New Garden road signs seem to be working out

       Terry Haas has no doubt that simplifying the road signage in the Garden of the Gods was money well spent.

ABOVE: One such sign is several hundred feet before a fork on Garden Drive. The new sign at the intersection can be seen in the background. BELOW: The intersection sign, closer up.
Westside Pioneer photos

       “I think it's been beneficial to the consumer,” the owner of the Garden of the Gods Trading Post said in a recent interview. “I think it's eliminated a lot of that clutter. People don't have to stop anymore and read 10 things on one sign.”
       Whether his roughly $6,000 expense - the cost to pay City Parks to make and install about a dozen revised markers - will pay for itself with increased Trading Post sales is hard to predict. “Tourists don't come up and tell you, 'I really like your signs,'” Haas commented, wryly.
       The plan came together last spring after Haas had initially approached City Parks about reconfiguring some road layouts in the Garden so that visiting motorists could find their way around better in general and to his business in particular. However, such work would have required revising the Garden of the Gods Master Plan, so he and city staff agreed on the less expensive, less time-consuming strategy of upgrading signage.
       Chris Lieber, who had been the city's development manager for 13 years, (he resigned last spring to take another job), pointed out that the simplification meant focusing mainly on helping park visitors find the places they seem to want most: Balanced Rock, the Visitor Center, the Trading Post and the park exits. Another strategy change was to provide signs before, as well as at, intersections. This would allow more time for the information to sink in. “That's a lot to have to comprehend in a fleeting moment,” he commented.
       If the new signs seem to be similar in font and word size to the older signs, that's not by accident. To the surprise of both Haas and Lieber, such details are also included in the Master Plan.

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