You asked and we listened. During the 2015 Master Plan process, residents said they want North Olmsted to be a more attractive place to live, visit and invest. Improvements in the physical realm to our streetscapes, entranceways, neighborhoods and parks can enhance the appearance of the city and foster a greater sense of civic pride. To this end we are crafting a Gateways Plan which proposes exciting new enhancements at city entrance points, along major corridors and at other key locations in the community.
Gateways serve multiple purposes. In addition to defining city boundaries and making folks aware of when they’re entering, leaving or passing through North Olmsted, it also makes a bold statement that we care about our city. Like a neighbor who maintains a pristine garden or decorates their home for the holidays, gateway treatments demonstrate our commitment to improving our city’s appearance and give shape to our community identity.
Gateway improvements include a combination of signage, landscaping, lighting and public art. This plan is designed with a focus on I-480, where many of our visitors and residents enter the city, but we wanted the experience to be connected throughout the city. We carried the theme to other key gateways, along Brookpark Road and landscaping enhancements near our town center, to provide definition and continuity. Taking it a step further, the gateways are actually multi-modal, marking pedestrian and bike paths that are currently underutilized to remind people that these areas are for them to use and enjoy.
The connectedness of the plan is also seen through the design. We didn’t want everything to look the same, but there are repeated themes to make it clear that you are in North Olmsted. Variations in color are all reflective of North Olmsted’s brand. And some structural themes are repeated. For example, pillars are used in several locations, but have variations that are tailored to their specific site – some may be lit and others are hollow and play with shadows. In all cases, the variety and versatility of the gateway treatments are mindful of the space, designed to be easy to maintain and enhance – rather than interfere with – highway signage. Overall, this program will serve North Olmsted on many levels – establishing boundaries, marking key neighborhoods and areas within the city, beautifying the community and, maybe most importantly, building and demonstrating pride for our city.
The community is invited to learn more and provide feedback at a public meeting on Wednesday, January 24th starting at 7:00pm at City Hall in the second floor Council Chambers.