The state Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Conservation have announced plans for new regional identification signs in the Catskill Park, to solidify the region’s identity and direct visitors to local destinations.
The state agencies, along with the Federal Highway Administration, worked for several months with local communities and others to develop a plan and design a Catskill-themed sign panel, agency officials said.
Installation of the new signs will be phased in as state resources allow and worn-out signs are replaced. Some new sign panels were installed this spring along State Route 28 in Ulster County.
The plan will bring highway signs in the Catskill Park into compliance with federal standards, while providing Catskill-specific thematic elements, officials said.
“The use of the Catskill theme on our highway signs will enhance the transportation experience in this unique and very special region of New York state,” said DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald.
The green and brown signs feature a silhouette of forested mountains with the words “Catskill Park.” The image will be used in conjunction with destination directions signs. “These new signs will enhance the identity of the Catskill Park for the traveling public and create a branding opportunity for the region’s tourism efforts,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said in a statement.
Highway guide signs throughout the Catskills have been an inconsistent mix of white-on-brown, yellow-on-brown and white-on-green panels.
The new signs will be white-on-brown, which is allowed under federal guidelines for guide signs that direct road users to recreational or cultural interest areas.
Guide signs include general information and service signs, and destination and distance signs.
State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey also praised the new plan in a statement:
“The Catskills are an important component of New York’s tourism economy, and this initiative will only help visitors find the hidden gems the Catskills have to offer.”
The Catskill Park covers 700,000 acres of land in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties. About 41 percent of the park is state-owned Forest Preserve land, managed by DEC, including eight state-operated campgrounds.
Categories: Schenectady County