With the growth downtown Clinton has enjoyed, city officials are seeking to ensure through a wayfinding initiative that would-be visitors not only know how to get to Clinton but where to go once they get there.
Clinton-Sampson Planning director Mary M. Rose gave a brief update on the wayfinding project to City Council at its recent meeting. The Clinton Main Street Program, for which Rose is manager, has sought ways to entice residents and travelers to shop and dine in the downtown area.
That has included the lease of two billboards — positioned between the Wallace and Rose Hill exits — on Interstate 40 to spread the word about downtown Clinton. Now, 10 wayfinding signs and facility sign upgrades are the next step.
“It is going to have a very visual impact on the community,” City manager Shawn Purvis stated.
The wayfinding signs will be dispersed throughout the city as a way to lead travelers into town. According to previous plans, there will be four primary “trailblazer” signs that are placed outside the downtown area, directing visitors and residents downtown and another six around the downtown, offering direction to key locations.
Rose said staff is working with one company on the endeavor and it is hoped the wayfinding signs are up by the end of the year.
“We are working closely with ACSM Incorporated, a sign company that has extensive experience with wayfinding and facilities signs,” Rose noted. “They have given several options and we’re trying to narrow down (those options) and make sure we’re very careful because this is a very important thing.”
City Hall signs and other facility signs have been around for a “long time,” Rose pointed out.
“So we want these to be carefully chosen as well,” she said.
Newkirk Park is a top priority for the first facility sign, with others to follow.
“We look forward to seeing those new signs,” the planning director remarked. “It shouldn’t be very much longer, hopefully just a matter of a few weeks … that we have chosen the design. Then we’ll go into fabrication.”
She lauded the Design Committee, which identified wayfinding as an opportunity to provide a clear and attractive means to direct individuals to downtown Clinton as well as other key locations within the community. New parking signs, identifying lots that can be used for visitors, will also address concerns many residents and visitors have about parking in the downtown area.
“They said they can finish it in six months,” Rose said in April. “So we are really hoping that by the end of this year we will have our wayfinding and our parking lot signage up.”
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.