Re: Nelson plans to replace welcome signs, April 22
I am very pleased to see that, finally, Nelson is about to replace the deteriorating and badly worded welcome signs. The city now has an opportunity to produce fresh, inviting, professionally produced signs.
However, I’m very concerned for comments by city planner Sabastien Arcand. His suggestion that parts of the old signs be maintained and that one way to go would be to replicate the old signs. This make-do approach is counter-productive as the result will be the same tired look. More importantly, this is not in the sphere of urban planning. It requires the expertise of graphic designers and a competent sign company.
Also, a design competition will only work if it is among designers. I doubt the city would run a competition with the general public for the directional signage and the washroom, so let’s leave the sign design to the pros.
The location of these signs was not mentioned and two of the three should be moved to better locations. The one at the entrance to the bridge on the north shore is obscured by power and light poles. And the sign on Highway 6 at the south entrance is positioned at the city limits but where there are many unsightly structures. Why not move it closer to the highway interchange where there is a view of Elephant Mountain and the lake.
The wording on the signs should also be changed. “The city of” is redundant. All that is needed is “Welcome to Nelson” or simply just “Nelson.” Also, let’s not renew the pathetic wording on the back of the signs.
The look of the present signs is early 1950s and Nelson has changed a lot in that time, so new signage should reflect a modern city with a rich heritage.
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