Transportation Goal 5
Transportation infrastructure will reflect the historic character of the community and contribute positively to Shepherdstown’s unique sense of place.
5.1 Develop Compatible Transportation Infrastructure
STRATEGY: Adopt standards for the design and construction of streets and sidewalks that are compatible with the prevailing precedents for the widths for right-of-way, travel lanes, on-street parking, planting strips and sidewalks found in the community.
JUSTIFICATION: As the town grows and new streets are built to accommodate development, or as improvements are made to the exiting street network, the new infrastructure should match the existing precedents in town, particularly for new residential streets. The full composition of a street, from the width of pavement and travel lanes, on street parking accommodations, planting strips and pedestrian amenities all contribute to the character of neighborhoods. Transferring these attributes to new development will help growing areas be compatible with the aesthetic character of Shepherdstown, and avoid the monotony of typical subdivision streets that are found in most new developments.
5.2 Limit Regulatory Signage
STRATEGY: Limit the size and number of regulatory signs to the minimum standards necessary to comply with the standards of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and to ensure public safety.
JUSTIFICATION: While it is imperative to ensure that streets in town have adequate signage for controlling traffic and providing directions, the overuse of signage, including the number of signs and excessively sized signs, can detract from the character of the community. Limiting the number and size of signs to that which is absolutely necessary will help Shepherdstown retain its character and reduce / prevent excessive sign clutter along primary roadways in town.
5.3 Limit Signalized Intersections in Historic Areas
STRATEGY: Continue to utilize static signage and pavement markings instead of stoplights to regulate traffic at major intersection in the historic core of the town.
JUSTIFICATION: A key aspect of the character of the community that was consistently identified during the development of the Comprehensive Plan was the absence of traffic signals in the core of the community. As long as the existing traffic control signage that is currently in place continues to ensure functionality of the system, keeping this method of traffic control will help Shepherdstown retain its unique small town character. An added benefit of 4-way stop intersection control is that it prevents excessive idling during periods of low traffic (such as at night) while waiting for lights to change. Requiring all traffic to stop also provides more frequent opportunities for pedestrians to cross busy streets.
5.4 Develop Unique Street Signage
STRATEGY: Develop a system of unique street identification signage that is in keeping with the historic character of the community than the currently utilized design.
JUSTIFICATION: Designing and installing street identification signs with a unique logo / color that reinforces the character of the town and provides more differentiation from streets just outside of town will help to establish a stronger brand identity for the community. While these signs will typically come with a higher cost, due to nonstandard design and graphics, they are generally very popular additions to a community.