LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- It's a city in the South Sound once known for gang violence and crime, but Lakewood officials note crime rates are going down and a makeover is on the horizon.
The city will soon be on display when the U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay in neighboring University Place, and Lakewood wants to use the opportunity for a fresh start. One of the first steps will be a new sign at the Bridgewort Way and Pacific Highway entrance.
"It’s just a sign, but from our standpoint, it’s one of the methods to really differentiate ourselves," said City of Lakewood Communications Manager Brent Champaco. "We want people to come into our community and they know and like that they are in Lakewood."
Longtime residents hope a new sign is a start that won't just leave a good first impression, but a lasting one and spark a transformation from a town stuck in time to one moving ahead.
"The business area isn’t where it should be like other areas, but maybe the signs will make a difference for us and the community," said Kiki Cardenas, who owns Hess Bakery & Deli.
The Lakewood City Council is set to discuss the new sign design at Monday night's meeting at 7 p.m. A volunteer committee formed and narrowed down design options to one that will be presented to city leaders. They hope to ultimately add up to 11 new signs through its gateway project.