City staff is moving ahead with a project to put up signs directing
people to downtown Burbank, despite the hesitation of two councilmen
to move ahead with the estimated $300,000 project.
In a 3-2 vote, the City Council approved a measure directing staff
to complete designs for about 120 signs and to initiate a bidding
process. The council unanimously approved a measure to install two
Caltrans signs along the Golden State (5) Freeway directing drivers
to downtown Burbank.
City workers have worked with Hunt Design to develop the signs,
which will direct people to areas called the Mall District, Civic
District, Village District and parking. When completed, the brightly
colored signs will be hung in and around the downtown area.
While city staff said various stakeholder groups have responded
positively to the signs, some council members getting their first
look at the project during the March 25 meeting were concerned about
its design and cost.
Councilman Jef Vander Borght asked whether the vibrant colors
would be as recognizable to drivers as the simple green and white of
a Caltrans sign. He also said referring to parts of downtown as
different districts might be confusing.
“I’m not sure what ‘Mall District’ means to the average viewer,”
Councilman Dave Golonski said the cost of the project was too
high, pointing out that 38 signs saying only the name of the
particular district would cost about $55,000.
In response to the concerns of council members, Community
Development Director Sue Georgino said her staff is taking another
look at the program in search of ways to cut the price tag. The firms
that bid on the project will also be asked to give a price for pieces
to be done individually, as Golonski and Vander Borght expressed
interest in possibly phasing in the project or reducing its scope.
City employees are also talking with business owners and other
stakeholders in the area to make sure the signs achieve the intended
goal of promoting the downtown area and helping people find their way
“People know where the major destinations are, like IKEA and the
theaters,” she said. “We’re trying to get them involved in the street
The bids are expected to be taken to the council for final
approval in May, Georgino said. If approved, she hopes installation
of the signs could begin sometime this summer.