Pima County officials are taking an old school advertising approach to increasing courtesy and awareness on the The Loop.
The county is planning a campaign modeled after the classic Burma Shave signs made popular by the shaving company in the early to mid 20th century.
The campaigns were a series of signs placed in intervals that contained a larger message. Here’s a snippet from the Wikipedia entry about the signs.
Burma-Shave sign series first appeared in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1925, and remained a major advertising component until 1963 in most of the contiguous United States. The exceptions were New Mexico, Arizona, andNevada (deemed to have insufficient road traffic), and Massachusetts (eliminated due to that state’s high land rentals and roadside foliage). Typically, six consecutive small signs would be posted along the edge of highways, spaced for sequential reading by passing motorists. The last sign was almost always the name of the product. The signs were originally produced in two color combinations: red-and-white and orange-and-black, though the latter was eliminated after a few years. A special white-on-blue set of signs was developed for South Dakota, which restricted the color red on roadside signs to official warning notices.
This use of a series of small signs, each of which bore part of a commercial message, was a successful approach to highway advertising during the early years of highway travel, drawing the attention of passing motorists who were curious to learn thepunchline. As the Interstate system expanded in the late 1950s and vehicle speeds increased, it became more difficult to attract motorists’ attention with small signs. When the company was acquired by Phillip Morris, the signs were discontinued on advice of counsel.
Some of the signs featured safety messages about speeding instead of advertisements.
The county’s version will feature messages promoting trail courtesy.
Here’s one of the nine they plan on using:
Sign 1: Walking the dog
Sign 2: On a leash too long
Sign 3: Will lasso a bike
Sign 4: And both will be gone
Sign 5: Keep Fido close
Sign 6: The Loop
Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian program coordinator Matt Zoll said messages will target each type of Loop user including cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.
The signs will be primarily set up on the Rillito because Zoll said that is where the bulk of the complaints come from.
“It is a really a promotion of sharing the space,” Zoll said.
If you had six signs, what type of safety message would you share on the Rillito?