If you’ve ever enjoyed the timeless feel of Arcadia High School, or the massive, near-century old eucalyptus trees on Arcadia Drive or the fact that Camelback Road is not a six-lane highway bisecting the neighborhood, you have Arcadia Camelback Mountain Neighborhood Association (ACMNA) to thank. 

Since 1986, the organization has worked tirelessly to maintain Arcadia’s character, protecting its historic buildings and “preserving the area as a residential neighborhood free of commercial intrusion and impact.” Its efforts have gone a long way toward making Arcadia feel like a real neighborhood, a community distinct from the sprawling, anonymous Phoenix metropolis.  

The City of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services Department was developed with the goal of making the millions of residents of the United States’ fifth largest city feel like, in addition to all being Phoenicians, they’re also part of smaller communities within the metropolis.

One way to achieve this goal was to encourage its many neighborhoods to design and install their own custom street sign toppers to build a sense of identity and pride among residents. About 10 years ago, ACMNA took advantage of the program and introduced street sign toppers to Arcadia.  

Recently, in accordance with new federal recommendations, Phoenix updated much of its street signage to feature larger, lowercase lettering. ACMNA took this street sign update project as an opportunity to replace the neighborhood’s sign toppers. Ironically, as a part of the new signage requirements, sign toppers can no longer be atop street signage posts. Despite their now confusing name, the sign-toppers are much more visible in their new, lower location.  

ACMNA teamed up with Speed Pro Imaging Solutions to design and produce the new sign toppers. Advancements in sign fabrication technology allowed them to produce laser-cut aluminum signs featuring the silhouette of Camelback Mountain for the same cost as the plain rectangle signs from 10 years ago. The new sign is white with large lettering and the green citrus trees that appear in ACMNA’s logo. It is an elegant and minimalist portrayal of Arcadia’s most iconic and distinguishing features: citrus trees and Camelback Mountain.    

Members of ACMNA are putting up the new signs to save on labor costs. So far, they’ve installed 19 of the 36 signs that will eventually adorn the streets of Arcadia.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate ACMNA’s recent signage success is to head north up Arcadia Drive toward Lafayette Boulevard, past the eucalyptus trees and classic single-family ranch homes, where you can see the snazzy new sign toppers against the backdrop of the mighty Camelback Mountain itself.