BERLIN – New banners remind motorists to use caution as they drive through downtown Berlin.
This week town staff hung banners with the message “Welcome to Historic Berlin, Please Slow Down in Our Town.” The message, the same one that’s on the signs at the town’s borders, was originally developed by the Berlin Pedestrian Safety Committee.
“I hope everyone has seen the new ‘Slow Down in Our Town’ banners that we’re going to be using whenever there’s a lull in banner and event activity,” Economic Development Director Ivy Wells told the town council Monday. “I think especially now with new people coming into town they came out really nice.”
Wells said the decision to purchase five banners featuring the slogan to hang throughout town came after a meeting with Town Administrator Laura Allen. Allen said she and Wells had heard concerns from both downtown merchants and visitors that vehicles tended to drive too fast on Main Street.
“The banners were intended to address those concerns,” Allen said.
She said that while they would primarily be used during the town’s busy summer tourist season, they could be hung at any time officials decided they wanted to reinforce the safety message. Allen said they were hung now just as Police Chief Arnold Downing was in the midst of a pedestrian safety awareness campaign.
Allen said the banners were an easy way to remind both drivers and pedestrians of the need for caution on downtown streets. She said the town’s electric department was easily able to hang the banners as needed.
“We have a fantastic electric utility department and they have the equipment needed,” she said. “It’s worth the time and energy to send out that safety message.”
Cate Nellans, president of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, agreed that vehicles did tend to travel too fast through the small town. She’s glad to see the banners in place.
“I think they were definitely necessary,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll catch the attention of visitors and encourage them to use more caution as they drive through the downtown area.”