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