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New master sign program approved in IF

The Idaho Falls City Council decided Thursday to approve a master signage program. The city wants to add more signs to help both locals and tourists find their way to popular spots. They also want to make over current signs to add a little consistency.

City Council member Kenneth Taylor said,”What we have now is a little bit of a mismatch of nothing really coordinated.”

“You will see green signs, red signs, brown signs, all different sizes and shapes, and what happens is they lose their effectiveness,” said Bob Everhart, executive director of Idaho Falls Downtown Development.

While sign clutter is hard enough to understand, often times, there is no sign at all. So what destinations need to be pointed out? Everhart said, “… the zoo, the Museum of Idaho, our municipal offices, the greenbelt.”

“Really I have people ask me where golf courses are, where the hotels are, I have people ask where the zoo is and the hospital. You’d think that those are things we should make easier for people to find who are from out of state or out of town” said local resident Dave Carpenter.

The city hopes to boost tourism as well as having less distractions to drivers by making the signs clear and consistent.

“It’s a nice reflection on the city if we have something that looks nice and particularly if it looks kind of uniform, it’s easier for people to catch when they are driving,” said Carpenter.

The city will work with Hunt Design, a national company that has created signs for the San Diego Zoo, and the National Mall in D.C. The goal is to make an easily recognizable design that complements the culture of Idaho Falls.

“To come up with something that is unique to our community that really portrays the character of Idaho Falls, then we got to do the whole task of where do we put all of those signs?” said Everhart.

That is a decision the City Council will ultimately have to make, and they will likely take public input.

“It really is needed, it’s something that makes your town look like it knows what it is doing and that it is actually is organized,” Everhart said.

The next step will be to design the new signs and decide what signs should be first to go up. That process could take awhile, even over a year. Once it is all finalized, the signs should go up pretty quick.

Idaho Falls will also have to decide whether the signs should just be for city locations, all public places, or include private destinations as well.

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