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Sign of the times? Simonson report receives additional support

by jmaloni
Sat, Jul 27th 2019 07:00 am
Image courtesy of Lee Simonson
Image courtesy of Lee Simonson

Author identifies new area of concern

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

Lee Simonson’s public awareness campaign regarding the placement and functionality of signs and wires in the Village of Lewiston continues to gain steam. His 36-page analysis recently received an endorsement from the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.

In a letter to the Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees, NRRCC Board Chairwoman Christine O’Hara and President Jennifer Pauly stated, “We are very proud of the vibrancy and historic nature of our community and feel that we need a proactive and aggressive long-term approach to address the important concerns outlined in the report. The recommendations outlined in the report serve to preserve and protect our historical heritage and are vital to the economic health of our community.

“We encourage the creation of a joint commission comprised of local elected officials, business and residents to immediately begin to prioritize the issues outlined in the report and cooperatively work to reach to those involved in decision-making on these issues on the local, state and federal level.”

Simonson’s report identifies clusters of overhead signs and wires on Center and Water streets – objects, he writes, that take away from Lewiston’s historic character, block its landmarks, and confuse its visitors.

Since issuing the document, Simonson has pointed out a new area he said is troublesome.

“The sign pollution problem in Lewiston is getting worse,” he explained. “They are multiplying like rabbits in front of our eyes. Do we really need six handicapped signs for three parking spaces on South Fourth Street next to the gazebo? (Pictured above.) Not only is it overkill, but the need for these signs should be totally reevaluated, because the current sign congestion is cluttering up our beautiful park. Other communities would never even consider this, let alone allow it. They are only necessary a few days a year during concerts and special events.

“As an alternative, the village could take down the four metal signs and keep the two foam board signs, which could be put up and taken down as needed.”

One of the author’s suggestions in tackling the overall issue is to eliminate 15% of existing signs. Simonson also encourages adopting a policy where, when one sign goes up, another is removed.

“Otherwise, Lewiston will continue to drown in a sea of signs that are intended to solve all of our problems,” he said. “Ironically, the signs become the problem, not the solution, in our efforts to realize Lewiston’s potential as a quaint, historic and attractive place to live and visit.”

The Village of Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission also endorsed Simonson’s plan.

•Read the full sign and wire report via the links below.

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