A group that wants to beautify landscaping along State Route 2 and promote businesses on the busy commercial corridor sought ideas from business owners at a meeting last week.
Those who attended the Help State Route 2 meeting, held at the Oregon Public Library on Wednesday, focused on signage at the I-280 exit and decided on a theme for landscape development.
“People want to just pick up the feel and the image of going down Route 2,” said Councilman Sandy Bihn, who coordinated the meeting with Gary Thompson, president of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation.
The signage would highlight available restaurants, lodging, and other necessities for the weary and hungry motorist off the I-280 exit down State Route 2.
“It’s pretty limited on I-280 in terms of space, so there’s some issues as to how we can do it, so we have the city and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) looking into that to give us some options, if there are any,” said Bihn.
“We can do signage for the restaurants and lodgings fairly easily, though we probably will have to wait until after the Wheeling Street project, going north on I-280,” said Bihn. “The challenge is going south on I-280 with attention to the bridge, the distances, and the available space, which is very limited. We would like to see signs headed south on I-280 because a lot of traffic that goes to Lake Erie and Cedar Point, or goes birding, is headed south on Route 2.”
The group, which meets monthly, asked ODOT and the city to work together to provide some options on what might be attractive and work for the businesses. “Then at our next meeting, we will go into the particulars of what we might want to pursue,” said Bihn.
The group also wants to develop landscaping at the I-280 exit, and along State Route 2.
Businesses decided on a waterfront landscaping theme, with flowerbeds, grasses, roping, rocks, and anchors to unite the theme, said Bihn.
“We’ll make a list of suggestions and give it to businesses. It’s not going to be mandatory or regulatory. Then we’ll hand it out, and talk to the city to see if there can be any kind of incentives,” said Bihn.
The group would also like to hand out informational pamphlets to coordinate local events on State Route 2.
“There’s a lot of different prongs to this. But the first focus is merely signage on the interstate, landscaping on the exit, and encouraging businesses to adopt a waterfront landscaping theme to enhance their appearance,” she said.
The group also talked about displaying uniform planters along the corridor to make the landscaping consistent.
“That would be a way of enhancing the whole area,” said Bihn. “We’re looking at a number of options. There seems to be interest. We’ll see how it goes.”