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Published: Wednesday, 1/6/2010

'Wayfinding' signs first step in move to beautify Sylvania

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A sample wayfinding sign is on display in Sylvania City Council Chambers. A sample wayfinding sign is on display in Sylvania City Council Chambers.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

A hodgepodge of signs posted along Sylvania's downtown streets to direct motorists to various businesses and attractions soon will be replaced by a uniform "wayfinding" system.

Sylvania City Council's recent approval of a $192,202 contract with Harmon Sign of West Toledo, to produce the uniformly designed signs marks the first element of the Gateway Plan, a campaign to beautify central Sylvania, to become reality.

All of the individual signs now in Sylvania guiding traffic to Lourdes College, Flower Hospital, the Wingate Hotel, and other popular destinations will be replaced.

"We'll take those down and combine them" onto the new signs, Service Director Jeff Ballmer said.

Todd Milner, chairman of city council's streets committee, said the "wayfinding" system had been "well-vetted in committee" and sign locations would follow the recommendations of a city consultant.

"This is all about helping people find their way around our community" while eliminating visual clutter caused by the existing signs, he said.

The Harmon contract includes provision for an internally lit message-board sign near Main and Monroe streets, but city officials are investigating the possibility of installing a programmable, light-emitting-diode sign instead.

The LED sign, which would work similarly to several multiple-message LED billboards in the Toledo area, would be an extra-cost item for which the city has yet to obtain a cost estimate, Mr. Ballmer said last week.

Mr. Milner said such a sign, if installed, would "electronically announce special events in our city" and be controlled from City Hall.

Other elements of the Gateway Plan include the proposed construction of a 1.3-mile cycling and pedestrian trail along the Ottawa River and Ten Mile Creek near downtown Sylvania and the remodeling of Monroe Street between U.S. 23 and Harroun Road to include stretches of median, set-back sidewalks, and decorative landscaping along the street and within the U.S. 23 interchange area.



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