Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ketchum finalizes ‘walkability’ project

Council approves 3 ‘districts’ and sign quips

Express Staff Writer

    Ketchum’s residents and visitors will have a more pedestrian-friendly town this summer, complete with three distinct “districts,” as the Walkable Ketchum project calls them, and a series of whimsical, unique signs that promote way-finding and “walkability.”
    The City Council on Monday approved the final details for the Ketchum Community Development Corp. project, including finalizing the delineation of the districts and approving their thematic colors, and approving the language that will appear on the pedestrian signs throughout the city.
    “We did a very thorough study about what makes a district a district,” said project manager Dale Bates at the meeting. “Identity, density and boundaries are three key items to create a district.”
    The districts will be the Town Square District, which includes the downtown core east of Main Street and north of Sun Valley Road; the Trail Creek District, which includes the area east of Main Street and south of Sun Valley Road; and the West of Main District. Bates said the districts will be color-coded on the signs for way-finding purposes and that the colors, “voted on by the public,” are thematic. He said the Town Square District will be orange, to match the Knob Hill in the background. The Trail Creek District will be blue, as a reference to the creek. The West of Main will be green, to match Bald Mountain as a backdrop.
    Bates said the pedestrian signs included room for a QR Code, a matrix barcode readable by devices such as smartphones, and asked the council if the project should include QR Codes for local businesses on the signs. Karriane Fallow, director of public affairs for Boise-based Red Sky Public Relations (the city’s PR firm), cautioned against committing to QR Codes, saying that only 6.2 percent of Americans downloaded such a code in the past year.
    “QR Codes are not as popular as their inventors thought they would be,” she said.
    The council voted to keep the space on the signs available for such a code, but not to place any codes on the signs yet.
Brennan Rego:

Signs of whimsy
What will some of the signs for the Walkable Ketchum project say? Project manager Dale Bates said at a City Council meeting Monday that residents polled by the project favor “whimsical and unique” quips. These are some examples that the council approved at the meeting:
• Welcome to Ketchum, culture at your doorstep, wilderness in your backyard.
• Drive slowly, adults at play!
Entering KETCHUM RELEASE your problems.
• Hike, ski, bike, run, woof, live.
•Park and walk, the Ketchum experience.


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