The City of Urbana will be introducing a new type of sign to the landscape of the ever-growing Philo and Windsor developments: an electronic message board with business advertisements changing every 10 seconds.
The sign, soon to post in front of the Pines at Stonecreek Commons shopping center, veers away from the current ordinance which allows electronic messages to adjust once every three minutes.
Alderman Dennis Roberts took issue with the frequency of the messages changing; he proposed an amendment — that was later rejected — bumping the time elapsed for each sign up to 20 seconds.
Roberts called the 10 seconds “maybe a little too rapid” and urged the council to consider that the modern technological trend would cause distraction for drivers.
In addition to that exception to the ordinance, the Urbana City Council adopted another variance to the Atkins Group, developers of the new shopping plaza, to allow multi-colored signage in addition to the change in frequency.
The new sign could potentially feature 12 to 18 businesses, and according to Alderman Brandon Bowersox, the new electronic sign could actually cut down on signage congestion by consolidating. According to Bowersox, the Pines could post approximately 800 square feet of signs and with the new electronic message board that number is pared down to 78 square feet.
In other news, council adopted an ordinance amending the City of Urbana’s bicycle plan, a move Alderwoman Danielle Chynoweth called “a dream come true.” According to Chynoweth, 30 percent of Urbana residents bicycle, walk or take public transportation.
The plan allows for bike lanes on major corridors throughout Urbana including Main Street and Broadway Avenue, along with improvements in updated bike signs and changes to ramps at intersections.