Windsor Downtown Development Authority explores possibility of comprehensive sign program
February 19, 2017
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Windsor’s Downtown Development Authority aims to create a prosperous, vibrant, energetic and clean town center.
Its members endeavor to market downtown opportunities, retain and expand business opportunities, preserve downtown charm and enhancing the area’s physical appearance and amenities.
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In a few years, Windsor visitors could see signs directing them to attractions downtown and throughout the community.
A comprehensive sign program making the town's many attractions easier to navigate for visitors and locals could benefit public entities and local business alike, Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Matt Ashby said.
That's why DDA officials started exploring the possibility of partnering with the town and other Windsor entities to conduct a wayfinding study.
A study would identify key attractions and locations in the community and help design signs to direct residents and visitors to those important locations, Ashby said Thursday.
"Essentially it's a comprehensive signage program," he said. "Instead of heaving a mishmash of various directional signs, communities often like to provide more of a comprehensive and coordinated approach."
Ashby broached the idea of partnering on the project during Windsor's Monday night town board meeting.
The DDA could pursue a study of its own focused on downtown attractions and amenities. However, many locations a sign plan would include are public facilities like parks and town buildings, he said.
"I think the town would want to take advantage of this opportunity," Mayor Kristie Melendez said. "The town continues to grow and add great and wonderful amenities and partners like Aims (Community College) and the library. We need to make sure folks know how to get there and find them."
It makes sense to look at signs from the perspective of the whole town, she said. If Windsor entities take a comprehensive approach, the town can create the standard, help ensure commonality and avoid a random collection of signs that aren't uniform throughout the community.
"I think it is a good idea for the town to be part of this," Melendez said. "I also think there's some cost saving on all of us joining together on this effort, rather than doing it individually… This has been on the radar for a long time so I'm glad it's something we're finally going to tackle and get accomplished."
A comprehensive navigation study for the whole town could cost between $20,000 and $30,000, Ashby said.
He hasn't talked with any other organizations or groups yet. But with the town board interested, Ashby said he would start talking with other local organizations including Aims and the Clearview Library District. Once he talks with everyone and gets a better idea of the price, all entities involved can decide how to proceed.
"Certainly there's a benefit in partnering on this and certainly if we can spread the costs that's better for everybody," he said. "The first big step is to get a plan in place that really identifies the types of signage that we're looking at, what locations we would be directing people to and from and getting an understanding of what the installation costs might be."
Ashby hopes the planning process might be done by the end of the year, if not sooner. From there, any partners will need to budget and figure out how to implement the actual construction of the signs throughout the coming years.