German Village - it's that way.
German Village — it’s that way.
The German Village Society has decided to rejoin an effort that will provide directional signs for various attractions in and around downtown Columbus.
The society’s board of directors on Sept. 12 voted to pay $1,500 a year to participate in the downtown wayfinding system, which includes promotion on traffic signs and pedestrian kiosks. The money goes toward maintenance of the sign system and additional signs.
“German Village is a destination for visitors to Columbus,” said Darci Congrove, a member of the board. “The GVS mission centers on historic preservation and education. A large part of that education process takes place with visitors, who need to be able to find the village.”
The society’s board did not renew participation in 2010 or 2011. Congrove said that was a result of general confusion over what the program was and how it benefited the GVS.
“In particular, people understood that these were signs that listed individual businesses, rather than directional signs to German Village,” she said.
The wayfinding system was established three years ago for businesses and attractions in the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District — 360 acres of land roughly bounded by I-70, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Scioto River and Fifth Street — and surrounding neighborhoods.
Prior to that, downtown Columbus had no coherent sign system, said Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of the special improvement district.
“You could not find a destination downtown,” he said. “You could not find a trail of breadcrumbs that could take you from your entry point downtown to your destination.”
The new system “looks sharper and it does a good job of getting people to their destination downtown and the adjoining neighborhoods, as well,” he said.
Congrove said it’s important German Village be considered part of the downtown community.
“Participation with the other downtown groups in this collaborative signage program is important for German Village to continue to have a voice in downtown matters and issues,” she said.
Also, it will be important to maintain a high visibility during the I-70/71 interchange project, which will change traffic patterns around the neighborhood, she said.
“The scheduled highway construction will make it difficult for people to find German Village,” Congrove said. “Any and all signage that can help with this issue is necessary, especially during construction.”