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Thread: City entrances

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    City entrances

    Does anyone have some interesting photos of city entrances or "gateways" to show what makes a good entrance?

    If no photos, does anyone have some recommendations on what to do or not do?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I can tell you what NOT to do. Many small towns around here have a welcome sign with logos of all the services or groups in town. Here is one but I have seen some here in Iowa that have literally 20 logos on them.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22516573@N07/2807441162

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    I can tell you what NOT to do. Many small towns around here have a welcome sign with logos of all the services or groups in town. Here is one but I have seen some here in Iowa that have literally 20 logos on them.
    Places still do that? Such signage is really old-school Northeast/New England, and I seldom encounter anything like that anymore. I still see them in the Buffalo area, but then again, it's the Buffalo area.

    I found that around here in Austin and the 'burbs. there's not many grand entrance monuments, probably because city limits are always expanding.

    Very affluent old-money suburbs of Cleveland tend to have very small, often understated signs that hung from a post at the city line.

    Olathe, Kansas had a large monument sign that incorporated a waterfall, located in the median of a prominent road. I'm not a fan of Olathe, but they were very good at this kind of branding.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    My firm has done quite a few gate way entry features (specifically are LA team). This photo is the latest one done in Riverbank,CA along its major highway corridor:




    The gateway entry feature was funded through RDA/State DOT funds.

    If that doesn't work try the flickr link:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcastillo/3589599407/
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    My favorite is from Sycamore, Illinois. It has been at least 15 years since I was there, and I don't know if the sign exists. As I remember, it was not much mor ethan a simple billboard at the entrance to the city, that read "Life Offers More in Sycamore." Oh yeah, right behind it was a large cemetery.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Well, this one's pretty iconic, though I don't think it's really at the "entrance" to the city anymore.


  7. #7
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    This is from my city and an example of what NOT to do. Nobody in a car is going to be able to read this sign travelling at 40mph, so what's the point of including all that information on there?


  8. #8
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    A lot of the suburbs of Phoenix are putting up signs like CPSURaf was showing, but with the city name. My city (being one of those suburbs) is still trying to find funding to do some kind of entrance. It would involve some kind of extra landscaping and street scape, plus a sign.

    The most effective I've seen for suburbs, is to do a distinct streetscape change. The city of Tempe (outside of Phoenix) uses a different streetsign/stop light than anyone else, so you know when you're in their city.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Here's one of ours. On Urban Planet it's been referred to as the "thingscape."

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...,60.3,,0,-0.84

    A few steps away is this painted trestle. On the shoulder you can make out a couple of angle irons that used to hold a city limits signs...for Grand Rapids.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...60.31,,0,-3.26

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Here's one from our city. I was PM on this thing. The talk radio hosts absolutely adore it, not.

    Last edited by NHPlanner; 17 Jun 2009 at 8:32 AM. Reason: reloaded image to imageshack

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    ^^ Looks like a white cat in a snowstorm!

    Here's the one from Sprawlville (where I am 9 to 5).



    No one walks here; sidewalks are an afterthought. The dusty trail carved beneath the sign must be fall-out from the adjacent state highway.

    Turn around, travel a couple blocks. No sidewalks here, either.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...,308.32,,0,5.7

    I think the key is to give the sign-monument-thingscape a sense of presence that's in scale with what's nearby. (Back away from the Kentwood sign, compare it with the motel on the same parcel. The Cascade one gets lost amongst all the fast food pedestals.)

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    In our defense, not all of Urbana's entrance signs are that bad. Here is another example at one of our main arterial entrances (sorry a bit small). It's near our "welcome center".



    Of course, the University had to do us one better and installed very nice signs at each corner of the the campus and built an actual gateway park, complete with fountain.


    (from http://gct13.com/e/20080815/hallene-gateway)

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    From a few wealthy Cleveland 'burbs ...







    Rule of thumb: the wealthier the suburb, the more understated the sign. Kirtland Hills is one of the wealthiest communities in Ohio.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    This is from my city and an example of what NOT to do. Nobody in a car is going to be able to read this sign travelling at 40mph, so what's the point of including all that information on there?

    Methinks I smell an IDOT bureaucrat...
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    And would suffice.

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  15. #15
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Out in these parts there is always a sign next to the deteriorating Lions/Kiwanis/Optimist thingy...a sign glorifying the high school championships from 20 years ago.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DecaturHawk View post
    Methinks I smell an IDOT bureaucrat...
    Not with that Font!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  17. #17
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    That sign from Urbana is almost exactly like the ones in Ann Arbor, MI (in that it is just way too much to read from a car at 55 mph) except in Ann Arbor they list all the sister cities instead of Nobel Prize recipients.

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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    ^ That's a new one! And I thought listing the Nobel recipients was unique. Actually, the Nobel sign was made for us by twin city Champaign, not IDOT. I believe that Champaign has an almost identical one somewhere.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Does this count?

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  20. #20
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    My favourite city entrance is in Melbourne. This art work was built during the freeway construction- it apparently sealed the deal in the bid to get the project for the successful company. I think its a great piece of public art




    http://www.artreview.com.au/art/arta...-needs-it.aspx
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Photo galleries at:

    http://www.waymarking.com/cat/detail...1-bbd4ef595d28

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ca..._United_States

    http://images.google.com/images?q=ci...-8&sa=N&tab=wi

    In the news:

    HEADLINE: Not welcome for now: Council votes against new sign
    The City Council voted 5-2 against spending about $10,000 for a new welcome
    http://wenatcheeworld.com/article/20...ainst-new-sign

    HEADLINE: Millville gets new welcome sign for free
    http://www.thedailyjournal.com/artic...WS01/905280324
    Last edited by JNA; 14 Jun 2009 at 9:09 PM.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I found that around here in Austin and the 'burbs. there's not many grand entrance monuments, probably because city limits are always expanding.
    These are becoming fairly popular in DFW (of course, as all of our cities bleed together, we've figured we have to have SOMETHING to differentiate) About the expanding city limts thing...I've got a couple of client cities that have addressed this problem. They put up big monumental entryways 3 miles away from the developed part of the city. One went so far as to buy land in the adjacent city and put up a monument there

  23. #23
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    ^ That's a new one! And I thought listing the Nobel recipients was unique. Actually, the Nobel sign was made for us by twin city Champaign, not IDOT. I believe that Champaign has an almost identical one somewhere.
    Aren't long lists of "Twinned with" cities standard on such signs in the UK?

    A few more questions about city limit signs:

    * Is there a state law in Massachusetts that forces cities and towns to use a standard welcome sign? I've never seen a boundary or "Welcome to" sign in Massachusetts that didn't look like this.



    * Why so some cities, especially in the West, list elevations on signs?



    * Where did the tradition of including tens of service organization logos on city limit signs come from?

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    * Is there a state law in Massachusetts that forces cities and towns to use a standard welcome sign? I've never seen a boundary or "Welcome to" sign in Massachusetts that didn't look like this.

    I love the standard Massachusetts city and town signs - esp. the "incorporated in." They do not appear to be state law because inner core communities don't have them (too little room.) They tend to look more like this:





    Often with the mayor's name attached.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian kw5280's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post

    * Why so some cities, especially in the West, list elevations on signs?


    I never thought about why we include the elevation out here, the 5280 in my user name is a common reference to Denver being a mile high. I guess the signs are to remind visitors that they are at higher altitudes. Whenever we take visiting family into some of these mountain towns they always comment about the posted elevation with a sense of awe. But it's not limited to the signs. T-shirts, hats, magnets~all the souvenirs have the town name and elevation printed on them.

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