The Norman Transcript

September 25, 2013

Council considers navigational signage

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — City council members were presented with information regarding a wayfinding and signage plan to help visitors better navigate their way to venues and attractions.

During the conference Tuesday, prior to the city council meeting, Gurnsey Engineers talked about the wayfinding project’s short- and long-term objectives and goals.

The company has put together a concept that has already been adopted by two primary partners, the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Norman Chamber of Commerce, and is now seeking the city’s adoption of the concept.

If the concept is adopted, partners would move forward with an infrastructure and funding plan to implement a pilot program, which would involve a series of signs leading visitors to Norman’s Main Street district. That pilot program would cost somewhere around $80,000.

Phase One of the a pilot project which would include signage in northern, southern and central parts of Norman would cost about $256,000.

If the city adopts the concept, Gurnsey and city staff can begin talking with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation about signage along Interstate 35 leading to the Main Street district.

Right now is a prime time to capitalize on the opportunity, since the Main Street interchange is currently under construction and will be requiring new signs anyway which could otherwise be costly, said Kelly Kolar, an assisting designer for the project.

If the city agrees to a pilot project, the signage would then work its way into the community, guiding visitors to and from key destinations.

“We want to get individuals off the interstate and into Norman,” Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said.

During the city council’s regular meeting, a non-consent item approved included the consideration of using an existing medical building for a youth treatment facility, which would focus on behavioral and emotional disorders.

The facility, on the northwest corner of East Robinson Street and Medical Arts Drive, would be for those ages 6 to 14.

All 17 items on the consent docket were unanimously approved. Some of those items include:

· A contract between the city and Ice Challenge Enterprises LLC for the installation and operation of an ice skating rink in Andrews Park. The rink is being relocated from the old Marc Heitz Chevrolet location to park for the season. It will be open seven days a week, opening the day after Thanksgiving.

· Consideration of a contract between the city and Merritt Track and Tennis System for the Westwood Tennis court resurfacing project in the amount of $38,880.

· A maintenance agreement between the city and ODOT for the Boyd Street sidewalk project between Classen Boulevard and Barkley Avenue.

Several proclamations also were made during the meeting, including:

· October 2013 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

· Oct. 1 as “National Night Out”

· Sept. 28 as St. Vincent De Paul Friends of the Poor Walk day

· This week as Stormwater Awareness Week

Several council members noted that in light of Stormwater Awareness Week, it would be a good idea to more strongly enforce the ordinance that doesn’t allow grass clippings to be blown or swept into the street.

Those clippings end up in the drainage system and pollute the water. After someone’s been warned, the ordinance should be enforced with a $250 fine.

Several children from McKinley Elementary School also were recognized Tuesday with Citizenship Awards from Mayor Cindy Rosenthal and Council member Stephen Holman. The elementary school is in Holman’s ward.