New signs to welcome visitors
Many people crossing the border into Blaine don�t even know they�re here. But the city of Blaine is going to change that � by putting up signs.
�We�ve discovered a lot of people don�t know they�re in Blaine,� said Terry Galvin, Blaine�s community development director. �We want to provide them with signs that let them know that they�re here.�
About five months ago a citizens committee was formed and they worked with architect David Christensen to come up with a sign design scheme. City council unanimously approved the sign design at Monday�s meeting, and announced they plan on erecting the signs by the summer season.
�They�re good signs,� mayor Dieter Schugt said.
The final design scheme reads �Blaine, Washington� and �The Peace Arch City.� A fishing boat floats at the top of the sign, and the city�s 1890 incorporation date is inscribed. In addition, there will be room to place smaller signs for event announcements at the bottom of the sign.
Currently, one sign stands near Boblett Street on the truck route that directs visitors to the shopping district and downtown waterfront area. It was built several years ago, but was just recently posted. �We had to put it up in order to move ahead with the new signs,� Galvin said, noting the sign is only up temporarily.
Galvin said the committee was not as concerned with having the word �Welcome� on the signs, as with making �Blaine� stand out. �The signs will be placed at major points of entry,� Galvin said. One sign will stand on the corner of H Street and the truck route and two smaller ones will be posted on I-5 exits 274 and 276. The signs are being funded through the hotel/motel tax fund.
Smaller directional signs, similar to those found in Bellingham, will also be posted throughout the city, marking buildings and areas such as city hall, the post office, I-5 entrances and the waterfront. Galvin said although these directional signs will be based on Bellingham�s concept, they will not copy them. �We�ve heard concerns about the color and size,� he said, noting that Bellingham�s signs are blue and relatively small, making them sometimes difficult to see while driving.
In addition to seeing the new signs in the city, residents will notice that larger signs are coming down. About two years ago city council approved a sign ordinance in an effort to reduce sign pollution, including billboards and tall signs.