City Councilor Barry Connell took the time to count all the signage from Route 95 to Atkinson Common. It came to 104 signs. But when it comes to counting the signage for our greatest asset, the Newburyport Historic District, there is nary a post.
Yes, Storey Avenue is convenient for some local towns to shop but often the business activity does not add directly to Newburyport’s benefit. It’s handy as they pass a McDonalds or a Wendy’s. If they need barbecue and camping supplies or to stock up on some supplies, it’s all there; but more often than not; it’s a distraction.
People come to Newburyport to see our historic city.
They’re going downtown. They want to visit the restaurants, walk our streets, stroll along our boardwalk and purchase at our shops.
The entire atmosphere is centered around an historic theme – and yet, not even the local residents, who benefit with stable property values; know where the historic district starts and stops. Many take the city for granted and don’t even realize the quality of life they enjoy comes from our rich past and our historic architecture.
The city needs to realign its priorities and it should invest in signage that sharply delineates the district. It’s what people come to see and if locals understand they live within this National treasure, they will think twice before they trash it.
We can certainly thin the herd of signs on Storey Avenue but we desperately need these historic district signs put up! Historic preservation needs these signs put up. Our heritage tourism desperately needs these signs put up. Our restaurants and shops need these signs put up.
We desperately need them up now.