Woburn Center

MOTORISTS and pedestrians in Woburn Center may have noticed the new signage which has been installed over the past few weeks. This is the one at the Main and Common Street intersections. 

(joebrownphotos.com)

WOBURN - The city of Woburn’s Wayfinding Signing Project is currently being implemented with signs popping up all over Woburn Center and approaches to the downtown area.

Since last spring, the city’s Woburn Redevelopment Authority has take a step-by-step approach to putting the light brown signs with lettering to assist newcomers and others in key areas of the city like the direction to the Woburn Police Department and parking areas.

In recent days, the signs have been attached to poles in the downtown area and have become very visible to newcomers and residents alike.

Back in March at the WRA meeting, WRA Administrator Tina Cassidy reported the city’s Engineering Department performed “excellent work on the WRA’s behalf, conducting a site visit and proposing specific locations for the new signage visa ap/photo collage.”

The map was then distributed at the April WRA meeting.

Cassidy also joined with Senior Engineer Greg Rheaume of the Engineering Department , who met with sign makers to determine details of signage installation requirements so that “a specific list of items to include in the bid specifications can be developed.”

Bids were advertised and solicited over the summer and the successful bidder was W.S. Sign Design Corp. from Springfield, Mass.

Work /services included signage for 16 locations, ten decorative art wings and a “dynamic” kiosk - an electronic, automatically changing kiosk in the Woburn Common area. Still, the WRA was specific the kiosk effort would be separate from the Wayfinding/Branding Initiative.

“The initial look at kiosk designs and the one we might want proved expensive,” noted Cassidy today. “It is all under review.” “It will probably be a special bid.”

Visitors, motorists, passers-by and other have been quick to notice the new signs with a couple still to be installed.

The number, reported Cassiday, has gone up to 17 “and 2-4 are still with the DPW for installation.”

Also, she said, “Welcome to Woburn” signage at both ends of Woburn Center are also on the table at this point in time.

The WRA back in October was advised the kiosk (probably on the westerly end of the Woburn Common) would be done separately and will be reviewed at their next regular, re-scheduled meeting on January 14.

Also, Cassidy reports, there is in the works a Phase II portion of it all. “We are looking and thinking about signs entering the city like Route 128/I-93 at Main Street type of thing,” she reported today.

The second kiosk north of Woburn Center in the Hammond Square/Mishawum Rd. area is “on hold,” she reports, as underground utilities in the area are a major concern.

Some history…

At the April meeting on April 23rd, some correspondence with Secretary William Galvin of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was shared with with the WRA members.

In the correspondence, Galvin confirmed a publishing date for the signage of May 1 was realistic but no project number was attached. The project, however, became valued at an estimated $15,000.

The wayfinding would put a series of signs - and possibly two kiosks - at critical junctures of roadways leading through Woburn Center from High Street to the south through town to the north to about the Mishawum Road area. The signs are now already in place up to the parking lot just beyond Salem Street.

The signage would be critical for first-time visitors.

Directions would be given for everything from City Hall to the police station and points in-between. Cassidy, Senior Engineer Greg L. Rheaume, and two members of the WRA’s Wayfinding Committee (Chairman Donald Queenin and Gary Fuller) convened at mid-year at one point for an update in city hall. Alderman Michael Anderson also sat on the discussion.

“We do have a good idea where we are laying them off and the next step is to pick the 15-20 locations,” she remarked at the start of the April committee meeting.

Last May, an extensive, colorful brochure was distributed by Mark Faverman of Faverman Design of Boston, who has been contracted to draw up a host of possibilities for signage. The draft was entitled “Sign Elements and Wayfinding Specifications.” The suggestion document described and illustrated “types and specific details for the fabrication of individual sign and way finding elements” to satisfy the city’s needs.

At the meeting, words like “downtown” for signage was debated as motorists enter the city with directions using arrows or words to give direction with signs in the black-and-orange motif (light tan) agreed upon at a more recent meeting.

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