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Streetscape Finalizing Wayfinding Signage

Informational Public Meeting Planned for June 18

As the City prepares to redo the downtown streetscape, decisions are being finalized and resident input is encouraged.

This past week, the working group finalized wayfinding signage colors and designs. It plans to show the designs and the various other plans to the public at a June 18 meeting in Room 201 at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

After discussion for several months, it was decided the signage will be predominantly gray with a maroon/burgundy banner representing New Britain. It will feature a beehive design as well as some hardware or tools. And, many of the archway signs will be wrought iron. Some will be on overhead lights with large arms.

Kiosks are planed for Central Park, South Church, Broad St., East/Main Streets, the Busway, Walnut Hill Park, The New Britain Museum of Art and Main/Elm Streets. District markers will be at the West End District, Broad Street District (Little Poland) and the Walnut Hill District.

Much discussion has surrounded what to call the area near the arts area of the City including Trinity on Main and Hole-in-the-Wall Theater.

Various information including facts, history and what is available will be on kiosks.

According to Ruth Baxter of Rumney Associates, the kiosks will be double sided about 6 feet tall in maroon/burgundy in porcelain type enamel.

“It is extremely durable material,” said Baxter. “It is as graffiti proof as you can get and has a 25 year guarantee for color fading.”

It allows for copy, text, images and old photographs. It also has response code stickers to go right on the panels to allow people with smart phones to scan it and pull up information.

“You can have a link to whatever is happening,” said Baxter. “It can get updated as often as you want. They are not permanent. It keeps it up to date and interesting.”

“We’ve spent a long time on wayfinding signage,” said Mark Moriarty, public works director. “I’m really happy with the way it came out.”

Michael Cegan, of Richter and Cegan, updated progress on the streetscape around Central Park during the meeting.

“We want to look at it as a City Square concept,” said Cegan. “We are also looking at the cultural elements.”

The plan calls for opening up Central Park for events and possibly even an ice skating rink.

“It will bring the space alive all winter,” said Cegan. “It will feel like a cohesive square.”

Cegan said they are looking at removing the benches to open it up and make a performance stage.

There will also be areas across the City that that will be for art.

“Art can be a special part of this streetscape plan,” Cegan added.

The three layers to the master plan include extension of streetscape elements to unify the City; develop public spaces; and Art in the Streetscape.

“The one thing that is really appealing about the downtown is it is compact and really walkable,” said Cegan. “You can get to almost an area in a 5 minute walk. We will make it more attractive to walk.”

More details will be available at the June 18 meeting.

Moriarty said the informational meeting will be the first time residents and council members will see what is being planned and it will be very important to the future of the project.