SCRANTON -- Navigating parts of Scranton requires a GPS. That's because the old-fashioned method of using the street signs has become more and more difficult over the years.
The city of Scranton covers about 27 square miles. That's a lot of streets and a lot of street signs. It's been more than 20 years since the city got new ones and some of them are really starting to show their age. But, the city is planning an effort to replace them citywide.
Marty London has lived in south Scranton his entire life. But still, directing a pizza delivery driver to his home on Birch Street gets tricky.
"They ask for cross streets, and I said I know South Webster and Birch Street here, but I couldn't tell them the alley way because the sign was faded out so bad," London said.
If you get up close, you can see London's house sits on the corner of Gallagher Court. The sign is tough to read while passing it in a car.
It's the same story all over Scranton's south side. Many signs so faded they are almost illegible.
Some intersections in the city of Scranton have no street signs at all. For example, there are no indicators at the intersection of South Webster Avenue and Maple Street. Neighbors there told Newswatch 16 they can`t even remember when the signs went missing.
"When you`re trying to run a delivery service, it`s very difficult because it`s not marked. It`s just, it needs to be addressed," said Melony Miner, owner of Bella Pizza & Pasta House.
Miner is very aware of the signage problem. She and her delivery drivers have come up with a way to cope.
"Typically, we ask the customer for a landmark, and that helps tremendously, because without that, sometimes you can`t just even find it," she said.
Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright is aware of the problem, too.
The signs cost $1 million to replace in 1994. The mayor says it will cost a lot more to do it now, but that it has to be done.
"This is our next big project, as you know we`ve had several, but this is our next big project. It`s a large city, lots of streets, and it`s an issue. It hasn`t been done since the Connors administration," Mayor Courtright said.
City officials are trying to get a grant that would pay for a study to find out how much replacing the signs would cost.
Either the city will pay an outside company to do the work, or invest in a sign machine and have city employees replace each sign themselves.