January 30, 2012 | Categories: Signage & Wayfinding
Finding one's way around a new city might be one of the most difficult tasks a person has to face, especially if he doesn't have a guide or a map to help him. Sure, there are sign stands which act as public guidance systems - allowing the visitor to navigate his way to his intended destination. But sometimes those sign systems aren't very accurate, or only vaguely tell a person where the place he wants to go might be.
Many cities are now restructuring and redesigning their wayfinding systems so that they may be more accessible to and easily understood by tourists. In Tallahassee, Florida, motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists have been using the same signs since 1998. The old crop of signs that were installed made wayfinding a little bit more confusing. The city now has plans to develop new signs based on ones already in Arlington, Virginia.
"They gave a lot of information, but still were clear and easy to read. They also provided branding for specific areas and there were two different signs - larger signs for cars, smaller signs for pedestrians and bicyclists," Cherie Bryant, interim manager for the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Planning Division, told Tallahassee.com.
Al Pasini, the executive director of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, went on to explain that not all of the current signs share the same symbol usage and that the wording is inconsistent, making them more difficult to read and causing some travelers to make wrong turns, the news source reports.
Like in Tallahassee, the town of Starkville, Mississippi, is planning to ease the problems that poor wayfinding systems might cause to motorists and other tourists. A new organization called "Way Finding Signage" is asking the city to help finance the cost of installing some 15 to 20 new sign stands that will hopefully make finding one's way around the city much easier.
"We already have some of the funding in place for the initial phases. We will need the board's approval for some of the locations and maybe some help with the installation, but we feel like this will move forward and be a positive thing for the entire community," Jeremy Murdock, a community volunteer, told WTVA, the area's NBC News affiliate station.