All Signs Point to a Signage Makeover for the Borough

The Wayfinding committee has designs on adding around 25 signs to the downtown.

Phoenixville has bars, coffee shops, restaurants, , and aplenty. What the borough’s short on are indications of where these things actually are.

Enter the Wayfinding Project.

Spearheaded by councilmen Dave Gautreau and Jenn Mayo, executive director Mary Foote, Marion Moskowitz of , and borough manager Jean Krack, the Wayfinding Project is a signage effort aimed at helping guide borough visitors to its many attractions.

“Currently, you could arrive in Phoenixville, drive through it, and never know where you were because of the lack of signage,” said Mayo. “The major goal of the committee is to ensure that visitors know they have arrived in Phoenixville, give them a reason to stay for a while, and give the residents something to be very proud of.”

“Locations of attractions, institutions and parking need to be identified more clearly to visitors and residents,” added Krack.

With the help of design firm ex;it, the borough has selected a sign style (see images of the selected sign scheme attached to this article) and has now begun raising the $125,000 necessary to stake the signs around town. The project has, so far, been bankrolled by an $8,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and an equal match from the borough.

It’s unclear where precisely the 21 to 26 signs will be staked, but according to the most recent mockup of the plan, they will likely be concentrated on and around Bridge Street, with several stationed at various points on Nutt Road.

Krack said the signage effort dates back to December of 2009, when the borough council and staff brought together a Wayfinding taskforce comprised of area academic, professional, and civic leaders. A month later, Drexel University created a course whose objective was developing an identity mark and signage system for the borough.  

Though the plan will be implemented in three phases, the borough is still over $100,000 short of the dollar amount it will need to finish the project. Anyone able to help raise funds to bridge this gap is invited to contact Jean Krack at 610-933-8801.   

Randy Morin July 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM
The intention of the watershed signs is to raise the public's awareness and encourage good stewardship of the streams, wetlands, and water supply. In other words to remind drivers that if they throw a cigarette butt out the window it will go directly into the watershed named on the sign. Similarly, the Tree City USA signs tell visitors that Phoenixville cares about its environment. It is also an indication to prospective businesses that the quality of life may be better here.
Peter C. Brown July 17, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I understand the value of watershed awareness and that Phoenixville cares about the quality of life in our town. However, the messages need to be more creative and encouraging. Placing a few strategic signs next to our bridges and other commercial areas is fine. However, I don't like them in my driveway and in front of my family's house! Phoenixville has also placed the signs in surrounding Townships, which is inappropriate.
Deb Johnston July 17, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Michael, thank you for your eloquent explanation of the realities of signage. if the borough wants to reap the rewards from lively commercial enterprises it must invest in itself. Signage is one way of promoting the Borough as a destination spot. Towns with good signage and banners are just more inviting. Your point about giving input by attending community and municipal meetings is the best way to be informed about the process. Even better is volunteering for a position on one of the many commissions that support the Borough such as HARB, zoning hearing board, planning commission, tree commission and even council. If a few more people from the middle ward would step up to the plate and apply for the vacancy on council then perhaps borough council would not be stuck deciding on candidates who bring a lot of questionable history and baggage to the table. It would be great to see some new faces getting involved in their borough.
Peter C. Brown July 17, 2012 at 06:51 PM
All good suggestions Deb. Thanks for your input. I would personally like to be more involved, but I am no longer a full-time resident of the Borough. However, I do continue to do a lot of volunteer work for the Borough and the Historical Society when and where I can. I am thankful for all the progress that has been made and believe that most of it is all good. However, there are opportunities for more effective decision-making.
Paul G. Celentano July 18, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I'm sorry, but $4,800 per sign for 26? Way too much money. Sure there is bang for the buck but a lot more bang for the buck would be realized with a lower and more appropriately priced design and implementation. But that's just me; a Senior Building Systems Technician and CAD Designer.


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