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DaiDreamer5

First Impressions Make All the Difference

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(I remember that this issue was discussed in an earlier thread, but it was a thread about the air port rather than its own thread. You can find that discussion here: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...opic=13702&hl=)

Today in the Democrat, there was an article about the signage that most visitors saw when driving/flying to Tallahassee. From the interstate it is very difficult to tell whether Tallahassee is an actual city or just a stopping point to fill your gas. The major universities have perhaps one brown sign to show that they are located in the town. I am not even sure the fact that we are a state capitol is even mentioned. :shok:

There were a few good ideas about what to do about this in the article and a few cheesy ones too (well in my opinion :P ). I think drawing lines on the road to the universities is sort of silly. It works for an Olympic event because of the mass number of new comers (some of which don't speak english) to the area, but not worth the effort it would take to do it here.

You can find the article here: http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a.../603130322/1010

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It is good to not ignore the details.

But I think the EDC should be focusing on bigger goals than signs. The area needs more high paying jobs than it has. Salaries are still way to low and to get the restaurants, high rise condos, and other amenities some many here speak of...you need high paying jobs first.

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But it would seem a rather small task to produce some attractive signage at our gateways to alert travelers of our existence. I've been wanting to bring attention to this issue for a while now. Good signage is definately something we lack.

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It is good to not ignore the details.

But I think the EDC should be focusing on bigger goals than signs. The area needs more high paying jobs than it has. Salaries are still way to low and to get the restaurants, high rise condos, and other amenities some many here speak of...you need high paying jobs first.

Agreed. There was actually another article in the business section about how there are having trouble filling some of the condo projects (the ones already being built are filled I think, it is the new ones that are having trouble). Of course for the prices they are charging, you can buy a nice house for that.

To get back on topic, signage is a nice cheap way to make Tallahassee look nicer. It shouldn't take too much effort to allow the colleges to put up signs or supply signs mentioning the colleges. It is very difficult to tell the difference between Tallahassee and say Live Oak. Of course there isn't much being built along the interstate (I rather like the trees myself), but good signage will make us stand out.

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I too have thought about this before and definitely think we need something like this on our gateway entrances to the city from the airport and the interstates.

If the EDC shouldn't do it, then the City or the Chamber should. It would define our space. I see things like this...we are talking nice monument signs here w/landscaping, not cheap tacky metal signs....all over the country, in big and small towns. I just drove up 19/98/27 from Tampa and you see these type of signs all over. It's these little things that set us apart and make us a more desirable place to live which sometimes in turn brings more jobs and wages. This one's a no brainer, it should be done and it should be done in a timely, uniform and attractive manner.

I don't mean to pick on the FSU Prez again, but his comments in this article "We don't blow our own horn" again show his lack of vision AGAIN. Also that coupled w/his new ABC27 public service announcement where he moves his head and eyes as he reads the cue card. Practice your lines TK! What a moron...yeah I said it and I mean it. :)

Entrance ways cleaned up, landscaped and signed = Good thing!

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As stjoe said, the economic growth of Tallahassee depends on the cultivation of high-paying jobs, and this should be the first priority of the EDC.

That said, attractive signs and landscaping along I-10 might be a nice lure to people traveling the highways, but I don't imagine many business relocation decisions are made from the front seat of a speeding car. Good landscaping should always be recommended throughout, as it reflects on the culture of the community, i.e. we respect ourselves and work to project a handsome, confident look to all comers.

Going south on 75, I don't recall any big, beautiful signs announcing the University of Florida at the Gainesville exits. There are standard green (or brown?) exit signs pointing out its mere presence.

The Tallahassee airport seems to be a better starting place for community development propaganda. Most investors and/or business interests get their first impressions of the city coming in from the south. My sense is that it is an ugly introduction.

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I would say that FSU could use some new/modern signage at the Tennessee/Woodward location. If youve been to other state schools in FL, they all have modern signs with "scrolling" messages and such. (i have no diea what theyre actually called). Even TCC's sign is better than FSU.

I agree with St. Joe. First, youve got to get higher paying jobs in this town. A lot of other things will fall into place after that.

I do agree that Tally needs some kind of landscape though. Maybe they could make the Capital Circle NE bridge similar to the one in Orlando @ Conroy and I-4.

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As stjoe said, the economic growth of Tallahassee depends on the cultivation of high-paying jobs, and this should be the first priority of the EDC.

That said, attractive signs and landscaping along I-10 might be a nice lure to people traveling the highways, but I don't imagine many business relocation decisions are made from the front seat of a speeding car. Good landscaping should always be recommended throughout, as it reflects on the culture of the community, i.e. we respect ourselves and work to project a handsome, confident look to all comers.

Going south on 75, I don't recall any big, beautiful signs announcing the University of Florida at the Gainesville exits. There are standard green (or brown?) exit signs pointing out its mere presence.

The Tallahassee airport seems to be a better starting place for community development propaganda. Most investors and/or business interests get their first impressions of the city coming in from the south. My sense is that it is an ugly introduction.

I re-read the article and I don't think this is an EDC proposal is it? I just think they interviewed Brad Day who is the EDC chairman, so the point about the EDC being involved in it could be moot. And again, the City or Chamber or hell even the Garden Clubs could pick this one up. Attractive well planned communities w/landscaping and look clean (hello can we get some of the garbage off the streets) do make people want to live and visit.

Second, I did not even think these monument type signs would be posted on the interstates. I think to put signage on the interstates it has to be uniform to State codes, unless it's done in the form of a billboard, which is sorta tacky. These signs would be immediately following your exit like on U.S. 90.

Finally many cities have these type of signs. Again it ain't rocket science. Why does everything have to be like "re-inventing the wheel" for Tally??????

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Exactly... good point on the re-inventing the wheel... you hit one of my lines there.

I'd personally like to see the same type of landscaping in the style of Tallahassee's Charm, with magnolias, palms, and other native plants, some large stones, a small holding pond with the fountains shooting water upward with possibly one of Mr. Burch's sculptures on display at each I-10 gateway (east at Old Exit 31 west at Old Exit 28). I think that would be an awesome start. I'd also like to see something done to the bridges in the area. Making them look more suitbale for a respectable captial city and less like plain Everytown USA.

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TJ, there is something similar to that on I-95 at St. Lucie West Blvd. It's a really nice gateway to the community, and they have "St Lucie West" spelled out in plants on the embankments of the overpass. I couldn't find any pics of it, but I thought that was a nice touch and something we should do for Tallahassee.

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i like the landscape idea, but do it in a natural way. signs should highlight tallahassees education prowess(sp?). welcome to tallahassee home to fsu. signs should be separate to emphasize the different universities and the community collegein t town. how about a nice fountain at entrance points as well :shades:. tallahassee needs to be different. beatifully landscapes streets would make tennessee, monroe, and others unique and desirable. the entrances should be treated the same with fountains, landscaping and good looking signage of our education institutions..... all the while getting those high paying jobs to tallahassee.

my mantra, why not tally...........careful planning, great education system, and making tallahassee unlike others is where we need to go....

g

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i love the tree's in the middle of tennessee. 6 lanes, limited side streets... now if we could take that sexy 1/4 mile and stretch it throughout... oh what a sunday drive it would make!

I-10 is our only "window" the shoppers will see. Even if they just stop in for a night or dinner, we get thier money! Interchanges are a money maker... plus who wants to eat in madison, too many cops!

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I personally feel that we should play less to the College Town aspect of our community and more toward our status as a Capital City. There are only 51 cities (D.C. included) that can boast of having a Capitol, there are hundreds maybe even thousands of communities with colleges and universities. Sure we should have signage that recognizes the presence of FSU, FAMU, and TCC, but the focus should be on the capitol. We need to start to develop a way to make being near government an attractive thing.

We need to bring more lighting to this city also. As a bug flocks to a light bulb, people do also. Tallahassee needs to shine light on her dark corners and do more to resepct the beauty of God's creation by building public and private projects that are as elaborate as those seen in northern US cities.

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I personally feel that we should play less to the College Town aspect of our community and more toward our status as a Capital City. There are only 51 cities (D.C. included) that can boast of having a Capitol, there are hundreds maybe even thousands of communities with colleges and universities. Sure we should have signage that recognizes the presence of FSU, FAMU, and TCC, but the focus should be on the capitol. We need to start to develop a way to make being near government an attractive thing.

We need to bring more lighting to this city also. As a bug flocks to a light bulb, people do also. Tallahassee needs to shine light on her dark corners and do more to resepct the beauty of God's creation by building public and private projects that are as elaborate as those seen in northern US cities.

To focus on our "capital" status, we need to advertise the government attractions more and perhaps add a few new ones. There is alot of history in Tallahassee; we need to work on fleshing out such attractions. Hopefully we can do it tastefully, unlike St. Augustine where it feels like a tourist trap more than a historical city.

Do they still give tours of capital? I don't know if they stopped that after 9-11...

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I personally feel that we should play less to the College Town aspect of our community and more toward our status as a Capital City. There are only 51 cities (D.C. included) that can boast of having a Capitol, there are hundreds maybe even thousands of communities with colleges and universities

How about the fact that we are a capital and college town? There are even fewer cities that do both well.

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How about the fact that we are a capital and college town? There are even fewer cities that do both well.

I have often read comparisons of Tallahassee and Austin, TX. Seldom does Tallahassee emerge favorably, but this is not to say that we don't have the potential to rise to a position of national prominence as a capital city and university town. Austin made its way through the microcomputer industry. If Tallahassee could recognize the enviable resources it already has in materials science and magnetic physics, goodness knows the industries that could be tempted to relocate or expand into our market.

Ironically, one of the other great state capital/college towns, Madison, WI, will be losing its Center for Applied Superconductivity to Tallahassee, due to arrive later this year.

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I do think we should try and capitalize on both the Capitol and the Universities. While a lot of cities may have colleges, our percentage of students (60K) vs. percentage of residents 155K for the City and 350K for the metro is quite high. That's 39% of people in the city being students and 17% of them being students in the metro is probably much higher than most other college towns. We need to capitalize on as much as we can IMO.

Tally would do well to not only STUDY but also to put into ACTION what the 3 great college/capital cities have done. Those of course would be: Austin, Madison and Raleigh.

Again no "re-invention of the wheel" here folks.

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I do think we should try and capitalize on both the Capitol and the Universities. While a lot of cities may have colleges, our percentage of students (60K) vs. percentage of residents 155K for the City and 350K for the metro is quite high. That's 39% of people in the city being students and 17% of them being students in the metro is probably much higher than most other college towns. We need to capitalize on as much as we can IMO.

Tally would do well to not only STUDY but also to put into ACTION what the 3 great college/capital cities have done. Those of course would be: Austin, Madison and Raleigh.

Again no "re-invention of the wheel" here folks.

When I look at the University Populations, its really hard to say how many of the students at the schools can be divided amongst the total city population to give a student population percentage. Several factors are at play. Some students are dual enrolled at both TCC and FSU or FAMU, some students are local residents who have gone back to get a second degree, or trying to finish a first. I know TCC has a high percentage of Tallahassee residents, FAMU a much higher percentage than FSU, so its really hard to say which percentage of the population of Tallahassee are true, from out of town college students that can be added to the City's population and divided amongst the total to yield a percentage... now that this rant of mine is over...

I can't think of many capital cities that don't have some type of college. Atlanta has several schools, GA Tech, GA State, Emory, and others... we've already seen the mention of Madison and Austin, throw into the mix Lincoln, NE a city that is remarkably similar to Tallahassee in my opinion. Lincoln even has a Tall capitol building like us. Look at Baton Rouge, and LSU also. These cities to me are Capital Cities that are enhanced by the presence of their universities, but they aren't college towns in the same way that Athens, GA, or Gainesville, FL are.

Using what we've already created, our new city logo with a innovative looking Star that symbolizes a Capital, and building upon that image will translate into a more solid view of what it means to be a part of Tallahassee. We're a capital city, we've got our eye on the future, and we seek to be innovative. That's the first impression I hope to make. which is why I really think we need to work on getting more technological things out into the public square. I'd like to see more electronic signage in the community, more lighting, more unique architecture not only in our highrise buildings, but our public schools, libraries, bridges, performing arts centers, city hall building, etc...

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^ Good points and rant TJ. As I was writing my post, I too thought about all that you brought up in your first paragraph. I'd love to see a figure that shows exactly how many college students MOVE here to go to school and not a figure that shows those who are ready living here and those dual enrolled. I bet that number would drop from 60k to something like 40K?????

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Yeah I'd expect to see a good drop, not 20,000 though, maybe 5-10K. The reason I say this is because it seems, even when we're on Spring Break and Christmas Holiday, and Summer Time, there are good number of students still here because this is home ya know. I've been in classes with several adults working on their master's or working full time and taking a few night courses to compete a degree. Its left me trying to figure it out also.

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Yes, the capital city sounds good to me. I think things are looking up for sure. even if we can not add alot of expensive gizmos, how awsome does a single spot light make a tree look at night! Its magical. Image more trees all over town as an attraction both night and day. Not tacky christmas lights left on all year. i am seeing one upward shooting beam that makes the trees presents known at night. That is one of the things i love to see at night!

I love the old folks in classess, they are a good asset to our educational experience... but indeed hard for statistics.

Soo many dull bridges, such an easy eisel for signage... we have talked about thier possibilities before. pedestrian, RR bridges easily made into flare!! (to make an office space reference)

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csmurphy8885 your ideas about more flare to our bridges and more funky pedestrian bridges are a good idea.

I also think you've got a great idea about "up lighting" on the live oaks. Nothing looks better than one of those giants accented at night.

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