Logan considers alternatives to Main Street banner

At the start of the June 1 Logan Municipal Council meeting, the council heard from several residents concerned about the absence of the banner that once spanned across Main Street. The banners are currently not allowed due to liability and safety concerns. Council discussed ways to have some kind of banners in Logan without all the risk. To reconstruct poles and equipment needed for the banner across Main Street would cost the city around $50,000. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) would need give the poles and the poles’ location variance, said Jay Nielson, director of Community Development. “I can’t guarantee that a variance will be easy,” Neilson said. The old banner was 4′ by 45′ and had a 320-square foot surface area. To create a banner that spanned the street costs approximately $600 to $800, according to information provided by Nielson. Neilson gave councilmembers several alternatives to reconstructing the Main Street Banner. Two central 3′ by 15′ banners on either side of Main Street would create 180 square feet of banner surface area, and two 5′ by 15′ banners would create 300 square feet. This option would require two large structures to be built to hold the banners. The city could also use street poles already in place to hang 30″ by 72″ banners. This would cut initial building costs, as the structures are already in place, and would create an opportunity to visually unify Main Street, Nielson said. Costs for smaller banners run anywhere from $90-$114 each, according to information provided by Jay Nielson. Some places give discounts for larger quantities. This proposal takes a lot of cost and responsibility from the city and places it on the nonprofit organization who chooses to utilize the banners, but the city will still be responsible for maintenance and liability issues. According to information provided by Nielson, risks associated with banners will decrease with the proposed system. Potential risks include accidents due to obstructed vision and injuries from wind load or cable problems. The street pole banners plan has many advantages, Nielson said. The poles are already in place, and the banners can be hung by non-profit organizations. The smaller banner size allows a larger quantity of banners to be hung up, which could act to visually unify the downtown area. The advertising area will also increase, as banners are spread throughout Main Street instead of a single banner. The old banner had 320 viewable square feet. By putting banners through Downtown Logan, advertisers will be able to utilize 1,140 square feet of surface area. Using banners all over Main Street would create 5,280 square feet of potential banner surface area. However, Councilmember Herm Olsen said too many banners up and down Main Street could raise the clutter factor and create distractions for drivers. One alternative that could appease both those who say the old banner was too dangerous and those who argue for the tradition of the banner is making a permanent arch over Main Street. Those who would like to hang banners can put small banners directly on the permanent structure. Nielson said the Young Electric Sign Co. also created several ideas for a permanent arch structure which include a digital banner for announcements and advertising. The electronic message center would be donated, Nielson said, and the permanent structure would cost about $300,000. This structure would still require variance from UDOT. The electronic message center would have a “multiplicity of usefulness,” Councilmember Dean Quayle said, and would allow the city to alert drivers of accidents and weather situations. Councilmember Jay Monson said while the permanent structure “might be great down the road,” it wasn’t a likely option at present. The next steps in the process include determining which alternative to go with, writing new policy, amending sign code and funding capital requirements. The council agreed to postpone making a decision for a month to allow for more research and to collect community feedback. – rachel@cvdaily.com

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