2009-2013 Programmatic Parkwide Sign and Pavement Marking Routine Replacement and Maintenance

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This categorical exclusion document (CE) will serve as a formal record for routine replacement and maintenance of signs and pavement marking for the years 2009-2013. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) directs agencies to use CEs for actions "which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and which are therefore exempt from requirements to prepare an environmental impact statement" (40 CFR ยง1500-1508). This project is categorically exempt under NPS Director's Order #12, Action 3.4 C(8): Replacement in kind of minor structures and facilities with little or no change in location, capacity, or appearance -- for example, comfort stations, pit toilets, fences, kiosks, signs, and campfire circles.

There are approximately 5000 regulatory and directional signs within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site. These signs cover approximately 950 miles of paved roadways, campgrounds, and major urban and parking areas within Yosemite National Park. Approximately 3.5 million visitors visit the park annually, with the majority using private vehicles. Clear and concise road signage and painted pavement marking that conforms to Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and NPS sign standards are mandatory for public safety. Signs are also necessary to promote compliance with parking and other regulations, and to provide visitors with wayfinding, location identification, and information along park roadways, paths, and in developed areas. Signage helps protect resources by directing visitors to use established pathways, thereby reducing shortcuts through sensitive resource areas. Signs also enhance compliance with food storage regulations intended to protect bears and other wildlife. Adequate signage improves the visitor experience by providing a sense of arrival, orienting visitors, and reducing excess traffic circulation due to missed turns.

Routine sign and pavement marking maintenance is necessary to keep signage legible and consistent with NPS standards, as signs and painting deteriorate with age and weathering. The park roadways' variance from 1900 feet in elevation to 9960 feet in elevation causes a high rate of sign and pavement marking damage due to snow removal and UV damage.

This categorical exclusion covers replacement in kind of: road signs (including motorist guidance and traffic regulatory signs), park and facility identity signs (including trailhead, campground, and building signs), and other roadway, parking, pedestrian, and multi-use path signs (including guide and regulatory signs). Road sign maintenance activities include replacement in kind of signs within the existing road prism, as well as pavement marking such as centerlines, fog lines, crosswalks, parking lot striping, and stop bars. Temporary emergency signs (duration of less than 90 days) are also covered under this CE. Emergency signs with a duration of greater than 90 days are not covered under this CE and would require a separate compliance process.

This categorical exclusion is not intended to cover kiosks, interpretive signs, wayside or educational exhibits, signs in designated wilderness, backcountry trail signs, sign lighting, or temporary signs used during construction. Backcountry-type trail signs (i.e., unpainted metal signs displaying trail names and mileages using cut-out lettering) are covered under a Programmatic Trails CE. Maintenance on the lighting for signs in tunnels is covered under a Programmatic Utilities CE. Aside from signs in tunnels, there are no other lit signs in the park. This CE does not cover new permanent signs in new locations, relocation of existing signs, or any changes to the appearance, content or color of existing signs. These actions would require a separate compliance process.