Council to consider continuing wayfinding program

Published 8:02 pm Friday, May 20, 2016

Here’s your signs — maybe.

During its meeting Monday, Washington’s City Council will consider authorizing the city and Washington Harbor District Alliance to issue a request for proposals concerning signs for the city’s wayfinding program.

City officials and Chris Furlough, spokesman for the alliance, are scheduled to discuss the matter with the council, according to the council’s tentative agenda for the meeting. They will be prepared to discuss sign locations and other items related to the wayfinding project.

Late last year, the council decided to wait until this year to make a decision regarding funding of the city’s wayfinding project. During its Nov. 9, 2015, meeting, the council balked at allocating $101,606 for 24 signs that are part of a recommended overall sign project consisting of 84 signs — including gateway, directional and parking signs. The project would be split into three phases because of its cost, according to a presentation made to the council last year.

Currently, the city has about $130,000 available for the signs.

Councilman Doug Mercer has questioned spending nearly $2,000 each for parking signs he said could be purchased for much less — under $50 each — from a source other than the one included in the wayfinding plan developed by Deep Fried Creative, a Washington-based company.

In November 2015, two Washington residents criticized the Washington City Council for not providing the funding needed to begin implementing the city’s wayfinding program. Rebecca Clark, a downtown business owner, and Scott Campbell, a downtown resident and real-estate agent, told the council they were upset that the project has “dragged on” for three years and that funds for the wayfinding signs have not been released.

The wayfinding strategies designed for Washington would improve traffic circulation (vehicles and pedestrians) in the city and direct visitor dollars to where they would have the most economic impact, according to John Rodman, the city’s community and cultural resources director.

In an effort to reduce costs, new signs would be erected on existing utility poles, especially the decorative light poles in the historic and waterfront districts, Rodman said.






About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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