|Monday, February 23, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 99
Whitlock on Clinton
Ed De La Garza
It's a sign of the times
Can't you feel the electricity in the air now that traffic is up and running on the new Texas Highway 35 -- er, Spur 5? We finally have something to show for all the months of construction and destruction: a short stretch of semi-freeway that leads from Entrance 1 up to Interstate 45.
Fortunately for the University, having a busy road like Spur 5 quickly become a reality means a lot more motorists will have the potential to notice us. Unfortunately, the first thing they see when they approach campus via the new University Drive, after taking in the sweep of delightful early 1970s architecture of the University Hilton and the Moody Towers, is a dilapidated information sign at Entrance 1.
Of course, that squat brown sign isn't the only one on campus that looks like it needs repair; it just happens to be a particularly bad-looking specimen placed at the University's front door.
We understand that there have been plans on the drawing board for a while regarding new signs that would not only spruce up the looks of the campus perimeter but actually serve its purpose by providing directions to visitors. The signs, in addition to being in an outdated style and less-than-pristine state of repair, are not particularly helpful.
They do list major physical facilities for each UH entrance, but they don't direct visitors to, say, available parking lots. Moreover, several of the signs might list a facility -- for example, "Health Center" or "Bruce Religion Center" -- but how do visitors know where to go to reach those buildings?
Aha! We also need improved building-by-building signs, which is something else that's been promised. And while we're at it, why not put up some maps in strategic locations around campus -- perhaps with major buildings clearly identified and a "You are here" system that really tells the visitor where he or she is and needs to go?
On a campus as large as ours, particularly one with buildings that aren't remarkable enough to be readily identified by the outside world, signs that extend beyond those on the edge of campus are absolutely needed.
And with the road improvements around campus, we hope UH will make a move on providing new signs. It's the right time to do so -- before Spur 5 brings hordes of visitors wondering exactly what in the world "LH" means anyway.