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Thursday, September 24 News

New wayfinding signage in the works for Westport

WESTPORT — The DPIC Wayfinding Steering Committee has nailed down schematic designs for new wayfinding signage in town.

While total costs for the project have not been finalized, committee members on Tuesday discussed funding and whether or not the project should be done in phases.

“There’s a real disadvantage to phasing it,” Director of Public Works and committee member Pete Ratkiewich said, adding there could be a savings to do the project all at once.

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With designs agreed upon, the next step is to receive detailed programming information for all the signs.

The plan for new wayfinding signage has long been in the works, first outlined in the downtown master plan approved by the Board of Selectmen in 2015.

“One of the numerous recommendations in the plan was to create better signage for vehicular and pedestrian traffic through the town,” Committee Chair and Selectwoman Melissa Kane said. “The idea being it would make it easier to traverse the town.”

The new signage, designed by Philadelphia-based firm Merje, looks to help direct pedestrians and drivers navigate Westport, while additionally updating signs to follow current state regulations. New gateway signage is also included.

Another goal of the project, which utilizes the town’s new rebranded colors and logo, is to remove sign clutter.

“That was part of the impetus for this project. You go into a parking lot and there’s six different signs and it may be confusing,” Kane said. “The idea would be to synthesize the information onto one clearly demarcated, easy-to-read sign.”

Vehicular signage ranges from directing drivers to Westport’s cultural landmarks to instructions for motorists looking for parking spaces. Parking signs will alert drivers to nearby parking if spaces are filled elsewhere. Meanwhile, downtown pedestrian signage — particularly interactive kiosks — will inform resident and visitors about close attractions and how to get around town.

“That will really help identify down to the name of a retailer, restaurant or landmark,” Kane said. “There will also be room for historic information on the town and upcoming events.”

The project has been a group effort, Kane continued, with the committee spearheading the project consisting of the town curator, members of the Historic District Commission, the Chambers of Commerce, downtown residents and more.

“We really tried to make sure there was representation from all of the downtown stakeholders,” she said, noting it was also important to maintain Westport’s history.

Vehicular signage will feature iconic imagery from Westport on the back, and all signage designs were approved by the Architectural Review Board and Historic District Commission.

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“(The consultants) were very thoughtful in trying to bring some of Westport’s history to the signs,” she said. “There was a real interest in trying to celebrate the history of Westport while creating signage that was contemporary, easy to read and forward-looking.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

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