted on top of panel.

Application Process

Requests for approval to place these signs are to be submitted by city, county or other official local authority or body, such as a tourism commission, to the Permits Branch in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Tourism Commissions or other local authorities are required to review their signage needs on a community-wide basis before submitting an application.

Cost of Signage

The Department of Tourism has funds available to pay up to 50% of signage costs. Funds are limited and cannot be guaranteed once the funds are exhausted.

Contact:

Steve Spradlin
Transportation Cabinet
Division of Traffic
502-564-4556

Tourist Oriented Directional Signs

TODS are the official guide signs posted at intersections on state roads for gas, food, lodging, camping areas and tourist activities. These are blue signs under the heading of "Tourist Activities".

The program is administered by a private company, Kentucky Logo, Inc., under contract to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Participants are required to pay for cost to manufacture their sign and an annual fee to Kentucky Logo, Inc.

Financial assistance is available to public, non-profit tourist activities for 50% of the cost of these signs. For more information on the signage program or to request an application, contact Kentucky Logo Inc., at (502) 227-0802.

The state regulations for TODS can be found at 603 KAR 4:040.