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U.S. 15 Scenic Byway

Dianne L. Walbrecker

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted at their August monthly meeting to send a letter of support to the Maryland State Highway Administration in support of a grant to plan and design a system of signs to make it easier for tourists to find the downtowns of communities along U.S. Route 15. The Town Gateway and Wayfinding Plan is consistent with last year's Corridor Management Plan for U.S. 15, which is being coordinated by Ed Gorski, Chief of Comprehensive Planning for Frederick County.

The signs will be designed in such a way that drivers from Point of Rocks to Emmitsburg will see similar gateways and other designations for downtown Main Streets. According to John Fieseler, Executive Director of the Tourism Council of Frederick County, this will provide "improved guidance (that) is critical for motorists seeking to visit the downtowns along the Byway."

Fieseler, who is the Project Coordinator for this grant, said another part of the grant will be to evaluate a high-tech way to develop kiosks with maps and information about local stores, restaurants and other cultural attractions that can be kept current without having to replace the entire map.

In addition to identifying the country's most scenic and historically significant roads, the grant funding is available as part of the National Scenic Byways Programs to increase tourism, stimulate local economies, and protect distinctive assets along byways.

Don Briggs, president of the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA), said EBPA contributed to the grant to increase visibility for local businesses. Michael Hillman at is donating his time to assist with webpage design for the U.S. 15 Byway Advisory Committee. Several area residents have been contributing ideas and will serve on subcommittees for the U.S. 15 Advisory Committee. All meetings are open to the general public. For more information, e-mail or Egorski at the same address.