Old Towne Will Get Its Freeway Signs

After a long campaign, signs advertising Old Towne Orange will be placed on the Garden Grove Freeway within weeks.

The brown signs, with white lettering, will be a point of pride and an economic boon to the Old Towne shopping district, said City Council members, who unanimously voted last week to pay Caltrans as much as $2,400 for the advertisements.

"I think they got tired of hearing from us," said Mayor Joanne Coontz of the signage journey. "But we got what we wanted--after two years."

Letters from City Hall requesting the signs started flowing into Caltrans in 1996, even before the mile-square historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But, apparently, there was no policy for such signs unless the site had been selected as a State Point of Historical Interest, said Victoria Cleary, an economic development department official.

Coontz contacted state Sen. John Lewis, who then petitioned Gov. Pete Wilson, urging him to approve the signage.

That approval came last week and the signs saying, "Old Towne--Next Exit" should go up before the Glassell Street offramps on both sides of the freeway within one or two months, Cleary said.

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