Downtown_Uptown Foxboro (copy)

Downtown businesses surrounding the Foxboro Common

FOXBORO — A branding campaign endorsed by selectmen will help downtown Foxboro showcase its assets by making them easier to find.

Developed in recent months by an ad hoc committee of business owners and town officials with the assistance of an outside consultant, the campaign seeks to brand the area surrounding Foxboro’s picturesque town Common as a destination, rather than a drive-by on Route 140.

Officials expect the program will complement ongoing efforts to improve traffic flow and parking access in the town center, as well as reinforce it as the historic and cultural heart of the community.

As the first step in this process, the plan calls for removing of some 50 signs in and around the common rotary. Most warn of one-hour on-street parking restrictions, others promote public parking availability nearby and still others direct motorists to Route 140 or Interstate 95.

According to Town Planner Paige Duncan, these will be replaced by roughly a dozen new informational signs identifiable by thematic visuals of the iconic common fence and Memorial Hall.

“This is just Phase 1 for right now,” she said. “We consider it a fair and good start.”

Duncan estimated the first-phase costs at just under $5,000. Already, the town has received a $3,000 donation to help underwrite the branding campaign, while another $5,000 is available from the developers of the Forbes Crossing project, Town Manager William Keegan said.

The consultant’s services are being paid for by a state grant, Keegan added.

Under the so-called wayfinding and branding campaign, signs directing motorists to public parking will be installed at the following locations:

  • 8 Wall St.
  • 15 Cocasset St.
  • South & Liberty streets
  • 15 Mechanic St.
  • Mechanic Street between the railroad crossing and Cumberland Farms
  • Railroad Avenue & Bird Street

In addition, new directional signs will be installed at Central & Wall streets, South & School streets, and Cocasset & Bird streets; while “Welcome to Foxboro Common” signs will be installed at Main & Granite streets, Mechanic Street & Railroad Avenue, 21 Cocasset St. and Central Street & Gray Road.

Selectwoman Leah Gibson, who served on the ad-hoc planning committee, said it would be important not to “re-clutter” the downtown area with new public and/or private sector signage.

“We’ll obviously have to keep an eye on that with any new traffic patterns,” Gibson said.

With that in mind, Duncan said that requests from merchants or homeowners for other, more specialized, signs would be considered strictly on a case-by-case basis.

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