Thursday, April 29, 2010

New uptown signs baffle council members

Confused by the new color-coded signs going up along highways around uptown?

Some city council members are, too.

The signs are part of a $4.1 million "urban wayfinding system" designed to help direct visitors to the north, south, east and west quadrants of the city.

But two elected officials this week expressed doubts that the color-coded sytem would help tourists, when they themselves are unable to decode the system.

"I live here, and I wouldn't know what to do looking at the signs," said councilman Michael Barnes, a Democrat, during a Monday council meeting.

Said Republican Andy Dulin: "They might as well be written in Greek. They're clutter, in my opinion."

Their concerns were in the minority, and council approved change orders to move ahead with the project, which has been under way since 2006. Crews are removing old freeway signs and installing new ones on the approach to uptown from Independence Boulevard and interstates 77 and 277.

Jim Kimbler of the city's department of transportation said the sign system was designed first for how visitors might respond, in response to Barnes' view of them as a resident.

Kimbler said only about one-third of the signs are installed, and the system will work well once they are completely in place. The system is intended to help visitors find parking quickly, which will save idling time and fuel - and makes the program eligible for federal energy efficiency grant money.

Barnes suggested that compass-oriented labeling won't help drivers who don't know where they are on the compass as they pass by at high speeds.

"North of what? East of what? West of what?" he asked.

- Doug Miller

62 comments:

m said...
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Anonymous said...

It doesnt take much to do that!

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is such a gay city! I mean look at that sign

Anonymous said...

Love how at the end, he says, North or what, south of what etc.....hello dumbass the top part of the sign says UPTOWN!

JAT said...

Has Jim Kimbler never heard of Google maps? GPS?

What a complete joke.

Anonymous said...

Charlote is so busy trying to be something its not... a big city.Someone must had gone to a true big city and saw this and thought it would be a great idea here.

Anonymous said...

The city is heading in the right direction now. The people leading the way cant even read a road sign.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of taxpayer money!

Anonymous said...

The "urban wayfinding group" is hosting a party open to the public with a free bar. To get there...

J - January
F - Febuary
M - March
A - April

See ya there!

Anonymous said...

This can't be for Charlotte b/c I don't see the notice for Detroit-South anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I believe the confusion is translating the current quadrant system into the new system. So will First Ward now be part of N and E? I believe they should have color coded the quadrants which are distinguished by where you are to Trade and Tryon. This would have been just as easy to translate for tourists.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I had no idea what the sign was telling me. I'm a college grad with an MBA. It lacks explanation. Just a sign with color code. If you exit will there be more color coded signs to guide you in?

I think the point was to drive revenue to the attactions, but $4.5 million worth????! Not sure this investment was needed.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is what we waste $4.1M on, huh.

S.C. Simonton said...

HOW IS THIS A PRIORITY OVER EDUCATION???????????????

Brandon said...

OH MY GOD!! We've entered W!!! RUUNNN!!!!

mapquest said...

the article failed to mention the color coded signs posted throughout uptown. those signs are what the "green" signs are telling people to use as a guide for uptown.

Anonymous said...

we have some stupid council members then.

Phillip said...
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Phillip said...
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Anonymous said...

It is more disturbing that council members like Dulin did not take it upon themselves to learn about these signs prior to installation. Dulin is my district representation. He is the mosy inefficient member of council that has EVER represented our district. It would not take much of a challenger to beat this limp wrist idiot. ANYBODY BUT DULIN.

Anonymous said...

To the 9:24 Poster....Charlotte is the 18th largest city in the USA. So not sure how you come about your comments that "we" are trying to be something we are not. I would not be suprised to see the city crack the top 15 after the census count. But do not let the FACTS enter into your decision to post a comment that shows your ignorance. Are we NY, LA or Chicago, no...but we are far from needing signs to make us feel like a big city.

Rdub said...

Surprised nobody blamed Obama yet.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is a joke and is gay, so are they council memebers!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Phillip your gay!

Anonymous said...

I wont blame Obama but it sure looks like his work. Is it 2012 yet?!

Anonymous said...

Charlotte passed an important inflection point yesterday. Things are going to be fine.

I think we should reserve judgment on these signs until all are in place.

Charlotte is trying, as it always has, to be bigger and better. That is not the same thing as trying to be something it is not.

Charlotte is gayer than people know. It's nowhere near San Francisco, but it's gayer and more accepting than I ever thought it would be. Regardless of your opinion about gay folks, that's just good for business. No important business in America is looking to expand or set up shop where gay folks are unwelcome. It's 2010-even Dallas and Houston are gayer than ever.

Anonymous said...

This sign confusion all came about because Warren Turner can't find his way to his favorite brothel any more.......

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is a joke!! Trust me Im from charlotte. Ive seen it get destroyed for 39 years. We are in trouble. Remeber to vote!! Vote these progressive jackoffs out!!!!

Anonymous said...

You're from Charlotte? That's exactly why nobody should trust your opinion!

Charlotte still sucks, but it's way better than it ever used to be!!!

Anonymous said...

Give it a chance, it may work...me and my wife saw it one day and were confused about it but we later said it will probably be used for directional purposes...it doenst take a degree or a MBA...it just takes some good ol common sense and thinking to figure out what it will be used for.

Anonymous said...

Sucks to be a yankee, Im guessing thats what you are.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that does not living in Charlotte, thinks it sucks, or believes it is not one of the nicer big cities in this country have not traveled very much.
Get out to some other big cities, then tell me how bad it is here.

Anonymous said...

the signs are confusing, especially when they are blocked by trees on brookshire. Nice way to waste more money....

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's 'leadership' is woefully amiss when it spends this much money on a low-item priority while it denies funding for jails, teachers and police protection.

Come November folks, remember to vote all these 'Progressives' out! Be it (R) or (D) behind their name. This city needs new leadership and needs it badly!!

Anonymous said...

"Sucks to be a yankee, Im guessing thats what you are."

Is that the best you can come up with? Can't think of something a little bit more original??

Anonymous said...

"Anyone that does not living in Charlotte, thinks it sucks, or believes it is not one of the nicer big cities in this country have not traveled very much.
Get out to some other big cities, then tell me how bad it is here."

Charlotte is NOT a big city. The only reason why the city's population is 600,000+ is because the city annexed most of Mecklenburg County! If you think Charlotte is a big city, you are the one who needs to get out and travel more.

ICBMMan said...

Charlotte is a great city. We moved here last year, and we have been really impressed with it.

That being said, I do find it extremely ridiculous that they are spending $4.5 million on signage when they should be spending that money on repairing burnt out street lights on I-77 and I-85! I don't have a problem with the signs themselves, and I think the coding makes sense. However, the city and highway department are not properly prioritizing projects.

Safety on the interstates when driving at night should be a higher priority that tourist signs, and this especially includes having the highways properly lit. There are literally miles of sections where the lights are completely out. Repair the lights and get the highways brightly lit...then focus on tourist signs.

Lindsay said...

I agree with the council member. A visitor would never know what these signs mean. And if you have to explain a sign then it's not effective.

They are supposed to reppresent the north, south, east and west quadrants of uptown (not, north of uptown, south of uptown). I visitor would never know that we section uptown into 4 quadrants. Most people who live here don't even know that. And the lack of proper follow up signs (i.e. off independance you don't see another similar sign until you're actually in uptown) hurts the situation as well.

I agree that the 4.1 million would be better spent on keeping our teachers employed and our libraries open.

Anonymous said...

so once again, if it doesnt make sense to anyone we should spend money on it. what ever happened to asking where stuff is? also if you cant find the nascar hall of fame, just go to the part of downtown where there are no people and youre getting close

Jon Payne said...

I love Charlotte and moved here just over a year ago. Great city. That said, I don't see the need for this for just Uptown. Uptown isn't that big. You basically are only a few blocks away from N, S, E and W quadrants at any one time. Unless I misunderstood and they are referring to the entire city?

Anonymous said...

North. South. East. West. Wherever you go, you'll find the best! Charlotte. Banks. Strip clubs. Dirty politicians. Poor. Rich...Oh, I already mentioned the banks and dirty politicians.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it doesn't make any sense right now because they AREN'T FINISHED WITH IT YET.

Anonymous said...

R-E-F-U-N-D

Anonymous said...

I love Charlotte and I have lived in Florida, Arizona, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York.

Anonymous said...

Figures we would have the bigots coming out even in a non-related article like this. Someone earlier posting that CLT is such a gay city should burn in the pits of hellfire for that. What does that have to do with road signs? More gay bashing rednecks out again.

Anonymous said...

andy dulin is a chode

Anonymous said...

"I love Charlotte and I have lived in Florida, Arizona, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York."

WOW!!! Do you want a cookie? Charlotte sucks.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they make the state fix the signs at the 485/77 interchange near South Carolina? Those signs are either still blank or they make no sense (East - Pineville, Inner - BLANK... what the???)

Anonymous said...

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Ray said...

They really should have done a case study with this before just throwing it out there. It takes a lot to design a really successful system. But I'm also thinking that something like this seems outdated now that we have GPS navigators, and even simple cell phones can give directions nowadays.

Anonymous said...

I love Charlotte, However these signs are nothing but a big waste of money.

Anonymous said...

ICBMMan - those lights arent burnt out along 77 and 85.. theives are repeatedly stealing the copper wiring from the lamp posts and instead of charlotte looking into spending the $ once and for all, even if it is more expenisve right now.. at using something other than copper - or having the access panel up way high so theives cannot easily access .. they continue to replace the copper making it an easy hit AGAIN for the same thieves. so if neither of these is an option .. how about some sort of undercover patrol? or something??

ICBMMan said...

Anonymous, I have heard stories about that problem, but my next question would be why the city or DOT haven't secured the access panels with tamper-proof locks or, like you suggested, moved those panels to an inaccessible location. Again, we're spending $4.5 million on these signs instead of protecting and maintaining our current lighting infrastructure.

I absolutely agree that something needs to be done to keep our highways safe and comfortable for driving at night. The city or DOT needs to forget this sign idea temporarily and fix the lighting problems that are happening right now.

Anonymous said...

>>$4.1 million "urban wayfinding system" designed to help
>> direct visitors to the north, south, east and west

I have a $1 urban wayfinding system. It's called a COMPASS.

Anonymous said...

April 29, 2010 12:11 PM Poster...
You cannot change the FACTS! BUt you can remain STUPID.

Mecklenburg County population is over 1 million people.

What is the matter? Do you miss Buffalo?

Entree said...

Seems to me the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

That should give pretty good indication to anyone, even on cloudy days of East and West, and North and South directions.

Alex said...

If Barnes cannot read a road sign what do you suppose he will do at the District Attorney's Office...the office he is running for... I don't want to find out do you?

Al Anoneemouse said...

This post has been removed by a blog censor.

Anonymous said...

The signage seems smart and forward thinking to me. Not sure sure why development and managing growth is a cause for outrage.

Anonymous said...

Typical! Anything that comes from the city concil in charlotte is garbage!! Remember to vote these bafoons out!!! Vote Vote

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