After several rejections from ODOT, Boring residents continue seeking approval

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CLACKAMAS COUNTY - Holding an enlarged mock-up of the sign recently placed in Boring Station Trailhead Park are, from left, Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith; Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City; commissioners Paul Savas, John Ludlow and Jim Bernard; Boring Community Planning Organization Chairman Steve Bates; and Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby.There is a new sign in Boring, although it is not easy to find. The sign recognizes that Boring and Dull, Scotland, are paired.

The sign is a gift from Clackamas County, although it likely will become a temporary sign, said Steve Bates, chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organization.

The small sign doesn’t accomplish its initial goal of notifying passers-by that Boring and Dull are “A Pair for the Ages.”

That goal isn’t achieved because the sign is not facing Highway 212, and drivers who pass through Boring cannot see the sign which is on a short local street near the restroom at Boring Station Trailhead Park.

Although Bates appreciates the county’s willingness to provide a sign, he says he and other Boring residents would still like to see a sign the same size as the two signs placed on Road B846 at each end of Dull in Scotland.

“I am pleased that the county followed through with the promise we were given,” he said. “But, unfortunately, ODOT got in the way of doing it the way we had all intended.”

A case of fewer options

Board of Commissioners Chairman John Ludlow told Bates that ODOT had said “no” to the county twice, Bates said, on signs facing Highway 212.

The county, therefore, gave Boring three options: 1) a small temporary sign in the park; 2) a small permanent sign in the park, not visible from the highway; or 3) do nothing.

Option No. 1 was chosen.

But Bates intends to find a location that is acceptable to all authorities and place in Boring at least one sign similar to the signs in Dull, which are about 4X8 feet each and 10 feet tall on two posts.

Bates knows that Boring residents will be paying for any additional signs, but he first must get ODOT’s permission to place a larger sign in a visible location.

For the next couple of months, he says he’ll be doing research and looking for the options that apply to this situation.

He hopes for an option that is exempt from ODOT regulations that prevent signs facing the highway or highly regulate their size.

“The goal is to have it located in a place where it is more visible,” Bates said, “and more conducive for visitors to have their pictures taken in front of it.”

History of sign request

Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon was the first county official to request a sign, but eventually ODOT did not approve of plans to place signs at each end of Boring.

A new sign was designed that gained approval from members of the Boring Community Planning Organization. In content, the sign was nearly identical to the signs placed on each end of the community of Dull, although the Scottish signs are much larger.

What seemed a popular idea of placing a sign on land owned by the Boring-Damascus Grange alongside Highway 212 also was nixed by ODOT, Bates said.

Boring CPO members thought it would be good to have the sign facing the highway to capture the interest of passers-by in hopes they would linger in Boring and patronize local businesses.

CPO and grange leaders wanted the sign placed near the parking area of the grange hall because they expected that people would want to stop and park off the highway so they could stand near the sign and take photographs.

But ODOT officials must approve signs that can be seen by drivers on the highway, and this idea was not approved. There also is an annual fee that sign owners must pay if drivers can see a sign on private property.

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