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A sign for a changing economy
43 wayfaring signs proposed for Manteca
This is what the proposed Manteca wayfaring signs will look like. - photo by Rendering contributed
You might know where Woodward Park, Big League Dreams, the golf course, Delicato Vineyards, the lifestyle outlets, the BMX track or even downtown is located but often times tourists and travelers don’t.

That is why the Manteca City Council is being asked to approve spending $35,079 on a community directional or wayfaring sign program. The program was recommended by approval earlier this week by the Manteca Planning Commission.

The signs are aimed to take advantage of a major shift in Manteca’s local economy in the past three years. More visitors and tourists have started making the community a destination thanks to the regional draw of Bass Pro Shops and Big League Dreams. Bass Pro Shops indicated they had 2.7 million visitors in 2009 while Big League Dreams had more than 400,000.

The goal is to get visitors, who often stay overnight in motels, easy directions to reach other places in town where they may be willing to spend money. The signs and installation is being covered by redevelopment agency funds based on the fact they are designed to boost economic activity in the form of increased tourism. RDA money under state law can’t be used to cover general fund expenses such as police and fire services. The general fund is where the city has had revenue shortfalls for the last several years that have required budget spending cuts.

The signs are two feet high by three feet wide. The primary color is Ultra Blue and Electron Gold used for the arrows and a wavy design stripe on the bottom. Letters are in white using Copperplate Gothic Bold and Arial Narrow Bold type faces for the best visibility and clarity. The top part of the sign has the name “Manteca” on it against a black swath.

The signs will be placed on existing street light poles where appropriate. If there is no pole available a decorative pole that fits into the Tidewater motif will be used.

The destinations that signs will list include downtown, the civic center, library, golf course, Big League Dreams, courthouse, BMX, historical museum, lifestyle outlets, ACE train station, Woodward Park, Highway 120, Manteca Visitors Center, and Delicato Vineyards wine tasting room.

The signs cost $300 apiece and must be purchased from a vendor as Manteca lacks the capabilities to produce them.

New decorative poles are $300 apiece while existing poles will cost $20 apiece in parts to attach. Labor costs are $50 at existing poles and $150 at new pole locations.

There are 43 locations that will receive wayfaring signs.

The directional signs were the outgrowth of a talk provided by destination guru Roger Brooks of Destination Development International brought to Manteca using a $9,200 PG&E economic development grant

Brooks, who spent a day or so before talking to community leaders in Manteca and trying to find his way around, made wayfaring signs one of his more prominent recommendations to improve the community’s friendliness to tourists.

The only direction signs  now in place are non-descript signs hard to find that give directions to the civic center, museum, and golf course that are the same size as “no parking signs” that are difficult to read driving past at 35 mph. They are all different colors as well.

The wayfaring sign effort has been a  three-year undertaking with a committee looking at various aspects before coming up with the final recommendation that the council we will consider when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.