28 January 2009

The New Look Of Portland Street Blades Comes To 57th And Division

1932.We can now be more sure we've detected a trend.

Back on 28 December, in posting #1888, we shared a happy discovery we found at the corner of SE 117th Ave and Division Street, in our humble neighborhood. It looked like this:

(go to this posting to see the other images, and the design discussion on it) We were quite excited about it at the time ... the design of Portland's street blades is something we think has been a long time in coming. The breakthrough was in the large, clear format which still had that "Portland" look to it, and most importantly, includes the crossing street block number as an integral part of the design, which is a boon to people trying to find an address.

Well, coming east on SE Division Street a few days ago, we spotted another example of this sign in the Franklin High School area, specifically, SE 57th and Division:

That building in the background there is Atkinson Elementary School. But is this not nifty? Here's a view of the Division Street blade:

The "2400" block index on the sign isn't an error by the way. Between SE 42nd Avenue and SE 82nd Avenue, Division Street jogs a half-block to the north to become the 24th street south of Burnside, therefore the 2400 block. The 2500 block is defined by a little street called SE Windsor Court, which exists in a few fragments one block south of Division in that area. Everywhere else, it's 2500.

The numbered avenue blade also fowards the design we saw on SE 117th Avenue:

As you can see on the right there is one of the MetroFi WiFi antennas. Kind of a set here: the street blade is your tax dollars at work, the WiFi antenna is your tax dollars at rest. Oh, were do I find the wit for these things?

But it's not just the north side of the street that gets the new blades. It's on the south side too:

It's nice and visible even at the kinda-crappy resolution of my awesome plastic fantastic.

For those of me who obsess about these things, this is a big signal. One new set of street blades at a street corner out near 122nd and Division could just be a test. Three new sets ... including a completely-signed intersection on both sides of the street ... indicate that this may indeed be the new design for Portland's street blades.

It's intriguing that they've so far done two intersections that so happen to be on Division Street.

And this design is a good one, as I've said before. I don't know who came up with this look, but, seriously, you've hit it out of the park, yo.

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Isaac Laquedem said...

I like the design; it's clean and fresh while still resembling the current green signs.

What's up with the City using white-on-black on the street signs it's putting up downtown along 5th and 6th? To me that looks very un-Portland.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

You've nailed it right there, Isaac. They made something new, improved it, and retained the canon. I think that's why I'm so excited by it.

I've seen the new signs on the Mall streets too. I like them not. The ones on the named streets only share a thematic point with the ones they replace ... and get it wrong. The color scheme and layout is very unPortland.

I have some pictures of these and I'll be posting and commenting very soon. As a matter of fact, you reminded me of them. Thanks for that.