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Duke Behnke's Q&A: What's with the 'W' on the new Wisconsin Avenue signs?

Jan. 26, 2013
 
Wisconsin Avenue signs
Street signs along Wisconsin Avenue between Ballard Road and Badger Avenue have a red 'W' as a way to identify and market the area as a business corridor. / Duke Behnke/The Post-Crescent

Q: I noticed that the Wisconsin Avenue street signs in Appleton have a “W” added in front of the Wisconsin. What’s this about?

A: Eric Lom, Appleton’s city traffic engineer, said he has been asked this question six to eight times. His co-workers joke that the “W” stands for Gov. Scott Walker.

“It doesn’t,” Lom said. “It stands for the Wisconsin in Wisconsin Avenue.”

The fancy red “W” is set against a blue background at the left edge of street signs along Wisconsin Avenue between Ballard Road and Badger Avenue. The special signs were installed in conjunction with the 2011 reconstruction of Wisconsin Avenue.

Lom said the logo was developed by the Appleton Northside Business Association and the Wisconsin Avenue Design Committee as a way to identify and market the business corridor.

“It really is meant to be a theme throughout that whole area,” he said.

The new street signs between Ballard and Richmond cost about $10,000 and were paid for as part of the reconstruction project. Lom said the added cost for the “W” was nominal.

The new signs between Richmond and Badger cost $4,500 and were paid for by the Appleton Northside Business Association.

“The city actually comes out ahead in that deal because those signs (between Richmond and Badger) were all in varying degrees of disrepair,” Lom said. “We got brand new signs, and we didn’t pay anything for them.”

From Lom’s view, the “W” could stand for a win-win situation.

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