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Wayfinding sign prototype presented to committee

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City Engineer Louis Najar shows a mock-up of a wayfinding sign to the Infrastructure Committee on Monday afternoon. From left around the table are City Councilors Caleb Grant, Juan Oropesa and George Peterson in the large conference room at City Hall. (Alison Penn Photo)

City of Roswell’s Infrastructure Committee was updated on the wayfinding project and signs may be up this summer. 

Committee members and city councilors Juan Oropesa, George Peterson and Caleb Grant approved three action items and asked questions about infrastructure projects on Monday evening. Councilor Jeanine Corn Best was not present.

City Engineer Louis Najar said the city is proceeding with the wayfinding masterplan approved in July 2016 by Roswell City Council and presented a full-size prototype of a directional blade sign. Najar approved of the sign’s aesthetic and said it would be “recognizable” due to the UFO-related design features such as two cows being chased by a spaceship. 

Najar said there is “quite a bit” of need for signs all over the city and the contractor is “really excited to do something different” with the city’s signs.

No formal action was taken about the wayfinding project, but was discussed for informational purposes. The full wayfinding plan can be viewed on the city’s website at roswell-nm.gov. 

Najar said the signs have to comply with Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), but they are excited to do something different. The only foreseeable change that Najar pointed out is that signs list only two or three rows (see photo), instead of more.  

Najar said the signs must meet certain specifications, such as reflectivity, for the NM Department of Transporation (DOT), MUTCD, Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). He also compared the sign’s sizes and colors similar to state parks’ signs.

Najar said the cost for the signs is unknown at this time. However, Najar estimated the true cost could be determined and 10 signs could be erected by June 30 with assistance from the streets department and Bill Morris, community development director, for phase one of the project. 

Councilor Grant said since original approval, the wayfinding masterplan is “obsolete” and the city’s new branding standards should be considered as a new design option. He recalled the original wayfinding signs matched entryway signs. 

Grant said he saw some prototypes of signs that were “modern, sharp, eye-catching” from City Manager Joe Neeb. Mike Mathews, deputy city manager, said Juanita Jennings, public affairs director, also had access to them. 

“That’s just my two cents because — you look at our new convention center and things like that,” Grant said. “That new branding kind of matches that look to me.”

In response to Grant, Najar said the green and brown colors would not change much. For variations, Najar said DOT permission is needed for areas within Second and Main streets.

Saying he supported the wayfinding project, Grant suggested having the signs’ design and engineering side figured out for the next infrastructure meeting to decide a realistic course of action. 

Councilor Peterson asked if the signs would be “theft-proof” and Najar said there would be vandal resistant bolts on the sign.

The committee also voted for the city to find out more information about the Roswell Test Facility’s lease.  

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.