Fan signage an issue, student says

Sam Isaacs
Staff Writer

While riding in a car with a friend, junior urban studies major Yoora Lee noticed a problem with the way addresses are displayed on the street signs in the Fan district.

“When trying to turn, it was impossible to see the street signs perpendicular to the direction of the street we were driving on. We had no idea which intersections we were crossing,” Lee said.

“I personally don’t drive, but I’ve seen a lot of confusing street signs as a passenger. I appreciate the fact that the signs are vintage, but they are pretty cryptic.”

She said a large number of the confusing signs at intersections on Floyd and Grove avenues, but can also be found in various locations throughout the fan. Other students have noticed this problem as well.

“I have a hard time reading the signs sometimes. Some of the intersections don’t even have signs, it’s ridiculous,” said Lance Barrera, a junior graphic design major.

After observing the sign issue, Lee contacted Roger Whitfield, president of the Fan District Association, about the problem. Whitfield said he appreciated the input from Lee.

“I am glad she contacted us,” he said. “She brought up a good point and we agreed with her. She has been working with one of our directors to get something done about the issue.”

Lee said new signs are being looked into by the City of Richmond Department of Public Works. The first step to changing signs around the area will be a test sign at a currently undetermined intersection.

Calder Roth, an FDA director, said the city of Richmond has yet to respond to the issue.

“I regret to say that I have received no acknowledgment (of) my message to the Department of Public Works regarding the street signs,” Roth said. “I recognize it as an issue but suspect it is a low-priority item for the city. Nonetheless, I should get an answer.”

Lee will continue community involvement as the future president of the Urban Studies Students Association. The USSA participates in community outreach projects and is made up of Urban and Regional Studies undergraduates.

“The group has done things like trash pickup at Belle Isle, but this is the first time I’ve been involved with something directly linked to the neighborhood I live in,” Lee said.

The street signs are not the only problem in the Fan area that Lee has noticed. She said that the intersections on Cary Street are also problematic.

Lee plans on reaching out to the FDA and other area groups in the future about these kinds of problems.

“I’d like to speak up about this in the future. I think it is important that I take the initiative to represent student-neighborhood interests as the new USSA president,” she said.

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