Council, city staff to review proffers for wayfinding signs

Published 10:47 am Monday, August 1, 2016

Washington’s City Council, during its next meeting, could award a contract to one of seven bidders seeking to make signs for the city’s wayfinding program.

Last week, John Rodman, the city’s director of community and cultural resources, told the council those bids ranged from a low of $82,000 to a high of $186,000. City staff is evaluating those bids, he said. The council is expected to review those bids, too.

The city has been pursuing its wayfinding program for several years. Currently, the city has about $150,000 available for the signs. The project will be done in phases, Roberson said.

The City Council, during its May 23 meeting, authorized city staff and the Washington Harbor District Alliance to search for an entity to provide the signs, part of the city’s effort to make it easier for visitors and others to find specific places in the city, especially in the waterfront and downtown areas. 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, as presented then, would have been split into three phases because of its cost, according to a presentation made to the council last year.

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 Rodman.

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.

Also last week, the council discussed potential land acquisition during a closed session. As required by state law, the land in question was identified as being bounded by Bridge, West Second and West Third streets. That location, a former Dr Pepper bottling plant, was mentioned at a council meeting in June as a potential site for a new police station. Other sites included the former Family Dollar site at the intersection of North Market and Third Street (where Tumble B Gym is located) and the city-owned land at the northeast corner of the intersection of East Fifth and North Bonner streets.

After emerging from the closed session last week, the council took no action.





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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