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Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Posted on 6/28/2023 by Steve Robbins

For a good part of my 30+ years in the Mad River Valley, there has been an expressed pride by many that there is not a proper traffic light here. * 

I believe it’s an extension of the same pride for Vermont not allowing billboards.

The intersection of State Routes 100 and 17 has been and continues to be a challenge for traffic and pedestrian travel and is the most likely spot for some changes in the future, be it a traffic light or other reconfiguration. 

Yup, more generally, change is inevitable to our roads and the accompanying signage and that is what this little blog is about. 

A few weeks ago, I noticed a new sign on my way home. About a mile up Moretown Mountain Road, on the right just before South Hill Road. It was after dark, and it really caught my eye because it was flashing. 

The content is very useful if you are driving a taller truck to Northfield Falls because the rig is not going to fit under the covered bridges. I figure it will save a driver about 30-45 minutes if they otherwise get all the way to the 1st bridge and then need to turn back and go around via 100B to Route 2 to Route 12. 

The sign flashes at about a rate of once / second all day and night. 

The sign is powered by a small solar panel and therefore presumably very efficient to install and maintain. 

I know solar powered lights are not new and, and this is a small change, representing progress, even conservation, if for no other reason than to avoid wasting an hour’s worth of time and energy. 

None the less, my initial gut level reaction was of some small loss. More accurately, it’s a short moment of nostalgia, for when there were fewer signs and lights. 

Like the song goes, “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?! 

*If Moretown is considered a part of the Mad River Valley (I think so), then this ship sailed many years ago when the traffic light was installed at the intersection of Roue 100 & Route 2 at Snow Fire.

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