Good news for anyone who has gotten lost searching for the correct entrance to Cone Health Moses Cone Hospital.
The Greensboro Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to throw the sign regulations out the window and allow Cone Hospital to put up the signage a consultant says it needs. Cone, by the way, was granted a variance in 2013 for the signage that it currently has. If Cone were forced to follow the sign laws in Greensboro, it would be far more difficult to navigate than it is now.
The Cone campus of about 65 acres, which is bounded by Northwood Street, North Elm Street, Tankersley Drive and Church Street, would, according to the sign ordinance, be allowed one free standing sign on each of those streets.
The variance will allow Cone to have five free standing signs on Church, three on Northwood and two on Elm.
According to the ordinance, the maximum size of a directional sign is 6 square feet and the variance that was granted was for a directional sign to be 43 square feet, or more than seven times larger than the ordinance allows.
Dr. James Wyatt, the medical director of the trauma program at Cone, said that in dealing with trauma patients, “every minute counts.”
He said that people do get lost looking for the emergency room and that the changes would be “a vast improvement and probably eliminate more than 50 percent of the problems we have now.”
Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, the chief of service for OB/GYN at Women’s Hospital, noted that with Women’s Hospital moving to the Women’s and Children’s Center at the main Cone campus next year, maternity would be on the opposite side of the hospital from the emergency room and it would cause big problems for women in labor to go to the emergency entrance.
She also said that she has had trouble finding her way around the main Cone campus in the middle of the night.
The passage of the variances will allow Cone to soon have more signs, better placed signs and much larger signs.