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City enters into agreement to assess and add wayfinding signs in city core, possibly more

{SPOKESMAN PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - The City of Wilsonville will likely install new signs at the two monuments near the Wilsonville Road-I-5 interchange. img:194778}Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp said he's heard a stream of complaints from visitors hoping to peruse the Villebois neighborhood.

Because the city lacks directional signs orienting people toward Villebois, such prospective Wilsonville visitors and residents struggle to find the neighborhood.

But after discussing the issue over the last couple election cycles, Wilsonville has decided to take action to better orient visitors and Wilsonville residents.

The City of Wilsonville has entered into an agreement with Alta Planning and Design to create a signage and wayfinding plan and install between one and four signs to help improve navigation in Wilsonville.

As detailed in a work session Monday, March 19, the City and Alta will assess the current crop of signage in Wilsonville and evaluate which areas need more signs, what type of signs are needed and if current signs need alterations. It will also hold a public outreach period for citizens to weigh in, create a wayfinding signage system and prepare a cost estimate for adding signs across the city, among other tasks.

Alta will draw design concepts, create detailed construction plans and install at least one and up to four signs — likely at the two monuments near the Wilsonville Road/I-5 interchange.

The project, though, does not fund the implementation of additional signs across the city. If the project is completed, the Wilsonville City Council would then have to fund additional signs.

According to City projections, the planning phase of the project will cost $75,000, implementing the signs will cost $50,000 and the project will take 8-10 months to complete.

Along with Villebois, Knapp said the signs will be important for the burgeoning Frog Pond area.

"It's clear we need to somehow figure out how to direct people to different neighborhoods as we continue to build toward Frog Pond," Knapp said. "I think the same sort of thing happens with the schools out there. How do people know where any of this is?"

Along with creating new signs, Wilsonville Planning Director Chris Neamtzu said signs around town that don't have the city's updated logo could receive improvements but that alterations to current signage will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

"For instance, the wooden routed signs at the entrance to the community all have the old logo so we could get those out and modernize with our new look," Neamtzu said. "Elements like the Old Town sign are more neutral. They don't have the logo so perhaps those could be embellished or added with new elements or maybe they will be fine the way they are."

Neamtzu also said the City plans to add more signs to buildings and parks, which could be funded through Metro's community enhancement fund, and would like to reduce sign clutter in areas such as the Wilsonville Road corridor.

"One of the goals is to consolidate, to eliminate where possible, to streamline, to get it to look much cleaner. I think visually it will look a lot better," Neamtzu said.

Councilor Susie Stevens has heard positive reviews regarding the directional signs an intern placed near Boones Ferry Park a couple years ago.

"I had at least three people comment to me unsolicited that they love those signs," she said. "It's noticed."

At the end of Neamtzu's presentation at the work session, Knapp expressed approval.

"It sounds like a good project. I'm hopeful it will be both interesting and build a better sign environment," Knapp said.

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