The sign welcoming people to the south end of downtown Edmonds is about to get a new look.
The Edmonds City Council’s Parks and Public Works Committee gave its blessing to the proposed new sign during its Tuesday night meeting, forwarding it to council consent agenda for approval next week.
The city first identified in 2006 that the existing wooden sign, located on Washington State Department of Transportation right-of-way between Highway 104 and 5th Avenue South, was deteriorating. In 2016, the city decided it was time to replace it.
City Arts and Culture Program Manager Frances Chapin told the committee that the new ‘Downtown Edmonds” sign has been designed to follow the city’s current wayfinding sign program, which is coordinated by the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department. To ensure consistency, the city is working with Clayton Moss of Edmonds-based environmental graphics firm Forma, which has designed the city’s other wayfinding signs,
Forma has been meeting with staff from the city’s economic development and parks departments and an advisory committee consisting of citizen members of the city’s Arts Commission, Economic Development Commission and Planning Board to develop the signage. The committee also had to satisfy State Department of Transportation requirements.
The goal was to some up with a design “that reflected our seaside nature, our connection to the water,” Chapin said.
The budget for the new sign is $40,000.
The sign will be moved slightly east of the current location and the entire area around it will be re-landscaped to accommodate the shape and the form of the signage design, Chapin added. It will be softly illuminated 24 hours a day with solar-powered LED lights.
The sign will be placed on two poles installed into an underground foundation surrounded by a landscape bed. The landscaping will have a maritime feel, similar to the driftwood and sea grasses recently installed at Brackett’s Landing North.
One advantage to the new sign and the easterly location is that it will be more visible to those driving on Highway 104 toward the ferry terminal, Chapin said.
Committee member Kristiana Johnson asked what would happen to the old sign, and Chapin said it’s possible that it could be donated to the Edmonds Historical Museum.
Johnson and Committee Chair Neil Tibbott agreed to place approval of the sign design on the consent agenda for the next council business meeting.
You can see the design document here.
Prior to committee meetings, the council had a brief business meeting that included an update from the city’s Diversity Commission, with Vice Chair Donnie Griffin presenting.
Griffin noted that the commission, created by the council in April 2015, has as its mission to promote and embrace diversity through action, education and guidance. Part of its work includes providing recommendations to the mayor and city council on opportunities that “ensure an accessible, safe, welcoming and inclusive government and community.”
To that end, the commission has sponsored two World Cafés — community discussions about diversity, bias, inclusion and equity — and two “Your Voice Matters” Youth Forums. Another visible event has been the Diversity Film Series, which ran from October 2017 to April 2018, drawing 75 to 100 attendees to each film screening at the Edmonds Theater. Preparation is underway for 2018-19 film series starting this fall.
In addition, the commission initiated a grants program that distributed up to $500 to various community diversity projects.
The commission will return to the council later this summer to present policy recommendations, and also plans to add a student representative in the fall, Griffin said.
You can see the complete Diversity Commission presentation here.