Downtown Bloomington may not “Dream Big” after all.
The Bloomington City Council on Monday delayed action on a plan to install new wayfinding signs in the central business district, all centered around the new “Dream Big” branding message. Instead, aldermen approved another $10,000 so that the city’s Downtown Signage Committee can work with design firm KMA on more options for the project.
Ward 7 Alderman Scott Black said he's surprised how much public feedback has come in about proposed exterior design and signage guidelines, including some “visceral responses.” Black said projects are off to a good start but need work.
"I think we just need to do a little bit more with it," said Black. "Because this is important to me, and we've identified on a number of occasions, downtown being a top priority for this council. It's a top priority for this mayor, and now comes the time to do it right and I would rather do it right long-term."
“What that tells me, maybe we need to pause,” Black added. “Perhaps this isn’t the final design.”
Downtown Bloomington Association Executive Director Tricia Stiller presented a set of color-coordinated signs to direct drivers to attractions. Stiller is also a member of the Downtown Signage Committee, which has held 47 public meetings to create the design concept over the past two years.
"You only get one opportunity to make a first impression," said Stiller. "Adding attractive and welcoming gateways, as well as helpful information to our landscape, will certainly improve the impact we have on guests, who then hopefully choose to return."
Bloomington aldermen say they are excited about a new way-finding and signage plan, but want more public input before accepting a design.
Ward 4 Alderman Amelia Buragas said there was a lot of enthusiasm in the community for the project.
“I’m hearing people who would like to provide additional commentary and suggestions with regards to the design and to have that taken into account,” Buragas said.
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