There’s “Art” on Court Street through the city’s downtown district, as well as Event Meadow, Splash Park and Festival Plaza.
Those who didn’t know that – residents and non-residents alike – can now follow arrows pointing to those amenities and other locations on several new street signs the city erected over the past week.
The black-and-white “wayfinding signs” are the latest addition in the Downtown Beautification Initiative that the City Council approved in March, said City Planner Katy Shackelford.
The signs “help people from out of town or who don’t come downtown often,” Shackelford said Friday. “They help people navigate and appreciate that there’s a lot going on downtown.”
Other improvements along the Court Street corridor this year were new crosswalks installed in July, benches, picnic tables and bicycle racks. The council allocated $150,000 from the downtown Tax-Increment Finance District account to pay for the amenities.
The new signs are posted in Court’s 200, 400 and 600 blocks. A fourth is planned for erection next week, Shackelford said. They direct downtown visitors seeking locations for “dining” and outlets for “art,” as well as the Tazewell County Courthouse, City Hall and U.S. Post Office.
Shackelford sounded most enthusiastic about the 200 block’s sign, which points travelers west to the foot of Court and the attractions of Riverfront Park.
“I guarantee no one knew the grassy area (in the park) is known as Event Meadow, that it has an official name,” she said. “People can schedule events for down there” and, nearby, take their children on warm days to cool down and get wet at Splash Park.
“This was the last project for this season,” Shackelford said. “We came in under budget, so we may expand the (initiative’s) scope next year with council approval.”
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin