City of University Park Approves Another Update to Some Brand Spankin’ New Stuff

Reader questions new lettering and lights redo on some still new signage.

In the new fancy median on Hillcrest, right at Northwest Highway is a sign that says “UNIVERSITY PARK” that you would see heading South on Hillcrest into the Park Cities. Several weeks ago they finally put the lettering on it, it was a dark iridescent color. At night you could not see it at all – it just disappeared. I wondered what they would do about it. Now it’s different lettering all together, visable at night. All this about the re-lettering of the fountain has made me wonder – what did that relettering cost? And who’s silly idea were the first letters anyway?

UP’s  beloved communications director, Steve Mace, responds.

The recent upgrade is part of an overall plan (Council directed) to switch park signage lighting to LED technology.  More efficient and environmentally friendly, the lighting is also better quality as the
reader suggests.  Smith Park signage was also recently changed to LED. Other park signage lighting will be changed out in the months to come. Combined cost for the Hillcrest and Smith Park change outs –$2,000.

BUT I think the big question is still, why did we change it instead of just doing the LED thing the first time? This is a recurring theme- fixing new stuff.

16 thoughts on “City of University Park Approves Another Update to Some Brand Spankin’ New Stuff

  • April 8, 2010 at 10:36 am
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    Ya – that’s correct. That sign is new, and it sat there without lettering for quite a while. Then the new letters went on – dark but irridesent looking by day, invisible by night – with my headlights pointing at them. Then they changed – quickly. Maybe they could re-use those old letters on something else – save some of the cash they keep doling out for all the signage issues that keep cropping up. Also – did they pay the same company for Soapy Fountain park signage change and the Hillcrest median signs orignal and replacement lettering?

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  • April 8, 2010 at 10:48 am
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    Honestly, I didn’t even ask who was getting paid for this job. But it’s a good question. I’m afraid Steve Mace will need therapy if I ask him anything else. And I like the guy.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 10:56 am
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    I think University Park would have oodles of money to spend on fountains, signs, and even pretty manhole covers if they started giving tickets to MIS/HPMS carpool lane traffic violaters.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm
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    i find the “University Park” entrance sign on Hillcrest underwhelming anyway. seems like we could do better than that for a major entrance to the city. just my opinion.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm
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    Related questions for the city fathers. Why can’t University Park get Lovers’ signal lights to synchronize like the Mockingbird traffic is synched by Highland Park? Seems like going down Lovers at any time they are timed to have traffic hit the signals at Hillcrest, Dickens, and Turtle Creek so that there is always a huge traffic tie up in the area. Mockingbird flows much better.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm
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    @Vprdoc, you are supposed to take in the whole picture with that lil sign, the two gun turrets on either side of the street and the ginormous walls they built going down NW Hwy. It was a big project.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm
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    @Vprdoc: Stop! Don’t mention any problems with the signs! They might take your suggestion and spend $10,000 on changing the letters!

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  • April 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm
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    @Walt — I agree and also wish they would synchronize the lights on Hillcrest between Lovers & Mockingbird.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm
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    @kmom- I visited with Steve Mace and he didn’t know who was being paid to do the new lettering/LED thing at Hillcrest and NW Hwy. He said he would let me know on Monday.

    He also said he didn’t know why we needed to know. I reminded him that’s just what I do.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm
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    Merritt,

    Concerning your posting above:

    I know what you do. I’m just asking for a little context when you do it.

    In that same conversation I said I will provide any resident with the information they want or need concerning City expenditures. I clearly understand that we are working with taxpayer money.

    That said, most City projects, as required by law, are done through an open bidding process, in open session. The City operates with a pay-as-you go budget, without debt. That footing is not achieved or maintained without careful deliberation and thought. Renovations involving Goar Park, Coffee Park and City Hall are wonderful examples of this process. Residents continue to praise the outcome on all three.

    I also believe most residents will support our move to more efficient lighting fixtures. Among other things, since LED bulbs burn longer they will be replaced less often and costs will be reduced.

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  • April 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm
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    Merritt,

    Remind Mr Mace that it’s public money and anything done there or any money spent is public information and is subject to open records act. I can’t beleive he told you that!

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  • April 9, 2010 at 8:11 am
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    Completely agree with BM. Mr. Mace should be very open to answering questions from taxpayers, not trying to dodge the requests for information. Very disappointing.

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  • April 9, 2010 at 8:31 am
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    I want to be clear, Steve Mace did say he would give me the information on Monday (I believe he is out of the office today).

    And to answer Steve’s question about context- readers are asking. Simply put, it would be interesting to know who gets the $2,000 for updating the brand new signage. Probably no one we know. Just interesting.

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  • April 9, 2010 at 10:45 am
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    The people who run and govern UP are very careful with our town’s money. They are thoughtful and prudent. They also are not perfect, and sometimes make mistakes. They try to respond to the citizens who complain, and make changes are requested, even if they are costly. As Steve said, if you want input into the process, go to the council meetings! We are so privileged to live in this beautiful town. When the citizens are mostly arguing over fountain lettering and park lighting, you know that things are working well.

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  • April 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm
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    UPDATE from Steve Mace:
    Able Electric is the firm doing the LED lighting to the signage at Hillcrest & Northwest Highway and at Smith Park . The cost is actually $1,000 for Hillcrest/Northwest Highway and $1,600 at Smith Park . The Smith Park lighting involved more lights and fixtures, hence the reason for the fee difference.

    By the way, much of the softer lighting that was removed from those two sites will be reinstalled this summer to accent Elena’s Children窶冱 Park around the shrubs and story pit. For some time, the Park Department has intended to add more ground-level lighting at that park.

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  • January 4, 2011 at 8:40 am
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    The real problem solver would be to replace certain key position heads within the city with more qualified people.. and why not hire in people who actually LIVE within our city limits! Public works director Bud Smallwood and Park director Gerry Bradly would be a great start.. then of course the city manager Bob Livingston.. If we had a city council who would actually have the backbone to replace these top three positions you would see some real progress. Right now these three do things that make no sense, busy work like adding no parking signs and naming any small piece of land after their buddies. The real story on the entrance sign is this, Gerry Bradly has no clue how to properly light anyything and only after many complaints did they switch to LED lights.

    Ask yourself, why has the city not streetscaped Preston Road 100% from Northwest Highway all the way South to the border of Highland Park.. And I mean a real streetscape, like the one Highland Park pulled off on Mockingbird which totally shames what Bud Smallwood did to Lovers Lane.. FYI- Bud Smallwood I hear is about to install a TURN LANE the FULL length of Lovers Lane between Hillcrest & Preston Road… Hey, maybe he will add a few hundred more signs while he is at it… why should he care he does not live here.

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