PHOTO: Wayfinding Signage Board Members and dignitaries officially unveil one of the new interpretive signs on the Rutherford County Courthouse lawn. Pictured from left to right: Wade Hays, Faye Elam, Paul Latture, Shirley Jones, Mayor Ernest Burgess, Janelee Wise, Gib Backlund, Mayor Tommy Bragg, Patsy Brown, David King, Dana Richardson, Mona Herring, Janie Zumbro and Kathy Tyson
It’s a sign of the times—interpretive signs, that is. Thanks to the Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Rutherford County Wayfinding Signage Board, a new interpretive signage program is in place in the downtown Murfreesboro area.
Visitors and newcomers will be able to learn about the historical significance of Rutherford County with ten new signs that have been recently installed in the downtown Murfreesboro area. There are six new signs on the Courthouse lawn, one at the Center for the Arts, one at Cannonsburgh Village, one at the train depot and one at the Civic Plaza.
These new interpretive signs are Phase 2 of the Wayfinding Signage Plan that erected 135 signs throughout Rutherford County to help visitors easily find tourism attractions and points of interest. Topics for the interpretive signs range from The Square during Wartime, Uncle Dave Macon, The Town Square-Founding of Rutherford County and Murfreesboro, 1860s View of East Main Street, Arts Center/Murfreesboro Post Office and The Railroad and Fortress Rosecrans.
“The new interpretive signs are designed to enhance the visitor’s experience when they come to downtown Murfreesboro,” said Mona Herring, Vice-President of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “These new signs will give the reader a view into the deep history of how Rutherford County was established and how we have progressed through the years to become the growing, vibrant community that we are today.”
This comprehensive signage program has been in the works since June 1997. Strict Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHA) guidelines caused the project to stall for a time. A pilot experimental sign program for Rutherford County, along with Chattanooga and Memphis, was approved by TDOT in December 2003 and this allowed the project to move forward once again. Rutherford County now boasts the only county-wide wayfinding signage program in Tennessee.
All monies for the signage project were obtained from a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and a matching funds grant from the Christy-Houston Foundation.
Travel related expenditures for Rutherford County were $216,670,000 in 2009. This provides $180 of tax relief for every household in Rutherford County.