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Wayfinding: Something To Point To

December 10, 2014


“The end result? More people will explore downtown, they’ll spend more time here.”

Boise may find its way in 2015–and by “way” we mean “wayfinding.”

This past summer, Boise Weekly first reported that a unique system of signs, specifically for Boise’s downtown, were in the works but only after teams of Treasure Valley stakeholders got a chance to weigh in (BW, News, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” June 18, 2014).

Now Oregon-based Sea Reach Ltd. says it’s just about to complete the sign designs and start determining ideal locations for the so-called wayfinding project.

“For [Boise], we wanted to promote the walkability,” Sea Reach principal in charge Susan Jurasz told BW. “These aren’t signs for motorists. We want people to get out of their car, so we present them at a pedestrian or bicyclist level.”

In particular, Sea Reach had proposed to divide the city into three areas, with a trio of entry points into Boise’s downtown: Broadway (East), Vista (Central) and the Connector/Americana Boulevard (West). Stakeholders also insisted that the wayfinding signs incorporate an area of south downtown that would include Boise State University. Each of the sections of downtown would have their own color for further delineation.

Sea Reach wants to add something new: so-called cardinal direction locators–medallions embedded in downtown sidewalks (see above), to help visitors get their bearings.

The company will be presenting its final proposal for wayfinding signs in early 2015, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the ones to make and maintain them. The Capital City Development Corporation and the Downtown Boise Association will ultimately put out a request for proposal from companies to fabricate and install the wayfinding system.

“The end result? More people will explore downtown, they’ll spend more time here, they’ll explore our businesses,” DBA Executive Director Karen Sander told BW in June. “This process has been fantastic. This has been one of the most vigorous responses to a project that we have ever had.”