Two TGH signposts will be discharged

Questions about aesthetics lead to their impending removal.

Published November 24, 2006

Two of the unpopular black posts along Bayshore Boulevard built to hold signs directing traffic toward Tampa General Hospital will be removed, city transportation manager Roy LaMotte told the City Council at a hearing last week.

The city will review the other four to see whether they can be moved or eliminated. Residents and City Council members objected to the signs when they went up last month, calling them eyesores along the scenic stretch.

Last year, city officials directed Tampa General Hospital to replace the existing directional signs as a condition of the hospital's expansion.

The hospital hired a consulting firm and contacted the city's Department of Transportation. A year later, three posts along Bayshore and three others in the surrounding neighborhood emerged, awaiting signs.

One sign was slated to measure 12.5 by 7.5 feet. Another would display electronic messages.

LaMotte said city transportation officials will continue to meet with the designer of the hospital signs to see whether the electronic sign on Platt Street can be moved to the Tampa Convention Center, so it won't clash with the historic Hyde Park Methodist Church across the street from its current location.

As for the giant sign slated to replace a smaller one, LaMotte said city officials will analyze whether the new sign can be smaller.

They'll also see whether some of the black posts on the bridge connecting to the hospital can be eliminated.

Transportation officials will work to post the least number of signs necessary, and "we want them to be visually and aesthetically pleasing," he said.

LaMotte will report back to council the first week of January.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at 226-3354 or azayas@sptimes.com