Visitors to the island will now have an easier time getting around, thanks to former St. John Administrator Julien Harley, Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade, St. John Community Foundation Executive Director Carole DeSenne and many others.
Bright, easy to read directional signs are being placed throughout Cruz Bay in an effort to help tourists reach their destinations more easily, explained DeSenne.
“They are mainly in downtown Cruz Bay,” said DeSenne. “We see people struggling with the maps, which I think are lovely, but we thought, ‘what if you could just walk up to the sign and know where to find the ATM, the police station or the ferry?’”
Action Committee Funds
The signs, designed by Designs on St. Thomas, were funded partially by a group of nearly 200businesses that began meeting after Hurricane Marilyn.
“There were about 200 businesses, called the St. John Action Committee, that met every week to discuss how to revitalize tourism,” said Connections owner Cid Hamling. “Signage was one of the things we identified. Then two years ago, I realized there was still some money in the bank.”
Hamling discussed the leftover money with then-St. John Administrator Harley, who wanted to ensure the money was put to good use, explained Harley.
“Every place you go, there are directional signs, but St. John never had any,” he said. “One day Cid (Hamling) called me and said ‘Julien, I have some money,’ and she wanted to turn it over to me. I didn’t want it to go to the government coffers, where it would be in the black hole.”
Harley spoke to DeSenne about how best to use the money, and a committee was formed.
Nearly two years later, with the money contributed by Hamling’s business group along with funds from the V.I. Department of Tourism, the signs are finally being installed.
Twelve Signs to Be Installed
As of Thursday afternoon, March 29, at least three of the 12 signs had been installed — two larger signs, one in front of Connections and one across from Islandia, pointing out directions to important places such as the ferry dock, the police station and Mongoose Junction, and one small sign on Centerline Road indicating the direction to Coral Bay.
A large sign will be installed in the Frank Powell Park once renovations, scheduled to begin in July, are completed, according to DeSenne.
Directional and Identifying Signs
One sign near the Lumberyard will point the direction to Mongoose Junction, while another sign in front of St. John Car Rental will indicate the direction to Gallows Point, and signs will identify the Elaine I. Sprauve Library and the Cruz Bay Legislature building, explained DeSenne.
Harley is happy to see the signs finally being installed, he explained.
“It was in the makings for a good while,” said Harley. “I’m so glad it finally came to fruition.”