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Follow the Signs
Information kiosks offer guide to shops, restaurants
, Courier Staff Writer
Monday, August 25, 2014 11:00 AM
New informational signs should make it easier for residents and visitors to find their way around downtown Madison.
Four pedestrian kiosks - at the corners of Jefferson and Main streets, Mill and Main streets, West Street and Vaughn Drive and at the Comfort Station - will help visitors and area residents find businesses and restaurants. The kiosks also list annual festivals and area attractions.
The kiosks cost about $3,000 each and were made by Timbers Custom Signs of Hanover, Madison's community relations coordinator Andrew Forrester said.
The kiosks were paid for with part of the $40,000 set aside in bridge mitigation funds for new signage and streetscape.
Officials have used other mitigation funds for signage to install purple directional signs and a gateway welcome sign on State Road 7, as well as to repurpose street side history signs and new festival banners for the downtown area.
Forrester said the four kiosks will close out the signage money set aside through mitigation funds.
City officials discussed what kind of signage would add to the downtown area after receiving the funds and had identified several options.
"We looked at what's needed," Forrester said. "My understanding is (kiosks) have come up over the years."
Madison Main Street, VisitMadison, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce and city officials worked together to plan the kiosk signs, identifying downtown business phone numbers and addresses and a few hilltop tourist attractions.
"We don't want to leave anyone out," Forrester said, but the groups decided to focus mostly on the downtown area because of the limited space.
Another reason the groups chose to highlight mostly downtown businesses, restaurants and attractions is because the kiosks are meant to be read by visitors walking on Main Street or near the riverfront.
"They are pedestrian oriented," Forrester said.
Forrester said officials decided to include a few hilltop locations such as Madison Vineyards, Clifty Falls State Park, Sunrise Golf Course and Cozy Acres Golf Course in the kiosk information.
"Those are tourist draws," he said. "Hopefully this helps the hilltop too."
The signs inside of the case are plastic, so they won't be damaged by water. But, the city will redo the kiosks about every 12 to 16 months to update information.
Three of the kiosks were installed before last week's Madison's Ribberfest, and one more kiosk - at the corner of West Street and Vaughn Drive - will be installed in a few weeks.
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