Temecula has Temecula Parkway and Murrieta has Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Soon, Wildomar will be branded for the hundreds of thousands of drivers traveling along Interstate 15.
The five contiguous differently named streets that include Shopping Center, George Avenue, Porras Road, Baxter Road and Central Street will all be changed to Wildomar Trail.
“There are a couple of reasons for why it was important for us as a city,” Mayor Dustin Nigg said in a phone interview. “One is there is inherent confusion just with having a 3.7-mile stretch of road with five different names, right? That’s the common-sense approach. Also, we’re leveraging this with branding also.”
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is in the process of updating and installing new freeway signs on the I-15 from Rainbow Valley Boulevard, heading north through Wildomar. Nigg said he expects the new signage on the freeway to be up around April 1.
In a city press release on the subject, they said, “Originally, replacing the freeway signs alone was going to cost Wildomar over $300,000. However, city staff worked with Caltrans’ predetermined schedule to replace aging freeway signs and was able to have the signs created and replaced at no charge.”
The city went to work figuring out how to pay for the rest of the signs along the streets by applying for grants. The Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California offered a grant to update and replace non-reflective street signs at a cost of $14,500 to replace the street signs throughout Wildomar. Just $19,000 of the total cost will come from the city’s general fund.
“I couldn’t even tell you how we came up with five roads with different names on them,” Nigg said. “I don’t even know how that happens. There’s also a safety standpoint. Bridgette (Moore) brought up yesterday the people trying to get to the hospital on Baxter Road, that’s on the 215, right? You’re on the 15 and you hit Baxter Road and you go, ‘Wait, where’s the hospital?’”
The city is trying to get the word out on the changes using social media channels, videos and literature.
“Part of the reason for the videos is trying to get the word out there to the residents,” Nigg said. “I have concerns with new drivers. With high school-age kids, maybe Google Maps doesn’t update necessarily right away and it tells them to turn left on Central and Central is no longer there, but it’s Wildomar Trail. We’re sending the school district a flyer and infographics so they can be aware of the changes that are coming.”
Nigg said he doesn’t expect much impact on residents and local businesses that are located along one of the five affected roads.
The change puts more branding on the city, trying to create more of an identity with potential businesses that are looking to make a new home.
“Any time we can take advantage of an opportunity to increase our brand identity, create more consistency and improve public safety in the city, that is something we want to do,” Nigg said. “Council and staff are very excited about this change.”
For more information on the city of Wildomar, visit www.cityofwildomar.org.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at email@example.com.