If the camera can’t focus . . .

By: Diane Benjamin

Just design for new Way Finding Signs in downtown Bloomington cost $90,285. The cost to construct and install was somewhere around $447,000, total is over half a million.

Details in this story: https://blnnews.com/2018/07/09/what-does-no-bids-tell-you-and-more-council-tonight/

2 weeks ago I drove through downtown and noticed many of the signs are not readable because the print is too small. One sign has 3 attractions squished on one sign. The only ones that can be read have a large “P” at the top signifying parking.

Last weekend I rode through with my video camera. At normal speeds the camera couldn’t focus on the signs enough to read easily. If the camera can’t focus, people’s eyes can’t either. The signs must have been installed for walkers instead of drivers.

Some examples, lots of empty green space here:

I believe this sign is supposed to point to the arena. The library and Law and Justice Center are the other direction. (if that’s what it says)

This one is behind a tree:

This one looks really good in front of the decrepit CII East building:

The arch from the north is nice. Worth the cost? Guess that depends on who you ask.

Champaign has an adorable downtown but they are destroying it by not enforcing laws. Violence is rising and at least two shootings have occured because groups are allowed to congregate in parking lots to drink, play loud music, and start fights late at night.

Evidently Champaign police are too chicken to intervene. I know two long time downtown residents ready to move out. I hope Bloomington doesn’t follow that path.

8 thoughts on “If the camera can’t focus . . .

  1. I drove through downtown for the first time two weeks ago. The signs are terrible. They are absolutely too small, and it’s dangerous because drivers have to take their eyes off the road for a long time to be able to read them. They are also ugly. Not sure what the designers were going for. Some sort of retro/modern mashup I guess?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. waste of money. city staff incompetent if not outright ‘in on it’ for approving design . Ignorant city council members did not know what they were buying and placed blind faith in what Tari and Jan Lancaster would be best. Downtown sucks. period.


  3. I had to point out the new signs to my hubby. They are hardly noticeable and yes, too small to read! Of course if you slow down to read them you’ll get hit. Totally unnecessary expenditure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Accolades to the third-grade class that designed them. (Hope the $90k+ they got will buy them better art classes.) Funny how keen the eyesight of those 8-year-olds are! Ironically, they won’t need to read the tiny print because (a) they can’t drive, and (b) they all have smartphones that give them GPS voice directions to wherever they want to go. Over half a million! Well…easy come, easy go, right? Defund the police to buy more pretty signs!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. JAMESMADISONSGHOST> I applaud your observation about 3rd graders, but REALLY?? Have you ever REALLY seen art work a 3rd grader does?? They are small humans, and as such rarely get heard, so they use BIG letters and such. They don’t use engineering pencils, they use a #10 CRAYON and then scribble over the letters so EVERYONE can read what they have written, so MAYBE? we ought to hire 3rd graders to design the downtown signs, and we could ALL have a sense of civic pride in our youth AND read the damn signs also!
    Just a thought!!

    Liked by 2 people

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