art of signs to art and stuff
signs would have visitors in mind but could help residents find
Manchester built it and
they are coming. But can they — city visitors, that is — find their way
around once they get here?
With the Verizon, a
rejuvenated downtown and now a new minor-league ballpark, Manchester is
quickly becoming the “destination city” city leaders and Chamber of
Commerce officials proclaim it to be.
Visitors from across
the state and region are coming to the Queen City for concerts, sporting
events, restaurants and cultural events. But with Manchester’s array of
one-way streets and its crowded downtown parking situation, finding
one’s way can be challenging for those who haven’t been here before.
What’s needed, say
planning and tourism officials, are way-finding signs that better point
the way to the city’s top attractions and districts, signs designed with
both the out-of-town driver and the pedestrian in mind
“If you get off 93 at
Hanover Street and you have to get to the Verizon it can be hard to tell
how to do it,” said Bob MacKenzie, director of the city’s Planning and
Community Development department.
staff are currently putting together a way-finding signage package for
the city, a package which could be submitted to aldermen as early as
next month. If approved by the board, the signs could be placed mainly
downtown sometime this year. The signs will come in two varieties:
pedestrian signage on Elm Street and vehicular signage in a yet-to-be
determined area of the city.
“We want to make sure
[visitors] know about all Manchester has to offer,” MacKenzie said.
“Eventually we’d like to have them throughout the city.”
Currently, the city has
the occasional signs pointing to the civic center, minor-league ballpark
or city parking lots and garages. These signs, however, are scattered
While MacKenzie did not
have any conceptual drawings to share, he said the signs will be modeled
after similar signs in Philadelphia. The signs there are multi-colored
and each point the way to nearly a dozen attractions and areas.
In addition to the
Verizon and the ballpark, pedestrian signs to be placed on Elm Street
would point the way to things like the YMCA and Palace Theatre,
MacKenzie said. They would also list hidden gems like the Currier Museum
of Art, which he said many visitors don’t even know about.