A new sign on the corner of Canal and Elm streets in Brattleboro. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)
A new sign on the corner of Canal and Elm streets in Brattleboro. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)
Friday August 23, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Department of Public Works has completed a townwide project that brings uniformity to the directional road signs that lead visitors, and residents, into the downtown area.

The department has installed 25 signs around Brattleboro as part of a regional Connecticut River Byway road sign project.

Other towns along the river that are part of the federally designated byway have similar signs, allowing visitors to travel in between the communities and find areas of interest when they arrive at a new destination.

Building a Better Brattleboro, the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, the Windham Regional Commission and the town worked together to apply for the grant, figure out the best locations and then get the signs installed.

"They look great. I love them," said Building a Better Brattleboro Board President Donna Simons. "We put a lot of time into walking around town and making sure we had good signs in important locations."

Simons said the signs replace a number of different signs that went up at different times through the years.

With the new program, all of the sign colors and fonts are uniform, making it easier for someone who is new to town to find their way around.

And residents as well, Simons said, might learn a new parking spot they did not know about.

"The signs are easy to read and give good directions," she said. "The older signs did not give good directions, and some of them were plain ugly.


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They will help people find their way downtown, and find their way around."

Windham Regional Commission Senior Planner Matt Mann took a walk around town with then-BABB Executive Director Andrea Livermore after the town fund out that the federal money was coming to Brattleboro.

The town first applied for the money in 2006.

Mann says the two tried to imagine what a visitor looks for and they determined most popular entry points into Brattleboro off of the highways.

Before the new signs went up there were no signs leading people to the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Mann said.

"We tried to figure out what visitors would want to see," said Mann. "We focused on the arts, and on culture and the environment. We wanted to feature destinations that make Brattleboro unique."

Department of Public Works Director Steve Barrett said his staff finished the project recently, fitting the installations into a busy summer season.

"It's important for people who are visiting to see the same type of sign," Barrett said. "It makes it easier for them and they are more likely to find what they are looking for. They look nice."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at hwtisman@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.